Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
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So for those of us who abode in Tasmania, I've always been curious about the old velodrome that surrounds the football ground at Franklin. For those who are unfortunate not to have ever visited Tasmania, Franklin is a rather picturesque small town on the Huon river, about 45 minutes drive south of Hobart. These days Franklin has a slightly alternative bent, encompassing some local art studios, a community run wooden boat centre and a few trendy cafes that capture the tourist trade heading south. In its heyday though it was main settlement for the grand Tasmanian apple exporting empire, so has a pretty rich history.
Anyway rather than always imagine what the sight of the old steel gazelles prancing around the track would've looked like, I did some asking around and came up with this picture of the velodrome in action in 1964, which I thought I'd share. It looks most like it was taken on a show day, with the woodchoppers in action on central field. I haven't been able to uncover a lot of information thus far on how long racing took place there for, or which competitions were run there, so if anyone knows a little about this track I'd be keen to hear more. And if anyone else has a local picture of an obscure-ish track post it up with any back story as I hopefully not just me likes to see such things!
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Planning seems to have started about 1952, by the Franklin Athletic Club. This article from December 1953 talks about cyclists using a grass track and plans for a paved track. My guess is it was probably 1954 or 1955. The surviving records of the Franklin Athletic Club are at the Tasmanian Archives.
Hardly that historic, but I didn't want to start a new thread. I came across these photos again the other day. About this time of year (mid march) 1983 ?? The opening of Kenrick Tucker Velodrome , Rockhampton by Sir Hubert Opperman. A bus of Balmoral riders went up and you can see some of them in the second photo behind Kenrick, inculding Mike Victor, then secretary of the Qld Amateur Cyclists Assn, a very young Mark Victor (now of Planet Cycles) and Peter Day. The clothes were so plain in the amateur days.
This is an overview of the Geelong West Cycling club track.
Having also played my local football there the track always fascinated me (and I managed a few laps on the bike after training over the years).
Some of the greatest names in the sport raced on that track so it must have been a real site sitting in that stand to see the likes of Mockridge and Patterson go round there.
5 posts • Page 1 of 1
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