Velodrome closed

Velodrome closed

Postby Ross » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:51 pm

http://www.economicdevelopment.act.gov. ... recreation

Sport and Recreation Services

Sport and Recreation is a vital part of the ACT community. The ACT is Australia's most physically active community, home to many successful elite athletes and sporting teams and an abundance of sport and recreation facilities that provide physical activity opportunities around almost every corner.
Latest News
Narrabundah Velodrome Closed for All Cycling Activities

Who owns/manages the Narrabundah Velodrome?
The Narrabundah Velodrome is an ACT Government facility managed by Sport and Recreation Services (SRS).

Why is the Velodrome closed?
The Territory has received engineering advice that the Narrabundah Velodrome is ‘unsafe for both competition and training purposes,’ this assessment included consultation advice from key 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, pending further investigation.

What happens next?
The Territory is currently assessing what options are available to resolve the situation, including alternate facilities for key user groups in the interim.

Where can I cycle now?
There are two alternate velodromes close to Canberra: Queanbeyan Velodrome and Seiffert Oval and the Velodrome (Goulburn).

Who do I contact for further information?
For any further information, users should contact Sport & Recreations Services, David Jeffrey 6207 5815 or 6207 5143.
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by BNA » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:39 pm

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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby ironhanglider » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:39 pm

Ross wrote:http://www.economicdevelopment.act.gov.au/sport_and_recreation

Sport and Recreation Services

Sport and Recreation is a vital part of the ACT community. The ACT is Australia's most physically active community, home to many successful elite athletes and sporting teams and an abundance of sport and recreation facilities that provide physical activity opportunities around almost every corner.
Latest News
Narrabundah Velodrome Closed for All Cycling Activities

Who owns/manages the Narrabundah Velodrome?
The Narrabundah Velodrome is an ACT Government facility managed by Sport and Recreation Services (SRS).

Why is the Velodrome closed?
The Territory has received engineering advice that the Narrabundah Velodrome is ‘unsafe for both competition and training purposes,’ this assessment included consultation advice from key 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, pending further investigation.

What happens next?
The Territory is currently assessing what options are available to resolve the situation, including alternate facilities for key user groups in the interim.

Where can I cycle now?
There are two alternate velodromes close to Canberra: Queanbeyan Velodrome and Seiffert Oval and the Velodrome (Goulburn).

Who do I contact for further information?
For any further information, users should contact Sport & Recreations Services, David Jeffrey 6207 5815 or 6207 5143.



They close it for safety, yet the alternatives are more dangerous.

No-one has died as far as I know at Narrabundah, but they certainly have at Goulburn. The problem of flat tracks is the propensity for people to go over the fence when there is a crash.

The problem is the same as it has been ever since it was built, the transition from the flat to the banking is too sharp giving a pronounced climb and descent in addition to the cornering. The banking was also too steep for the turn radius on that track which does impose a minimum speed limit. The crashes I've seen there (that were affected by the track design) are from when people go too slowly and touch their right pedal. Most people (even trackies) only do that once.

That being said the talk on the radio was more along the lines of spending a couple of hundred thousand on cutting out some concrete segments at the transitions and making them more gradual. If that is the case it is likely that the work could be completed before next track season. This is probably the more attractive alternative to spending millions on an indoor board track, which whilst it is the gold standard it is hard to justify the expense for a regular track riding population of a couple of hundred taxpayers. The promise of big events making money for the city are a bit too remote. The crowds in Melbourne don't even justify using the phone dome more than a couple of times a year.

We might object if the Govt decided to spend a fortune on a state of the art Jai Alai court too.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby twizzle » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:54 am

I remember a news story when it first opened saying it was dangerous and showing the injuries of someone who had crashed. Like 20+ years ago. And NOW they close it?!??


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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby brawlo » Wed May 01, 2013 3:33 pm

ironhanglider wrote:They close it for safety, yet the alternatives are more dangerous.

No-one has died as far as I know at Narrabundah, but they certainly have at Goulburn. The problem of flat tracks is the propensity for people to go over the fence when there is a crash.


From what I understand, the Goulburn track used to have a short timber fence around it, hence the over the fence crashes. The real problem was the combination of the short fence and the proximity of the lighting poles to the track. Things have since changed for the better. To suggest that Goulburn is more dangerous is ridiculous. People go over the fence on banked velodromes too. There was a video on the net of someone going over the fence on a banked velodrome but it seems to have since been taken down.

ironhanglider wrote:The problem is the same as it has been ever since it was built, the transition from the flat to the banking is too sharp giving a pronounced climb and descent in addition to the cornering. The banking was also too steep for the turn radius on that track which does impose a minimum speed limit. The crashes I've seen there (that were affected by the track design) are from when people go too slowly and touch their right pedal. Most people (even trackies) only do that once.


