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A golden opportunity for Oregon cycling

Posted by on March 9th, 2007 at 1:22 pm

Oregon has a golden opportunity to build two new velodromes, to further solidify our reputation as the premier state for cycling participation in the country, and to build lasting links between our elected officials and the one love we all share; bicycles.

All that’s missing is your voice encouraging legislators in Salem to support the Velodrome Bill.

[Eleni Maus (my 4 year-old daughter) takes in some velodrome action, while enjoying some grapes last summer. ]

This is about much more than track racing. Two new velodromes in Oregon would benefit everyone from a kid learning about dedication and practice while attending a summer camp to the potential Olympic hopeful training for the World Championships and the hotel owner with the “No vacancy” sign during a big event.

It’s also an opportunity to build bridges between Oregon’s awesome cycling community (in all of its glorious manifestations) and our elected officials in Salem.

Yesterday in the Capitol building, I sat around a table and listened to Republican Senator Jason Atkinson tell us that he is already telling this story to his colleagues…and some of them are just as excited as we are.

In fact, he has already gotten nine of them to sign on to the bill. But we’re far from the final sprint on this effort and Sen. Atkinson needs our help.

In order for this bill to pass, we must show our legislators that there is a huge community behind these velodromes and that we want them to be built.

Let’s show Sen. Atkinson that we appreciate his work in making this bill a reality…and by doing so, we’ll make these velodromes a reality.

I’ve never ridden one lap on a velodrome, but I know that opportunities like this to improve cycling in Oregon do not happen very often.

We need as many of you as possible to write, email, call or ride down to the Capitol and tell your representatives to support Senate Bill 926. It only takes a few minutes to be a part of history!

Take action:

Learn more:

If we can come together to make this happen, just imagine what other great things we can accomplish!

Please support BikePortland.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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    Phillip Ross March 9, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    Wow! That was easiest letter I have ever sent. The form they provide forwards the letter directly to my representative and senator. Thanks for the link!

    GO VELO!

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    DR March 9, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Pardon my ignorance, but could someone better explain how this bill will be proceeding? Being a Senate bill now, must it pass there before proceeding to the House? If that’s the case, might it be best to write to State Senators now and hold off on writing Reps until the bill is actually in front of them?

    Also, is there any approximation of when this will actually come up for a vote in the Senate?

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    Jonathan Maus March 9, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    good questions DR,

    at this point, the bill is still in the Senate and is awaiting referral to committee.

    During its time in committee, it will likely have a public hearing. We will organize a “Bike Day in Salem” for that hearing (stay tuned!).

    After committee it must then be passed by the Senate and House before becoming law.

    At this point, we’re just trying to educate as many of the lawmakers as possible about what a velodrome is and how large of a community in Oregon supports this bill.

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    Bill March 9, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    Just sent mine in… it’s so easy even a caveman could do it. Here’s my text, feel free to cut an’ paste of modify as needed.

    “I am asking for your support of Senate Bill 926, the Velodrome Bill. I believe that construction of these two facilities would have a positive impact on the State’s ecomomy and provide a healthy, envirommentally friendly recreation opportunity for Oregonians.
    I feel it would be a positive use of public funds.”

    You can fill out an online form at this link:

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    Burk March 9, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    Man, that was easy. Thanks for the link, keep up the good work.

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    brad March 10, 2007 at 10:13 am

    I dunno….I mean, the velodromes sound like a cool idea, but I don’t see much of a link to the advocacy that’s generally promoted here. Seeing as how probably 1% or less of Portland’s biking population will actually use the thing, it seems like that money would be better spent improving infrastructure that affects everyone. Jon, you say it’s an opportunity to “improve cycling in Oregon”, but who, for instance, on this website would actually benefit from it? You said:

    [i]Two new velodromes in Oregon would benefit everyone from a kid learning about dedication and practice while attending a summer camp to the potential Olympic hopeful training for the World Championships and the hotel owner with the “No vacancy” sign during a big event.[/i]

    So yes…maybe a few kids would get into it. Someone here could be an Olympic athlete, and that would be cool if you were into that sort of thing. And I, as well as many others, could care les if some hotel owner gets a little richer.

    Maybe I’m missing something, and if I am please let me know.

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    David March 10, 2007 at 10:34 am


    Track racing is growing more and more each day. The one velodrome that we have here in Oregon is completely outdated. Southern California has an indoor track… seems silly that rainy Portland does not. my .02

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    brad March 10, 2007 at 11:55 am

    I wasn’t saying we shouldn’t get one. I’m just saying it’s being presented as something that will be a great benefit to everyone, whereas in all reality it’s just a professional (and amateur) sporting venue. It is certainly cool, and I will probably use it occasionally, but I don’t consider it “a golden opportunity for Oregon cycling” by any stretch of the imagination. That would be like if they were going to build a major league baseball stadium in Portland, and all of the coaches in Little League started telling the kids what a great opportunity this was for them.

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    ian March 10, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    Portland would benefit from a velodrome because:
    Tourism-hosting regional and national events would bring people and money.
    Branding-It would be another reason portland would be the premier cycing city in the US.
    Jobs-Another reason bikes companies would have to move opperations here.
    Butts on bikes-Having year round access to a velodrome, more people would use it, plus the opportunity to get kids into it means more cyclists, and that benefits us all.

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    Anne March 10, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Uh, Brad…your baseball analogy is just what Paul Allen tried in Seattle. Lure in the Soccer Moms to vote yes on his football stadium, by saying the stadium “could” be used for soccer tournaments. yeah right.

    I think the bike community is much more inclusive than Mr. Allen! Look at what’s going on at Alpenrose now, ranging from hosting Track Nationals, to their all-comers nights and lesson nights. Imagine what it could be if we had a modern track.

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    Paul March 10, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    Here is a link to the bill’s text:

    Does anyone know where the Lottery money is coming from? It looks like it is being taken from another program in Parks and Rec and moved to this one – or is it part of expected increases in Lottery proceeds?

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    Mike Murray March 10, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    Brad severely under estimates the number of people that use the current velodrome at Alpenrose. It is reasonable to expect that a covered velodrome that would be usable during the 7 month of the year that Alpenrose is not usable (at least not dependably) would be used by even more people. Use of the velodrome is not limited to professional and amateur racers. In fact, there are many users that don’t race. The baseball argument also breaks down since kids do actually use the velodrome. In fact, a velodrome is really the best and easiest place to run a kid’s cycling program.

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    Paul March 10, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    It looks like the Gov’s budget expects a hefty increase in lottery proceeds – about 15% or so.

    Its also worth noting that the Gov’s budget asks the legislature to create and fund a Parks and Rec position to promote cycling in Oregon.

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    trike March 10, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Well it is what the lottery boards in other states have noticed; lottery players increase as the job market falls and the econamy goes to shit. We begin to take riskes in the hope we can be that one in 700.000.

    we are monkeys.

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