Jun 03

Why does Sacramento Need a Velodrome and Bike Park?

The question “Why does Sacramento need a velodrome and cycling park?” is a legitimate one. There are certainly reasons not to build such a park: It costs a sizable amount of money. It takes (and has taken) hundreds of man hours of effort to formulate the concept, establish a Board of Directors, gain access to enough land and, finally, to build it. The reasons TO build it are many, both for the community in general and for me, in particular.

My own track riding and racing history may shed some light on why I am so passionate about this project. For many years I plodded along as a fairly slow runner. Despite my lack of speed, my knees eventually told me it was time to quit pounding the pavement and seek another source of endorphin production. I have always been enamored with the mechanics and beauty of bicycles and gravitated toward road riding in 2005. In 2008 a friend suggested I consider track riding as the U.S. National Championship that year was to be held in San Jose, California at Hellyer Park, one of 4 velodromes in California. I went to Hellyer, participated in the 3 Saturday novice sessions required, and was immediately hooked on the sport. I was taken by the simplicity of the bikes, the speed generated and most importantly by the camaraderie of the riders there. Competitors helped each other with all aspects of the sport; bicycle adjustment, loaning equipment and the sharing of training and racing strategies. Despite racing their hearts out against one another, these people shared meals, time and real respect for one another.

Fast forward to 2010. I decided to take 4 months off from my Cardiology practice to train seriously for the U.S. National Masters Track Cycling Championship and the World Championship to be held in Anadia, Portugal. The training went well and allowed me to win the 2 Kilometer Individual Pursuit at the National event and to come home with a bronze medal in the Points Race at the World Championship in Portugal. The 4 months off work really did change my life. Prior to that I did not think there was any endeavor that would fill the void that would be created with my eventual retirement from medicine. Those 4 months away from my practice armed me with the knowledge that my life would still be beyond full without medicine, and I retired from practice in December 2012. Together with family, cycling continues to be a main focus in my life. So, it’s easy to understand why a velodrome and bike park in Sacramento are important to me. After all, it’s a long way to San Jose and an even longer drive to Carson, California where the premier track in the United States is.

But Sacramento doesn’t need a track to make my life easier. A velodrome and bike park locally would allow a safe, supervised environment for people of all ages to ride a bike. Our community, including bordering cities Roseville, Elk Grove, Dixon and Davis have large numbers of cyclists. We have 2 high quality universities, multiple Junior Colleges , high schools and elementary schools with potential riders in the area. BMX racing is an especially attractive, newer sport garnering at times, hundreds of participants. A bike park with velodrome, BMX course, pump track and criterium course would help build community bonds while helping combat the ever-growing epidemic of obesity. Local economy stands to gain substantially from events held at the park, especially when state and national -level events are held.

I am proud to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association and to be working with a cadre of bright, honest and committed people. Together we will see this project through.

May 20

What is a Velodrome?

A velodrome is a gathering place. A gathering place where individuals show up and become part of a like-minded tribe. A tribe of people with a desire to stay fit, improve themselves mentally and physically, and compete against themselves and their fellow racers. I should at this point admit, I have yet to set foot inside of a velodrome. But I have been racing bicycles on and off of the road for more than a decade and that’s what I’ve seen at the races I’ve attended and competed in. For many types of racing, the participants travel to a different locale, and race a different course, week by week. While variety can be the spice of life, sometimes it is sad that we only visit many of our venues but once per year, and some years we may not be able to go to our favorites. A velodrome is different however, in that it is a place of permanence, like a home. There is a certain level of comfort in returning to the same venue again and again, over a long period of time. Comfort in the physical form of becoming familiar with the nuances of a given race course. And mental comfort in feeling a connection to the place itself, the people who inhabit it, and creating memories of both.

The Sacramento Valley is one of the greatest areas for cycling in the entire country. I’m a lifelong No-Cal and feel lucky to live in an area where I can take part in virtually any type of riding I wish to do. Yet our closest velodrome is far away in San Jose. I have many teammates who make the trek through the bay area to get their chance to go around in circles on the high banks of Hellyer Park Velodrome. But I can hardly wait for the day when I can walk out my front door and have my wheels on a banked track within the hour. I was so excited at the prospect of a local velodrome that I started looking for a track bike on ebay and Craiglist. I’m 6’6”, so finding a track bike in my size is not easy. But after many months of searching I finally managed to procure a lovely, steel LeMond Fillmore that fits me like a glove, and was a heck of a deal. I’m part of the Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association because I want the sport I love to have a permanent home in Sacramento. Not just for the velodrome, but for the other disciplines which will make up this new cycling complex, like Cyclocross, BMX, Mountain Biking and Criterium Racing. I didn’t start taking cycling seriously until my 30’s. A complex like this would give access to people of all ages and abilities, from near and far, and only further the Sacramento area’s status as one of greatest cycling regions to be found anywhere. I can’t wait for my first lap around the velodrome.

Apr 17

Come Celebrate the Start of the Amgen Tour with Us!