The banking was not too steep, the problem was always in the transition from the banking to the straights. Properly designed track bikes don't touch pedals, the problem is tyre grip and inappropriate bikes. True track bikes have a raised BB to allow for the steep banking, but your crank/pedal config can also put you in trouble.

I truly hope they are closing the track for repair. If they come out with a properly designed transition, then there may be more participants, and Canberra needs a replacement of some sort given it's population and cycling culture.
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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby Howzat » Wed May 01, 2013 6:52 pm

brawlo wrote: the problem was always in the transition from the banking to the straights

Yeah, it doesn't look quite right.

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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby ironhanglider » Fri May 03, 2013 10:46 pm

brawlo wrote:
ironhanglider wrote:They close it for safety, yet the alternatives are more dangerous.

No-one has died as far as I know at Narrabundah, but they certainly have at Goulburn. The problem of flat tracks is the propensity for people to go over the fence when there is a crash.


From what I understand, the Goulburn track used to have a short timber fence around it, hence the over the fence crashes. The real problem was the combination of the short fence and the proximity of the lighting poles to the track. Things have since changed for the better. To suggest that Goulburn is more dangerous is ridiculous. People go over the fence on banked velodromes too. There was a video on the net of someone going over the fence on a banked velodrome but it seems to have since been taken down.

ironhanglider wrote:The problem is the same as it has been ever since it was built, the transition from the flat to the banking is too sharp giving a pronounced climb and descent in addition to the cornering. The banking was also too steep for the turn radius on that track which does impose a minimum speed limit. The crashes I've seen there (that were affected by the track design) are from when people go too slowly and touch their right pedal. Most people (even trackies) only do that once.


The banking was not too steep, the problem was always in the transition from the banking to the straights. Properly designed track bikes don't touch pedals, the problem is tyre grip and inappropriate bikes. True track bikes have a raised BB to allow for the steep banking, but your crank/pedal config can also put you in trouble.

I truly hope they are closing the track for repair. If they come out with a properly designed transition, then there may be more participants, and Canberra needs a replacement of some sort given it's population and cycling culture.


I was not trying to suggest that riders cannot go over the fence on a banked track, but it is far less likely and almost never on the bends. The fact remains that going over the fence is more likely on a flat track than a banked track and that it doesn't end well. In more recent times there was another incident in 2007 in Devonport. In a bunch crash situation in a bend on a banked track the fallen bikes all take a turn to the left as they slide downhill, on a flat track the bikes tend to travel straight which is towards the fence giving riders behind the crash (who are usually wider anyway) few options since it is much easier to widen a turn rather than to tighten it.

I'm glad that the Goulburn track has been made safer. In former times the poles were so close that the riders used to lean on them whilst adjusting their toe straps.

The banking on this track is too steep for the radius of the turns. I haven't got an inclinometer onto them but I believe that the gradient is similar to the board tracks at Sydney and Melbourne, except that the bends are much larger. Properly designed track bikes can and do touch pedals on this track if you travel too slow, seen it, done it. Insufficient traction has similar results if your track bike has a higher lean angle than my track bike or if the surface is more slippery now, however both situations impose a minimum speed. The minimum speed on this track is significantly faster than is required on any other track I have ridden on. (The minimum speed for non-track bikes is faster still, I'm not tempted to take a road bike onto that track) At the other end of the spectrum I don't think that I have ever been fast enough to be perpendicular to the surface on this track but I could do so easily at the Blackburn Northcote, and Brunswick tracks and even at the MPV in Melbourne. The minimum speed issue only causes a danger if you are daft enough to ride underneath slow moving riders and that is not unique to this track. For the most part such injuries are minor.

I never felt that the transitions were particularly dangerous, and I would also say that the transition to the bend was worse than the transition to the straight. It was definitely quirky, and yes the bunch does tighten a bit as you enter a bend up high, but not a lot and experience negates this as an issue. The stretching of the bunch on exiting the bend is not a problem. I always thought the Brunswick and Blackburn tracks in Melbourne were worse because of the inconsistencies in the bends, causing riders who were inexperienced on those tracks to be moving sideways relative to the other riders.

I'd like to know how the report came to the conclusion that it was dangerous, ie what the the risks were that the engineers saw. However regardless this decision is not about safety or even relative safety, it is about liability. By closing the track it is no longer an ACT problem it has been eliminated and moved to NSW.

Like you I hope that they will spend a few dollars and make it a bit more friendly. My club didn't race on it because they are highly averse to perceived risk. I think that it is a pity because the result would be more skilful riders as a benefit of racing on it which would make the racing safer overall. I also think that the Queanbeyan track is also more dangerous, but it is much more approachable and you can use road bikes on it. If we can't have an indoor wooden velodrome in every capital/large city, a decent outdoor concrete one is still pretty good. I'd love to see the clubs using the track as often as they use the crit circuit, especially at night with decent lights.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Velodrome re-opening in 2014 ???

