Famed Architect Schuermann Unveils New York Velodrome Plans
NCA CEO Jack Simes announced plans to bring 6-Day Racing back to New York as part of a demo project at the Kingsbridge Armory to be held this coming May at a press conference at the armory on Nov. 3, 2011. Famed velodrome architect Ralph Schuermann presented his rendering for the Armory’s velodrome at the press conference.
Simes stated that the NCA is prepared to put on the 6-Day event and demo project by raising money from sponsors. He said they will not ask the city for any money for the demo project. The goal of the demo project is to build the necessary support to turn the armory into a permanent cycling center for the city.
Schuermann, whose firm Schuermann Architekten of Germany is the leading velodrome builder in the world and has built the tracks for many Olympic Games including Beijing, expressed his support for the plan and his intentions to build the velodrome.
The meeting was attended by members of the press, cyclists from the area and several people from the Kingsbridge neighborhood. Noted cycling announcer and racer, Joe Sling mc’ed the proceedings. The event was sponsored by Ray Mazzilli of Eclipse Technologies and generously catered by Jermaine and Paul Burrowes of Mango Seed Restaurant.
Simes developed the NCA plan to hold the demo event to build support and as proof of concept for the city and community as a prelude to developing a permanent facility. The demo project will involve constructing a temporary 160 meter track and a BMX skate park. Besides holding the 6-Day event, the NCA will establish demonstration youth cycling programs and there will be open public sessions for the track and skate park.
Joe Saling explained the excitement of 6 Day racing and the roots of the sport in New York.
Ralph Schuermann of Schuermann Architekten of Germany then unveiled his renering of the track and spoke about the potential of racing in New York. He said the holding of the World Championships and major World Cup races would be likely. Schuermann’s firm has designed and constructed over 125 velodromes including those for the Beijing, Barcelona, Munich and Mexico City Olympic Games.
Michael Green, Director of Business Development said a cycling center can be as beneficial to the city as the 168th Street Track and Field Armory has proven to be. The 6 Day Races and a bicycle museum will make the Bronx a destination point for visitors to New York. He emphasized that health and educational programs based around cycling for youth will be a high priority. He cited the success that Jack Simes and Ryan Oelkers also of the NCA have had in developing youth programs at the track in Trexlertown, Pa. He said they will like to get things started at Kingsbridge by working with Dierdre Bader’s Star Track program.
Both the demo program and the permanent facility will feature a BMX skate park. Ed Pollio of Project Spark NY represented the BMX community. Ed has developed BMX skate parks and is a forceful advocate for building and maintaining the parks in New York.
Pryor Dodge who has displayed his collection of 130 vintage bicycles in museums across the country spoke about the possibilities for a bicycle museum.
Filmmaker, Nadia Hallgren who is making a documentary about bringing 6 Day Racing back to the States, spoke about her excitement to see the redevelopment of the armory and her growing interest in 6 Day racing.
The day ended with a tour of the basement area of the armory. While the basement needs a lot of work, people were impressed by the potential that the Kingsbridge Armory has to be the center for very vibrant activity.