This May Sacramento will once again host the start of the Amgen Tour of California. The Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association is celebrating this year’s start by hosting a Pre-Amgen Tour VIP Cocktail Party on May 7, 2015. Event participants will have the opportunity to meet and talk with three pro cyclists; Lawson Craddock (Giant-Alpecin), Kiel Riejnen (United Health Care), and Alex Howes (Cannondale-Garmin). It will be held at a private residence in Sacramento’s Land Park neighborhood and catered by Formoli’s Bistro, a Wall Street Journal pick as one of the best places to eat in the country.

In addition to lots of delicious appetizers there will also be a full bar. The cost of the event is $125 per person or $250 per couple. This causal attire event will run from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. If you would like to come and support our endeavor to build, not only a velodrome, but an entire bicycling park here in Sacramento please contact the SVVA Board of Directors at christine@sacvalleyvelodrome.org.

This is a tax-deductible contribution — SVVA is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.

Apr 17

The SVVA Board of Directors is Growing!

The Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association has recently expanded its Board of Directors. The current board welcomed aboard Christine Folck, Stephen Stuart, Jim Cordano, Steve Goodwin, and Derek Byrne.

These new additions to the board bring along with them valuable experience in innovation, marketing, land development, social media, and business development. The combined skill-set of the now nine-member board will be essential to the success of the association’s ultimate goal of bringing a world-class cycling complex to the Sacramento area.

If you would like to support the SVVA Board please contact us at christine@sacvalleyvelodrome.org. And don’t forget to like our Facebook page and follow us on twitter @SacVelodrome

Apr 17

What is a Velodrome Track?

According to Webster:

ve_lo_drome (noun): a cycle-racing track, typically with steeply banked curves. Oval shaped, consisting of two 180 degree turns connected by two straights. (Yes, I was as shocked as you are to discover a dictionary in my house.) Ok, so we have a textbook definition, but does that actually tell us what a velodrome is? Not really. Maybe this will help…

When I was 15 I got to teach my 12-year-old brother how to shave his legs — I don’t think many sisters can say that. He said it would make him faster on the velodrome track. I thought he was crazy, but I saw the joy on his face when he locked his shoes into his bicycle peddles and slowly began to cruise around the track on the lightest of bikes, with no gears and no brakes, never faltering. He would start off slowly following the pacer motorcycle, with all of the riders falling into line. Then after a slow lap the motorcycle pacer would leave the track and the pack of cyclists would take off like a bullet, with the capability of reaching speeds in excessive of 52.8mph (85 km/h). The gust of wind the cyclists created would often push me back as they raced by me, standing behind the wall where the other spectators stood at the top of the track. It was an incredible sight to see! The checker flag would go up and a winner would be announced. And the cyclists would slowly cycle down the track and ease to a stop. Congratulations would be shared just as easily as tips and tricks.

My brother raced for the pure joy of it – never as a pro, but loving the sport more and more as he aged. The joy on his 12-year-old face was the same as the joy on his 35-year-old face when he locked his shoes into his peddles. I attended almost every one of his races. The excitement, the thrill…. nothing, for me, could compare to this sport!

That is what a velodrome track is to me. What does a velodrome track mean to you? Write us and let us know. We just might share your story in one of our upcoming blogs.

Jul 30

Executive Director, Dean Alleger Resigns

The Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association (SVVA) extends its gratitude to Dean Alleger, our founder, for accomplishing so much over the last three years. Dean built a coalition of community supporters, secured land for our site, and created the foundation needed to launch a successful Capital Campaign. As Dean departs the SVVA its Board of Directors thanks him for his tireless efforts and vision, and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Dean’s vision will be realized at the grand opening of the Velodrome.

For questions or to help build a velodrome please contact:
Heath Langle
President, SVVA Board of Directors
(916) 505-6600
hlangle@aol.com

Jun 02

This Thursday! June 5th!!! Eric Ratinoff’s #Network4Cause

Rub elbows with some of our movers and shakers!!!

Register Today at Eventbrite

 

Eric Ratinoff -  Network4Cause Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff

Eric Ratinoff – Network4Cause Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff

Heath Langle - BOD SVVA President

Heath Langle – SVVA BOD President

Dean "Dino" Alleger - SVVA Executive Director

Dean “Dino” Alleger – SVVA Executive Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are invited to attend #Network4Cause, benefiting Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association!!!

Every month, Eric Ratinoff hosts #Network4Cause and sponsors a local charity, in an effort to contribute and raise awareness to his favorite causes, while promoting advocacy and leadership through community networking.

FREE Registration Includes:

* Access to Local Professionals, Leaders, and Advocates

* Networking with other young professionals & local businesses

* Light Appetizers served from 5:30-7pm

* “Cocktails for a Cause” A percentage of drink purchases will benefit SVVA

* Silent Auction featuring a Specialized Langster track bike generously donated by Kinetic Cycles

Please join us at the beautiful Mayahuel Restaurant & Bar in downtown Sacramento, for an evening of networking for a cause. Event is free, but registration is limited – register today, invite a friend, and share!

Get Social!