Postby find_bruce » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:01 pm

Wow, it seems the ACT gument is going to pony up to re-open Narrabundah velodrome by 2014

track cyclists thrown budget lifeline
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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby wombatK » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:38 pm

Good grief - poor barrelling is the grief (for taxpayers), the good bit is that cycling is at
least getting a slice of the pork.
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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby ironhanglider » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:44 pm

Well spotted.

If it makes it more user friendly then maybe the old folks will use it of a Thursday instead of Queanbeyan. Much better from my point of view.

I even have hopes of turning my commuter into a part time track tandem.

I'm envisioning something like the #41 car in this.



Reality can be so cruel...

Cheers,

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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby brawlo » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:57 am

It's great news that something will actually be done. It would be a great loss for ACT to have no track at all, especially with the time and money spend on the Stromlo facility. Interesting in my internet travels, I see that Bathurst is building a whole new bike complex, beginning with a velodrome and also to include

The problem is not the curve banking, as all tracks with banking will allow track bikes with appropriate BB drops to stop on the bends. A big problem is with the track being outdoors, it is subject to weather, dirt buildup, and perhaps some mossy buildup in areas. That can make slower speeds in the turns a bit hairy. At least if you're travelling at speed, you "stick" to the track better.

Another problem for a track like this is that it's a single use facility. If number of riders are down, the spotlight gets put on it every time for feasibility.

Interesting in my internet travels, I see that Bathurst is building a whole new bike complex, beginning with a velodrome and also to include a crit circuit and mountain bike trails. Looks like I could be clocking up some miles in the coming years!
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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:39 am

brawlo wrote:The problem is not the curve banking, as all tracks with banking will allow track bikes with appropriate BB drops to stop on the bends.

ever tried to stop in the bends on a 250 board track?

The Narrabundah Velodrome was a screw up the moment it was built, actually probably the moment it was designed. I don't know if it was stupid designer (mostly likely) or stupid builders (possibly), but it's a shocker. The banking most definitely is an issue and needs to be matched to suit the track length/turn radius. Narrabundah got it badly wrong and as a result the transitions suck. Tempe, Chandler and just about every other 333 track of this vintage have much more sensible banking dimensions.
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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby Cyclingdad » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:05 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
brawlo wrote:The Narrabundah Velodrome was a screw up the moment it was built, actually probably the moment it was designed. I don't know if it was stupid designer (mostly likely) or stupid builders (possibly), but it's a shocker. The banking most definitely is an issue and needs to be matched to suit the track length/turn radius. Narrabundah got it badly wrong and as a result the transitions suck. Tempe, Chandler and just about every other 333 track of this vintage have much more sensible banking dimensions.


+1 on this.

Despite the design issues that have existed since it was built, training and local racing has been successfully held there for 30 years without major injuries due to the transitions. Crashes happen, like on any velodrome, but luckily everyone who rides at Narrabundah is made well aware of the transitions, particularly in turn 3, from their first time on the track. Without Narrabundah, it would have been much more difficult to produce the number of national and international riders that Canberra has produced for the track, with the nearest other reasonable option being Bowral.

While Queanbeyan and Goulburn have been suggested as alternatives, I don't know of a single rider who is using either of them. During the winter, both parks are used for other sport, which makes serious training difficult. At the moment, the alternatives being used are Dunc Gray and non-track training approaches. While they are ok, the return of the track will be good.

I know the ACT Govt are hoping to return the track in a competition ready state, which is a good sign; and they are engaging relevant people in Cycling ACT.

Hopefully they'll consider issues wider than just the track, because at the moment the facility as a whole needs design changes to be able to cope with 100-200 people to provide adequate parking (that is safe to leave your car), setup areas for cycling, areas for spectators, facilities (improved changerooms/toilets) and access to services (eg. water for a canteen, electricity for race organisers, PA system) and ideally even lighting.

Fixing the track up will be great for the track cycling community (and hopefully can be used to attract more cyclists to the track), but to run a competition requires a facility that has been designed for multiple activities occuring at once.
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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby Cyclingdad » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:32 pm

brawlo wrote:The problem is not the curve banking, as all tracks with banking will allow track bikes with appropriate BB drops to stop on the bends. A big problem is with the track being outdoors, it is subject to weather, dirt buildup, and perhaps some mossy buildup in areas. That can make slower speeds in the turns a bit hairy. At least if you're travelling at speed, you "stick" to the track better.


