Colorado’s first indoor velodrome opens |

Colorado’s first indoor velodrome opens

John Aguilar
(Boulder) Camera/AP
Aspen, CO Colorado
** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS OF JAN. 31 - FEB. 1 ** Scott Key of Arvada, Colo., left, follows race director Paul Wells during a velodrome riding class in this photograph taken on Friday, Jan. 2, 2009, in Boulder, Colo. The 142-meter velodrome at Boulder Indoor Cycling, which opened at the start of 2009, is the first such indoor bicycle track in Colorado and has attracted more than 200 riders to become members and use the facility. (AP Photo/The Camera, Cliff Grassmick)
AP | The Daily Camera

BOULDER, Colo. ” It could become the most-talked-about oval in Boulder.

Boulder Indoor Cycling’s brand-new 142-meter velodrome ” the first such indoor bicycle track in Colorado ” officially opened Jan. 2 and had already attracted more than 200 memberships from the city’s rabid cycling population.

And the enthusiasm isn’t limited to Boulder cyclists.

Kevin Bennett, 36, said he would be making the trek from his home in Westminster to ride around the track on a regular basis.

“Anybody that considers themselves a cyclist should feel honored to have this in your backyard,” he said as two cyclists whizzed around the wooden track, which is banked anywhere from 17 degrees to a more harrowing 45 degrees at the turns. “Now it makes you a year-round cyclist.”

Bennett, who had raced around the track for an hour on opening day, said he would use the velodrome at 3550 Frontier Ave. as a venue to maintain his road racing workouts through the winter. But he was also considering whether to give track racing a try.

“These guys are making it so easy to get involved in track racing,” Bennett said, noting the oval’s tilt is only intimidating for the first few go-arounds.

“These guys” are the four co-owners of Boulder Indoor Cycling. One of them ” Patrick Keane ” was ecstatic about the enthusiasm he saw for the velodrome in just the first day.

“It’s finally come to fruition. We see it now, it’s here,” he said of the facility, the opening of which was delayed twice.

Keane’s colleague Rodrigo Garcia said the goal from the start was to construct a track that would be welcoming to a broader range of the population, not just hard-core cyclists. That’s why its most severe pitch is not as steep as the one at the state’s only other velodrome ” used by Olympians in training ” in Colorado Springs. That one is outdoors.

“If you look at it, it still looks daunting,” Garcia said of Boulder’s track. “But if you’re a recreational rider, you can still do it.”

To get on the track requires certification by one of Boulder Indoor Cycling’s coaches, which can take anywhere from eight weeks for a novice to minutes for an expert rider. Cyclists rent a special brakeless bike and reserve time to use the track, which for now is open from 6 a.m to midnight every day of the week.

And what happens if demand outstrips the track’s capacity?

Bennett isn’t worried.

“I’ll be happy if that’s the case,” he said. “So they’ll build another one.”

Memberships are available for $25 a year, plus $9 an hour of riding. Classes are also offered at additional cost.

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