Valley Preferred Cycling Center – 40th Anniversary
Valley Preferred Cycling Center is the most celebrated velodrome in modern American cycling history – its beginnings trace back to the dream of one inspired visionary and its legendary success to the inspired dreams of countless champions who began their trek to glory on its 333-meter track.
Originally known for the first 20 years of its existence as the Lehigh County Velodrome – or simply T-Town, it is the inspired vision of Bob Rodale. Bob, an Olympic and Pan American games skeet shooter fell in love with track cycling while competing in Winnipeg, Canada in the 60’s. Sparked by the interest and support from cyclists and his wife Ardie, he became dedicated to creating the reality. Construction began in 1974 on a plot of land he and his wife owned and that later would be donated to Lehigh County. The first race was held on October 12, 1975.
“I remember the excitement on opening night in October 1975,”claims Heidi Rodale, Valley Preferred Cycling Center board member & Rodale board member. “Most people watching had never seen a velodrome or track racing. If he were alive today, my father Bob Rodale would be so proud to see how much has grown from the seed he planted at T-Town 40 years ago.”
Since that legendary day back in 1975 T-Town has hosted World Cups, Olympic Trials, the Junior World Championships, National Championships and countless major international competitions, creating stars and producing top international competitors. Without a doubt the greatest of them is Marty Nothstein, a local kid who graduated from the Air Products Developmental Cycling Program, and the Red Robin Marty Nothstein Bicycle Racing League that now bears his name. “To be at the 40th anniversary, what an amazing milestone,” Nothstein said, “not just for the fans and cyclists who enjoy the cycling center on a daily basis, but for the Lehigh Valley.” Nothstein went on to win Olympic Gold, Olympic Silver, three World Championships and more than 30 U.S. National Championships during his 15-year career. He is now the Executive Director of the Valley Preferred Cycling Center, where he works to continue the great programs and events that have made T-Town an international destination for the world’s best track cyclists.
The velodrome is now managed by a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation that continues to promote track cycling – just the way Bob wanted it. Thanks to the generosity of Valley Preferred, a community partnership of doctors and hospitals, the renamed Valley Preferred Cycling Center continues to lead the nation in quality competition, championship racer development and community programs that offer the opportunity for racers and non-racers to enjoy the thrill of bicycle track racing.
Our 40th Anniversary season celebrates all that we have accomplished and continuing Bob Rodale’s vision. The logo and tagline “Where the World Rides with You” was created to express the prized icon of the Lehigh Valley. Dedicated to exercise and good health for all age groups on an international stage.
Additional information is available about our programs and events at thevelodrome.com and by following us on facebook.com/thevelodrome and twitter.com/thevelodrome.
Events & Communications Manager
ph. 610-395-7000 x223