Most tracks in the World are outdoors. The number of indoor tracks pales by comparison. Even in Australia alone we have just the 5 indoor tracks (DISC, Launceston, Perth, Dunc Gray and Superdrome) and nothing in the country north of Sydney. Everything else is outdoors and there are multiple outdoor velodromes in every State that are regularly used without problem. I don't know of any that have problems with mossy buildup (a few have tree roots growing underneath producing small humps that make for excitement at times and others have trees and bushes growing close to the fences that require regular pruning and track cleaning, but no moss).

With Narrabundah being concrete, it's very sticky as a surface and is only a bit slippery on the paint in banks and when it rains. For winter training it can be difficult due to frosts, but that's no different to many other tracks. Otherwise the surface itself isn't a problem (for upright riders anyway) and is the same as most tracks in Australia and other countries.

Another problem for a track like this is that it's a single use facility. If number of riders are down, the spotlight gets put on it every time for feasibility.


Absolutely. The single use nature of it is both a problem and a blessing. The recent budget allocation resulted from significant lobbying from the local clubs, media attention and thankfully a number of MLAs that are keen cyclists. Prior to that, the word from Sport and Rec had been that there was no plan to open the facility again.

The primary driving force behind the closure of the track was liability, not really rider safety. Once the engineering report confirmed problems with the transitions in particular, the Govt had little choice but to close the track because insurance wouldn't have covered the cost of defence from claims had anyone crashed and sued the Govt.

Interesting in my internet travels, I see that Bathurst is building a whole new bike complex, beginning with a velodrome and also to include a crit circuit and mountain bike trails. Looks like I could be clocking up some miles in the coming years!


Yeah, it's going to be a good facility and I'm sure there will be a number of additional events on the calendar when it's open.

I know the ACT Govt have had long-term general plans to move Narrabundah (A new track was originally part of the overall cycling development plans for the ACT but that was squashed because of expense as they were looking at an indoor facility, which isn't really needed), but hopefully the redevelopment works well for everyone. If only it could be moved from Narrabundah, but I doubt that.
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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby Ross » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:09 pm

Cyclingdad wrote:
I know the ACT Govt have had long-term general plans to move Narrabundah (A new track was originally part of the overall cycling development plans for the ACT but that was squashed because of expense as they were looking at an indoor facility, which isn't really needed), but hopefully the redevelopment works well for everyone. If only it could be moved from Narrabundah, but I doubt that.


Wasn't there some talk of building a new veledrome at Lyneham near the hockey and netball courts?
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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby Cyclingdad » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:45 pm

Ross wrote:
Cyclingdad wrote:Wasn't there some talk of building a new veledrome at Lyneham near the hockey and netball courts?


One of many proposals, but it never gets too far because of the cost to build an indoor track.

All of the existing indoor tracks, including Adelaide where the National Track Program and CA are based, are heavily subsidised by the Government because they don't make money.

That isn't necessarily a bad thing (though a profitable velodrome would be great), but it does throw up some big red flags when these proposals are discussed.

I reckon, if they made a facility multi-use (eg. basketball courts on the inside of the track, gymnastics capabilities, etc.) and combined the facility with a gymnasium and a bar + conference facilities, it could support itself. However most of those things are not businesses that Government should run.
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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby Ross » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:46 pm

Cyclingdad wrote:
Ross wrote:
Cyclingdad wrote:Wasn't there some talk of building a new veledrome at Lyneham near the hockey and netball courts?


One of many proposals, but it never gets too far because of the cost to build an indoor track.

All of the existing indoor tracks, including Adelaide where the National Track Program and CA are based, are heavily subsidised by the Government because they don't make money.

That isn't necessarily a bad thing (though a profitable velodrome would be great), but it does throw up some big red flags when these proposals are discussed.

I reckon, if they made a facility multi-use (eg. basketball courts on the inside of the track, gymnastics capabilities, etc.) and combined the facility with a gymnasium and a bar + conference facilities, it could support itself. However most of those things are not businesses that Government should run.


There would be limited parking available at Lyneham, too many other sports there already. It would make more sense to have it out at SFP, plenty of land out there to build the veledrome and a carpark.

EPIC is govt owned with food and drink (inc alcohol) facilities, I think they just contract these out to private enterprise.
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Re: Velodrome closed

Postby Cyclingdad » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:57 pm

Ross wrote:EPIC is govt owned with food and drink (inc alcohol) facilities, I think they just contract these out to private enterprise.


Yeah that's what would be needed, but in order to attract an operator I'm sure they'd find a way to contract it with subsidies or at a level of income low enough that an operator could be profitable. The track itself would be back to needing heavy subsidies for maintenance, etc. and overall not run itself without supplementary income.

That's probably too negative, or too cynical (or both).
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