Live Like a Local : Valley Preferred Cycling Center (The Velodrome)
Video released on: June 19, 2015
Kaitie: Hi and welcome to this episode of Live Like a Local. I’m your host Kaitie and today we’re here at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown. We’re gonna talk to a couple people and learn about what you can experience if you come out here for a race. So we’re here with Marty Nothstein, the executive director of Valley Preferred Cycling Center. Marty, can you tell us a little bit about if you are a local coming out to the center here, what you’re gonna see on a race night?
Marty: Well, if you come out on race night I guarantee you’re gonna see some of the best athletes the world has to offer you. We feature Olympic athletes from all over the globe every Friday night, all summer long here at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center. We’re celebrating our 40th anniversary this year, so we’re really kicking it up a notch. One thing most people recognize is when they walk up to the boards, they come into they venue, is the slope of the track. We are also know as a concrete crater. This is a 333 meter velodrome. It’s 28 degree banking and most people look at it and say, “Wow. I cannot believe it’s that steeply banked.” But to watch the riders zip around and getting close to speeds of 50 miles per hour is pretty cool. Not only are you racing on a 28 decreed, banked, concrete oval but, you know, these riders, men and women, are racing on bikes with no brakes, also fixed gear. So you can’t even coast.
So your feet are constantly moving forward. No brakes. The momentum’s moving forward. And really at the end of the day the reason the bikes do not have brakes is for safety reasons. They’re called track bicycles and because the racers race so tightly together they wouldn’t want anybody hitting on the brakes very fast. Really the backbone of the organization are our community programs. And we offer free community programs to people who want to learn how to ride on the velodrome or get involved in cycling in general. Same program I came to as a 15 year old kid and these programs are stronger than ever. A lot of riders you see racing on a Friday night alongside the best riders throughout the world have come to our community programs and a lot of those riders become the best riders in the world.
Kaitie: All right. So we’re here with Matt and he’s going to tell us a little bit about what it’s like to grow up as a local here in Lehigh Valley and racing here at Valley Preferred Cycling Center.
Matt: I started racing here when I was six years old through the Air Products program and the one great thing about the velodrome here in Lehigh Valley is the youth programs that they run here. They have some of the best youth programs in the country by far. You can start as early as, I think, 10 years old now and ride all the way until you’re over 18 and then you can add other professional ranks.
Kaitie: What nights are the races happening right now?
Marty: Races are happening Friday nights. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the racing action starts at 7:30 p.m. sharp. You could also catch some amateur racing on a Tuesday night, our Fuji Pro Am Series. And same thing, gates open at 6 p.m. and racing starts at 7:30 p.m. sharp. Groups can rent our party deck, our VIP party deck, which is really the best seat in the house. You’re within arms-width away from the racing action.
Kaitie: Thanks for watching this episode of Live Like a Local. We’ll see you here at the velodrome for a race.