More training to go around, and around, at West Shore velodrome

There are now more bikes to go around at the velodrome at West Shore Parks and Recreation

Saanich track cycler Gillian Carleton learned track cycling at the velodrom in 2011 on a rental bike. Last summer she won a bronze medal at the London Olympics.

There are now more bikes to go around at the velodrome at West Shore Parks and Recreation.

Through a partnerships with the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association and the Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence 20 new track bikes are available for youth programs and the public.

“We had more riders than bikes last year,” said Michael Cooper GVVA president.

Mark Grant, 13, travels from Courtney to Colwood twice a week to train in the velodrome.

“It’s the only one on the Island,” he said. “It’s a great track and it’s essential to our training.”

For Grant to first get involved in cycling he started out on a rental bike, his only option to learn the sport.

Before this donation the rental bikes at the velodrome were the same bikes from 1994 when the track was built said Olympian Gillian Carleton.

Carlton won a bronze medal at London Games in the team pursuit.  With many years of triathlon experience, she first took up track cycling at the velodrome in 2011.

 

“It’s really fast paced and with a banked track you can pick up speed. If you are an adrenaline junkie it’s a ton of fun,” Carleton said.  Carleton and the rest of Team Canada also just  picked up another bronze medal in Belarus at the Track Cycling World Championships, last week.

The 23-year-old from Saanich would have never been able to try track cycling if it weren’t for the velodrome and the rental bikes available.

Carleton said she is excited for the new rental bikes and the possibilities they will create for youth in Greater Victoria.

“They are special bikes that most kids don’t have,” said Eric Simonson, the School Bike League commissioner.

PISE donated $5,000 and the GVVA sought out matching donations.

“We recognize that when you have healthy communities everything else tends to take care of itself,” said Robert Bettauer, CAO of PISE.

 

The 20 new track bikes will be used for the 2013 School Bike League, open to students in school districts 61, 62 and 63, and available for other public programs.