With a new surface comes new opportunity, and the Northbrook Park District has announced the launch of an 8-week introductory track cycling program open to high school students from throughout the Chicago region.
The new series is the first official use of the refurbished Northbrook Park District Ed Rudolph Velodrome, one of the premier track venues in the country and home to the 2005 College Track Cycling National Championships. Coached by Chris Vogel, the program is open to all high schoolers regardless of residency.
"Racing on an Olympic-style velodrome is incredibly exciting, and gives kids a chance to ride without having to worry about traffic in the streets," Vogel said. "This is a perfect way to grow the sport by reaching out to the next generation of riders."
The program begins on April 4 and runs through to May 27. Each participant will have two days of instruction, either Monday-Wednesday or Tuesday-Thursday, with Fridays reserved for rain dates. Riders will be on the track from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., with a structured progress each week: The first three weeks will focus on bike fit, handling and fundamentals; the next two weeks will see the riders participate in group riding and race simulation; and the last two weeks will wrap up with competitive racing.
"Once the program concludes, we'll encourage the students to come out and race throughout the summer," Vogel added. "Northbrook has been the home track to some amazing riders: U.S. Postal team members, Tour de France riders, World and National champions, and Olympians. Maybe this series will provide a stepping stone for a student to follow his or her dreams."
On-line registration is set to begin in early March at www.nbparks.org
The cost is $175 for Northbrook residents and $200 for non-residents. Track bikes will be made available, but participants must supply their own shoes and ANSI-approved helmet.