For more information
Boulder Valley Velodrome: bouldervalleyvelodrome.com
State track cycling championships: coloradocycling.org
After a construction process fraught with weather setbacks, the all-but-completed Boulder Valley Velodrome in Erie hit another snag this week that will keep cyclists off its track.
The velodrome, at the northwest corner of Bonnell Avenue and County Line Road, was set to host events as part of the Colorado state track cycling championships this weekend. But the velodrome's owners have canceled those races, saying the facility has not been fully approved by the town of Erie.
"We are sorry to report that we'll have to stop riding the Boulder Valley Velodrome until we get our certificate of occupancy," cofounders Doug Emerson and Frank Banta wrote in a statement posted on the Colorado Track-Cycling Facebook page Wednesday. "The Town of Erie informed us today that we cannot use the velodrome until we complete the Bonnell Ave access and our parking lot. They are essential for our first responders (the fire department). Those elements are in progress and we will have them completed soon."
Emerson, owner of Boulder's University Bicycles, and Banta, president of Boulder's Banta Construction, came up with the idea to build the open-air, 250-meter cycling track in 2004 and broke ground on the 4.2-acre site in Erie in 2011.
Construction suffered a serious setback in August when a thunderstorm knocked over a significant portion of the track, but by late April crews were optimistic the track would completed this summer.
Banta said Thursday that crews at the velodrome this week are grading the property surrounding the track to make way for the future parking lot. He said the process has been repeatedly delayed this summer because rainstorms have left the site muddy and ungradable for days at a time, making it impossible for it to be open in time to host the state track cycling championships.
"We're disappointed that we weren't able to host these events. When we saw the schedule early on, we thought we would be a lot further along with our parking lot, and it hasn't progressed at the rate we've been hoping," he said. "Essentially, we're still under construction, and until construction is complete the track isn't going to be used."
Fred Diehl, assistant to the town administrator in Erie, confirmed that officials reached out to the operators of the velodrome this week to inform them the facility cannot officially open until a certificate of occupancy is issued. The certificate serves as verification that any structure in Erie meets all applicable building codes and is safe to be occupied, according to town codes.
"We have reminded the velodrome that until they receive the CO, access to the site should be restricted to those involved in the construction, testing and safety at the velodrome," Diehl said. "Everyone's primary concern here is to ensure that public safety is Job 1, and that is what we are trying to ensure."
Diehl said the town was contacted Monday by officials from Mountain View Fire Rescue, who had concerns about the velodrome.
Fire rescue district officials said a crew was dispatched to the velodrome Saturday to respond to a bike crash. One person was transported to a hospital following that incident, according to the department.
Despite having to get new permits, change some officiating groups and change some medical coverage, the state track racing championships will take place as scheduled over the next two weekends at the U.S. Olympic Committee's Memorial Park Velodrome in Colorado Springs, said Pat McDonough, track cycling coordinator for the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado.
"We're going to be able to get all of the races in, so that's good," McDonough said. "That's one of the advantages of being one of only a few states that have more than one velodrome."
The race organizer, who won a silver medal in track cycling in 1984 and coached the men's track cycling team in the 2008 Beijing games, said he has ridden the velodrome in Erie and expects it to be a great facility once completed.
"In the future, there is no doubt we are going to also be using the Boulder Valley Velodrome," he said. "There are just a few little pieces that need to be finalized. Once those are taken care of and the town's happy, I know that there will be a whole lot of bike racers going in little circles."
Banta said it's hard to provide a firm timeline for completion of the velodrome's parking lot and access drive, but hopes are that it will be done in a few weeks. He said some additional fine-tuning of the track, final upgrades to the bathrooms and installation of a lighting system must be completed before the velodrome will be ready to host racing events.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Joe Rubino at 303-473-1328 or firstname.lastname@example.org.