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Velodrome closed

By 26 April 2013 33

The Economic Development Directorate has announced they’ve shut down the Narrabundah Velodrome:

The Territory has received engineering advice that the Narrabundah Velodrome is ‘unsafe for both competition and training purposes,’ this assessment included consultation advice from user groups.

Sport and Recreation Services (SRS) has a duty of care to all cycling stakeholders that currently use the facility to ensure in hiring the facility it is safe and fit for purpose.

To safeguard users, a decision has been made to immediately close the Narrabundah Velodrome for cycling activities.

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33 Responses to Velodrome closed
#1
cranky8:17 pm, 26 Apr 13

Who ever, the Gov of the day signed off on a cross between Brooklands and the Circus Circle of Death..

This thing was lethal from day one, and the designers should be required to pay their fees back into consolidated revenue.

#2
460cixy9:35 am, 27 Apr 13

Mates and i used to ride dirt bikes around it back in the day real thrill going round it at wide open throttle. And I agree a pushy shouldn’t go any where near it

#3
HiddenDragon10:35 am, 27 Apr 13

Nicely located piece of real estate, too – so a somewhat more lucrative use of it is surely on the cards.

#4
grump12:18 pm, 27 Apr 13

I recall it being closed for safety reasons about 20 years ago +/- – as not a non standard length/diameter whatever, too. Surprised it reopened.

#5
gooterz9:30 pm, 27 Apr 13

Hopefully i’m not alone here:
Canberra had a Velodrome?

#6
bundah11:01 pm, 27 Apr 13

Well it looks like the nitro cars and trucks will have the place to themselves.

#7
Gungahlin Al6:58 am, 28 Apr 13

gooterz said :

Hopefully i’m not alone here:
Canberra had a Velodrome?

My words exactly…

#8
BenMac12:15 pm, 28 Apr 13
#9
bundah1:15 pm, 28 Apr 13

Yes rioters i remember that it was constructed in the early ’70s so it’s been there for about four decades now..

#10
Roundhead895:18 pm, 28 Apr 13

I remember Mum driving us past it when we were kids. I used to call it “the watermelon drome”.

#11
The cat did it5:32 pm, 28 Apr 13

It was built in early-mid 1970s, IIRC by an engineering firm that didn’t know much about velodromes, for a client that didn’t know much about velodromes either. To give them their due, velodromes weren’t exactly a common construction project, so the level of inexperience should be no surprise.

Main problem was that they opted to go steep for the banking- something like 43-44 degrees, compared to the 40-41 degrees common elsewhere for a ‘general-use’ track (as distinct from something for say Olympic use). The steepness was quoted as evidence that this would really be a cutting-edge track, up there with the best and newest.

Unsurprisingly, the incidence of injuries was high, and the track was used less frequently.

#12
caf8:20 pm, 28 Apr 13

Our Thunderdome is still open though, right?

#13
Benaresq9:41 pm, 28 Apr 13

The cat did it said :

It was built in early-mid 1970s, IIRC by an engineering firm that didn’t know much about velodromes, for a client that didn’t know much about velodromes either.

Which begs the question – Why close it now? If it’s been around for around 40 years without causing the end of the world, what’s changed?

#14
Aeek9:48 pm, 28 Apr 13

My understanding is that as well as the banking, one of the corners is just wrong.
That said, the biggest danger is the snakes in the grass in the midfield.

The Queanbeyan track is not a real alternative. It is a asphalt track around the oval, one of the last survivors. Banking might be 5 degrees? Good for fun, but of limited use for an aspiring elite.

#15
PBO9:19 am, 29 Apr 13

460cixy said :

Mates and i used to ride dirt bikes around it back in the day real thrill going round it at wide open throttle. And I agree a pushy shouldn’t go any where near it

I thought it would have been a good idea to have 80cc bicycle track races ( My pushie looks more like a vintage board track racer now.) a few months ago and ……thought if only Canberra had somewhere…….Turns out they did, I never knew and now its closing………..FML!

#16
Keijidosha9:50 am, 29 Apr 13

The Territory has received engineering advice that the Narrabundah Velodrome is ‘unsafe for both competition and training purposes,’ this assessment included consultation advice from user groups.

Every time I hear about how ‘unsafe’ the velodrome is I automatically picture this: http://youtu.be/31MMw3Eazqw

#17
poptop10:31 am, 29 Apr 13

If you want a better idea of the ‘problem’ with the Narrabundah Velodrome, the picture post on the Nah – It’s Canberra Blog for 18 April is excellent (as are all the pics on this rather lovely Blog).

