My first taste of track riding came on the Montreal Velodrome. When I was finished my Industrial Design degree at Carleton University here in Ottawa in '87 I would go down to the velodrome with a few van loads of other OBC riders to ride the 'drome for about 3 hours each Wed night over the winters. I had my '66 Atala Pista (http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=4291843765) and I can still recall the first time I followed one of the coach/racers (Bob Simpson) as we circled the track, gaining speed until eventually worked our way up onto the banking. My heart was pounding!! I kept thinking "This is impossible, I'm on a vertical surface!" I kept my eyes glued to Bob's wheel and just followed him until I began to get comfortable with the sensations of track riding. What a rush.
It was a pretty steep track (46 or 48 degrees if I recall) but super smooth. I can remember the feeling of flying around the track in a paceline, and at one point because we were the fastest line (of ~8 guys) and there were 3 other slower lines on at the time, we had to pass at the very top of the banking and really motor to stay up there. What an awesome feeling that was. I also recall the air in there was super dry. In a matter of a half hour my throat would be sore from the air, and I was constantly sucking on Halls lozenges. Lots of guys wore a kerchief over their mouths to moisten the air.
I moved to Montreal a year later. I lived there for almost 5 years and rode there most winters once a week when I could get the time. I recall taking my Atala across town on the bus and subway to get there. Eventually I got a locker and my bike was locked up with lots of others in a cage, with a nasty chain that chipped it's fair share of paint of the poor thing.
I was so mad when the decided to tear the track out to make the Biodome (http://www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/biodome/ebdm2.htm) I just about cried. And all that wood just went to scrap. I even missed an oppourtunity to get a small piece of track just before the bulldozers went to work because I was away from Montreal. I moved away from Montreal, back to Ottawa a few months later. I don't know if I could visit the Biodome now. I'd just feel too sad. It was an amazing track, what a waste.
I've since ridden on the Fonthill outdoor short track (taken down I think) and at the '96 Canadian short track championships held in Copp's Coliseum in Hamilton. I've yet to make it to Bromont though. But the Montreal Velodrome was a great track and an awesome place just for the architecture and design. They had great stadium seats.
3 track bikes ('66 Atala, '71 Masi, and '74 Torpado) and I haven't ridden a track in 8 years. Sigh.
David Bilenkey Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of Joe
> Sent: March 15, 2003 2:32 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: [CR] Now Montreal 76 'drome
> The Montreal track was torn down with glee by the public at
> large. It became
> a symbol of Olympic waste and public project tax burdens. The
> club that ran
> the Velodrome was elitist and completely out of touch with the PR
> aspects of
> running the drome so as not to alienate the public. Public sessions were a
> total of 8 hours a week and ended at midnight on weekdays. Driving home to
> Vermont starting at midnight with the start of work at 7AM was not a
> pleasurable prospect. No weekend public sessions. They shooed me
> off bigtime
> when I tried to join the club to take advantage of the other 60
> hours or so
> the club had scheduled. There were over a hundred track bikes stored in
> lockers at the drome. But heating a building that seated thousands (maybe
> 5,000 as a guess) for the use of a couple hundred people just couldn't be
> justified in a time when Quebec taxes were staggering.
> Joe Bender-Zanoni
> Great Notch, NJ
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "John Pergolizzi" <email@example.com>
> To: "Grant McLean" <Grant.McLean@SportingLife.ca>; "'William McGehee'"
> <firstname.lastname@example.org>; <email@example.com>
> Cc: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Saturday, March 15, 2003 1:39 PM
> Subject: Re: [CR]Vigorelli spruce-up? Now Montreal 76 'drome
> > The Montreal Velodrome space is now an "EcoCenter", showing various
> > aspects of the environment. The roof is hung from cables off
> of one main
> > arm. Beautiful building, shame about the rest.
> > ciao,
> > John T.Pergolizzi
> > LaJolla Ca. for two more weeks