Use the hashtag #Network4Cause and Tweet us at: @EricRatinoff @AngelaRunsAmuck @SacVelodrome 

 

Thank you for your continued support!

Cheers! Dino

 

 

 

Apr 09

CHEETAH: The Nelson Vails Story

Dear Cycling Enthusiasts, Bicycle Racing Fans, Prospective Donors and Volunteers,

Tickets have been released for a red carpet premiere screening of “Cheetah: The Nelson Vails Story” at the beautiful Crest Theater on Saturday, May 10th, the evening before the opening stage of the Amgen Tour of California. Nelson will be in attendance , Lagunitas Brewing Co will be featured in the no-host snack bar, and the Harley White Jr. Trio will play in the lobby from 6-7:00 PM! Please mark your calendar and look for updates and details regarding other SVVA/Tour of California weekend activities to be released soon! Proceeds will benefit the Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association.

Over the last couple of decades bicycle racing, and to a large degree recreational cycling, has become cost prohibitive to those of us with little to no disposable income. Building a community based cycling center where folks can throw their leg over a $200 rental bike will bring cycling back to the people. We can’t think of a better spokesman to this cause than Nelson Vails.

Tickets are available at tickets.com

The Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association (SVVA) was incorporated in 2011 as a California non-profit and enjoys tax-free status under IRS code 501c(3). It was established to build a national competition quality bicycle racetrack, or velodrome, in the Sacramento area. The facility will provide opportunities to train and develop youth for bicycle racing, competitive events to generate tourism activity and recreational events to promote fitness among the community. Importantly, the velodrome provides a safe and controlled environment for youth and families. To date, SVVA has gained the support of Sacramento City District 6 Councilman Kevin McCarty, the Sacramento Parks Department, and Separovich/Domich Real Estate Development and is moving forward with a plan to build at Granite Regional Park.

Furthermore SVVA will…

• Create an inclusive, inspirational, and empowering youth program to build strong bodies and strong minds with an emphasis on underserved teens;
• Develop programs where beginner, intermediate, elite, and para-cycling athletes of all ages can enhance physical health, build personal character, and gain self-awareness;
• Provide solid leadership and track management through commitment to excellence and exemplary governance and business policies;
• Establish comprehensive coaches training to ensure services of the highest standard for leadership, fair play, and integrity in sport;
• Implement comprehensive risk management policies and guidelines to ensure the best practices for safety;
• Leverage the exciting action of track racing to build a large following of spectators and ensure grandstands with every seat occupied.

Thank you for your consideration and support!
Sincerely,
Dino

Apr 02

Save the Date!

Click here to order your tickets!

Ticket sales are up and running for a red carpet premier screening of “Cheetah: The Nelson Vails Story” at the beautiful Crest Theater on Saturday evening May 10th. Nelson will be in attendance and Lagunitas Brewing Company will be featured in the no-host bar! Please mark your calendars and look for updates and details to be released soon! We are also planning some outreach with the Police Activities League, a Go Ride with Nelly, and will participate in the Lifestyle Festival at the Sacramento and Folsom stages of the Amgen Tour of California!

Thank you for your continued support!

Sincerely, Dino

Mar 19

SVVA Joins the Power Inn Alliance

After recently completing our 501c3 tax exempt status with the IRS and gaining the blessing of Director of Parks and Recreation Jim Combs, Parks Principal Planner Mary de Beauvieres, and District 6 Councilmember Kevin McCarty, as well as the interest of Dain Domich and Sally Freedlander of Separovich/Domich Real Estate Development and CPM Property Management, we decided to finally join the Power Inn Alliance. The Power Inn Alliance is a coalition of over 1,100 businesses and property owners in the Power Inn area of Sacramento, California. The Alliance advocates for business, transportation and community through its primary objectives: Advocacy, Economic Development, Beautification, Security and Crime Abatement, Transportation, Business Networks.

Last week we attended their 20th Annual Awards Luncheon with our newly elected Board President Heath Langle and Board Advisor Michael Sayers. We were pleasantly surprised when Alliance Executive Director/CEO Jerry Vorpahl asked us to stand and announced that we are building a velodrome in Granite Regional Park with the help of Dain Domich and the Power Inn Alliance. A few minutes later Councilmember Kevin McCarty got up and assured us of the continued support from his office as well.

The luncheon was held at the Depot Park Conference Center, was well run by Event Manager Jamie Szutowicz and expertly catered by Hannibal’s Catering & Events. The program moved right along and the awesome beer and wine poured by New Glory Craft Brewery was a nice touch. We participated in the networking session prior to the event and met several local business leaders that are also interested in seeing a velodrome built at Granite Regional Park.

Community support is rapidly growing for our project and we are super excited to be moving forward with our dream to build a world class facility at Granite Regional Park. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Dino, Executive Director

Power Inn Aliance Events Manager Jamie Szotowicz and CEO Jerry Vorpahl

Events Manager Jamie Szotowicz and CEO Jerry Vorpahl

SVVA Director Dean Alleger and President Heath Langle

SVVA Director Dean Alleger and President Heath Langle

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