Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Totally Awesome

I met the guys behind this while in DC for the Bike Summit. They are taking work with kids and bicycles to a whole new level. See below.



Contact: Matt Fritzinger,, (510) 653-2453,

Cedar Glen, CA – Last night, with a 7-2 vote, the school board of Mountain Top High School approved the construction of the first ever high school velodrome and scholastic track program in America. The decision serves as a historic milestone in the main-streaming of competitive cycling in secondary schools across the state of California. While high school mountain biking has been picking up steam since 2001 with the formation of the NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League, track racing looks to be the next alternative for high schoolers eager for sports that suit their short attention spans.

"Mountain biking is an endurance sport and except for the occasional sprint finish, it favors athletes with slow-twitch muscles leaving young cyclists with the genetic gift of more fast-twitch muscles feeling devalued. I'm very pleased to see this new discipline brought into the schools," commented Matt Fritzinger, director of the Northern California mountain biking program.

In what may draw some criticism, the velodrome will replace the astro-turf field and football program. MTHS’s Head football Coach, Don Boggs commented "I'm keeping an open mind here. After two losing seasons, I don't get much say around here anyway. I'm also very impressed with the way cycling is addressing the problem of performance enhancing drugs." Unlike professional football, which penalizes wealthy players with meager fines and has led to a vast abuse of steroids at the high school level, professional and amateur bike racers face 2-4 year bans from the sport.

School Superintendant, Jim Swift, said “I advocated for this as soon as I saw the cost-benefit analysis. A velodrome is going to cost $1.8 trillion whereas a stadium retrofit and new astroturf was going to cost us $1.9 trillion. That may seem like a small difference, but that's actually $100 billion dollars. We can buy quite a few books and computers for that much money.”

Additionally, it appears that track racing will become a natural complement to the recently inaugurated Socal Interscholastic Cycling League that only includes mountain biking currently. Board president Quintin Easton commented, “I’m stoked -– we put the generic term 'cycling' in the League name because we planned to incorporate various disciplines into the League. This velodrome is a dream come true!”

About the Southern California Interscholastic Cycling League
The SoCal Interscholastic Cycling League was organized to provide a well-defined race season for junior racers and to promote the formation of teams at public and private high schools. With the cooperation of local race promoters and our sponsors, the League organizes a first class series of races designed for high school aged riders. The League is working to make high school racing the easiest way for juniors to get involved in the challenging and exciting world of competitive cycling. The SoCal League was founded with a generous grant from the Easton Sports Development Foundation II (ESDF II) and is supported by other generous sponsors such as founding national sponsor Specialized Bicycle Components, results cranked out by Shimano, Bike Magazine, CLIF Bar, Crank Brothers, Hincapie Sportswear, Tifosi, Trek, and WTB. For more information on the League, contact Quintin Easton at and 949.285.0316 Website:

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4412 Piedmont Ave. #1, Oakland CA 94611


Anonymous said...

$1.8 Trillion for a Velodrome? I think they meant $1.8 billion (with seating)? Which is still a $100 million dollar savings...

jmgorman said...

Billion? Really? The Fedex forum didn't cost half of that. Surely they mean millions.

Anonymous said...

Yea you're right.. Million.
Here's an indoor setup $1.5 million with seating all to UCI specs.

jmgorman said...

Does that have a bubble roof like the one in VBC that collapsed under the snow this winter?

How much do you think it would cost to put up a velodrome in the Colisium? They already have lockerrooms and seats. It could be dual purpose - Rollery Derby on Saturdays, Track racing on Sundays.