Places like MSG were commercial not civic faciities and if elephant racing put bums on seats, then elephants would be raced. Did you know there is a world championship for polo played on elephants, played in Nepal ? It's a slightly slower game than with ponies..... Ralph Schuermann's father 'invented' modern velodrome design in the 1930s (he's had people copy his designs, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.) The trick is to make all four corners asymetric so that the bike is 'led' round. You can ride round a well designed 176 yard indoor track no hands if going fast enough and have the nerve ! 250 metre Olympic standard tracks are far easier to ride in comparison. The Leicester England outdoor (asphalt) velodrome built for the 1970 worlds was originally built without much regard to the asymmetry needed at the transition to the straights. First time round there, coming (counter clockwise) off the banking into the (short) home straight and it was like going down in a lift. It was subsequently reprofiled (I think Schuermann helped) for the Worlds. Track has gone, now. Used to be quite good for the big motors i.e banked enough to get a move on without constantly speeding up and slowing down but the transition for the sprinters was always tricky. John Purser Sudbury, England Message: 4 Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2011 19:45:37 -0800 From: Carlos Ovalle <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: [CR] Backwards Velodrome Racing To: email@example.com Message-ID: <C7CDF82A-9262-4662-99B2-E3325953E208@charter.net> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Delmas and list:
Years ago I worked at an architecture firm that was bidding to design the rehabilitation of Madison Square Garden. I remember that part of the work involved research into the history of M.S.G. including its origin as a velodrome and something else that was curious... and I'm not sure how true... elephant racing? The firm was (is?) huge, 3,500 people, and I had my hands full on a couple of other sports projects so I only heard bits and pieces. Speaking of bits and pieces, and of old velodromes, at a world championship about 3 or 4 years ago at the L.A. Velodrome (aka ADT Center Velodrome, Home Depot Velodrome) they had an exhibit of old Madison Square Garden photos and pieces of the original wood track.
Long Beach, California, USA