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Inside Out/Outside In


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Erie’s Outdoor Velodrome

In March 2007, University Bikes owner Doug Emerson found himself in Toluca, Mexico. There, with business partner Frank Banta, he met an architect to discuss his vision—building an Olympic-sized velodrome, the fastest in the nation. Today, Banta peers through a leveling instrument on the construction site, rechecking the alignment of the velodrome track’s boards, which meet to be precisely aligned within a millimeter of each other. “The goal is to have a genuine 250.0 meter track,” Banta says. For the unacquainted, a velodrome is an oval track shaped like a hyperbolic paraboloid—think of a Pringles potato chip—where cyclists can hit top speeds by coming off steep banks. “It’s a rush,” says Emerson, who needed to act on his dream. “If you’re not careful, your entire adulthood turns into ‘regret management’ … So, I’m building a velodrome.”

Ground floor: An elbow table and swivel stools allow spectators to watch racers on the track (and rest their beers as they spin around).

Basement: Concrete-walled trenches lead to a 5,000-square-foot basement for bike storage.

Track: 250-meters long, 41-degree bank, 12-degree straightaway.

Lowest cyclist speed before toppling: Approx. 17 mph (but it’s hard going slow!)

 

Longmont’s Indoor Soccer Arena

The players in the Boulder Indoor Soccer venue are wobbly. Accompanied by grownups, they chase tiny soccer balls across the turf. No, they’re not drunk hooligans. It’s Soccer Tots—a class fit for toddlers to help build their balance coordination. “Soccer can be played at any age,” says part owner Patrick Keane. A seasoned player, Keane and his business partner (his former CU soccer coach)  want to bring the sport to the masses. Longmont was the next best place. This time they’re building from the ground up. Keane puts what they have in mind best: “It’s a Transformer.” The regulation goals can retract for lacrosse. A button-operated divider splits the new field into two for futsal sessions (a variant of soccer), while a camera transmits games to a projector screen in their bar. OK, bring on the hooligans! Just keep it tame—otherwise you get banned for “99 years.”

The field: 160 x 70 ft., the facility is 25,000 square-feet

Divider: A ceiling-mounted, 30-foot vinyl/mesh roll-up

Offices: Future home to the St. Vrain FC.

Total construction days: 150

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