We back! Cyclists in London, Ont., are thrilled that their velodrome is operational again.
“On behalf of the region’s cycling community, we are heartbroken that it has come to this,” Craig Linton, FCV president said in June. “Forest City Velodrome was the first indoor velodrome in Canada and is now one of only four indoor velodromes in the country. Several young riders started cycling here and have gone on to race all over the world. Volunteers and coaches have provided the members of the Southwestern Ontario cycling community with a safe, warm place to come together, train and be active all winter.”
Back to business
On Oct. 30 the velodrome reopened after temporarily closing in the spring due to challenges in negotiating a new lease.
Albert Devries, a volunteer instructor at the velodrome, expressed the necessity of keeping the venue open. “We needed this place to stay open so we’ve got a new board of directors and we’ve got the financial means to stay open for a while,” Devries told the CBC.
Second-oldest indoor track in Canada
Forest City Velodrome initially opened its doors in 2005 in the former London Ice House building, formerly home to the London Knights. FCV is the second-oldest indoor velodrome in Canada, behind the track in Burnaby.
Co-founder Rob Good said they were beyond pleased to be open again. “I was part of the group that came to the property owner and in a matter of two-and-half to three minutes, we sold the idea that having a velodrome in London would be a good idea and almost 20 years later, we’re still racing,” he said.
A special place for many
Reilly Pargeter, who began training at the velodrome at the age of nine, shared his deep connection to the facility. “The track is very special to me. I’ve been here for so long, so it’s definitely been part of my routine year after year, and there’s nothing like it in the world,” the 20-year-old said. “I usually like to spend my winters here training. It’s a great place to keep the fitness up. I was definitely excited when it reopened because I never thought I’d see it close, but I was happy to see it come back to life.”
Unlocking future champions
Many athletes have used the facility, including Olympian Joseph Veloce and national team rider Nick Wammes. FCV is one of four indoor velodromes in Canada. There is the Mattamy National Cycling Centre, in Milton, Ont. Additionally, there is the newly opened Centre National de Cyclisme de Bromont, as…