#18
460cixy10:35 am, 29 Apr 13

PBO said :

460cixy said :

Mates and i used to ride dirt bikes around it back in the day real thrill going round it at wide open throttle. And I agree a pushy shouldn’t go any where near it

I thought it would have been a good idea to have 80cc bicycle track races ( My pushie looks more like a vintage board track racer now.) a few months ago and ……thought if only Canberra had somewhere…….Turns out they did, I never knew and now its closing………..FML!

It used to realy make you feel alive I can sell you. A pushy with 80 to 100cc would be a. Blast on there too

#19
Leon11:18 am, 29 Apr 13

Canberran’s who want to ride around a velodrome now have to travel an extra six kilometres to Queanbeyan.

At his world one hour record speed of 56 km/h, Chris Boardman could travel the six kilometres in a little over six minutes, riding a bicycle with a 19th century design (as required under UCI rules). On a modern bike, he could do it in four minutes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hour_record

#20
Avy2:57 pm, 30 Apr 13

Can anyone explain what’s actually wrong with it? The photograph on the Nah…it’s Canberra blog doesn’t say.

#21
dpm3:28 pm, 30 Apr 13

Benaresq said :

The cat did it said :

It was built in early-mid 1970s, IIRC by an engineering firm that didn’t know much about velodromes, for a client that didn’t know much about velodromes either.

Which begs the question – Why close it now? If it’s been around for around 40 years without causing the end of the world, what’s changed?

According to this..
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/sport/narrabundah-velodrome-hits-the-skids-20130427-2im5c.html

..the Canberra Cycling Club must have been hinting/asking for a grant to fix the Velodrome, which kind of backfired on them when the Govt saw the report and decided it needed to be closed due to immediate safety concerns! Classic bureaucracy.

#22
johnboy3:31 pm, 30 Apr 13

It’s amazing how fast this government can find safety concerns when the developer dollars light up their eyes.

Safety concerns blissfully ignored for decades before possibilities became apparent.

#23
Rollersk8r3:50 pm, 30 Apr 13

Leon said :

Canberran’s who want to ride around a velodrome now have to travel an extra six kilometres to Queanbeyan.

At his world one hour record speed of 56 km/h, Chris Boardman could travel the six kilometres in a little over six minutes, riding a bicycle with a 19th century design (as required under UCI rules). On a modern bike, he could do it in four minutes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hour_record

Clearly you haven’t seen it – Queanbeyan is not a velodrome.

#24
DrKoresh4:07 pm, 30 Apr 13

“Cyclists are furious” about the closure of the velodrome according to ABCnews website. They always seem to be characterised as a vocal and angry minority in the media, but I don’t know whether that’s a fault of the cycling community or the media.

#25
Felix the Cat4:48 pm, 30 Apr 13

Maybe the Govt can throw down a quick layer of chipseal, that’ll make it safe again, right?

#26
Grrrr5:02 pm, 30 Apr 13

Engineering advice? As in, it’s about to break up and / or collapse? Seems unlikely. Looks about the same as it did a decade ago.

I’m sure there’s a bunch of riders well-peeved about being told they can’t ride that crap lump of concrete. Desperate track riders, maybe ..

#27
Aeek5:17 pm, 30 Apr 13

Rollersk8r said :

Leon said :

Queanbeyan.

Clearly you haven’t seen it – Queanbeyan is not a velodrome.

Additionally, it is a public oval. To use it safely requires booking and noone else can be on the oval.
2 hours one evening a week over Summer creates enough aggro as it is.

#28
Pork Hunt5:43 pm, 30 Apr 13

johnboy said :

It’s amazing how fast this government can find safety concerns when the developer dollars light up their eyes.

Safety concerns blissfully ignored for decades before possibilities became apparent.

Are you hinting that in 12-18 months there will be housing on that site?

#29
johnboy5:48 pm, 30 Apr 13

I know nothing.

I do know it’s amazing how fast “safety” can become an issue when it suits this government. And how long they can ignore issues when it suits them.

#30
dungfungus6:07 pm, 30 Apr 13

johnboy said :

It’s amazing how fast this government can find safety concerns when the developer dollars light up their eyes.

Safety concerns blissfully ignored for decades before possibilities became apparent.

The area where this facility is appears low and is probably subject to flooding from the now willow-less Jerrabomberra Creek so it probably isn’t suitable for residential re-development.
Don’t be surprised if a new, bigger, better, world class velodrome is to be built at the bike park out Stromlo way, to be funded by the government or one of their franchises (Actew, U of C, etc.).

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