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High School Introduction to Bike Racing

To celebrate the grand re-opening of the Northbrook Velodrome an 8-week introductory bike racing program is now available for high school age students who would like to experience the thrill of high speed cycling on an Olympic-style velodrome. Riding and racing on the velodrome is not only extremely exciting it is done without the need to ride in the street and all the race action can be viewed from the grandstand. Training in the basic concepts of velodrome riding will be covered in weeks 1-3 including bike fit, bike handling and the fundamentals of safety controlling a track bike, with no brakes, no gears nor the capacity to coast. Weeks 4-5 will advance to pace line/group riding and race simulation. Weeks 6-8 will wrap up with competitive racing. Come learn about and participate in the fastest form of bicycle racing on the same velodrome where top US cyclists were groomed including: US Postal Service team member and World Championship competitor Robbie Ventura, US Postal Service team member and Tour de France rider Christian Vande Velde and 1996 Olympic Team member Bill Clay. Each participant will have two days a week of instruction. Track bikes will be provided but feel free to bring your own. Riders must provide their own ANSI approved helmet and proper cycling shoes.

Age range: Grades 9-12

Enrollment: 20-75 people

Location: Northbrook Velodrome

Instructor: Chris Vogel

Days: Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays

Time of day: 3:30-5:30pm

Dates: 4 April through 27 May

Fee: $175 (Northbrook resident)/$200 (nonresident) *Financial need?- see column on right*

a couple of emails:

q-Hey am I allowed to race it and maybe I could bring some kids from my school or hook up with another high school?
Sean, Chicago

a-Hi Sean, I'm glad you're interested in the high school program! Anyone can participate- so invite everyone who might also be interested. The "teams" are not going to be divided by schools, since the numbers are going to vary... But I think they might be divided (initially) by the days that you sign up for.

q- Is the track racing only for boys? Is there a program for girls as well?
Anne, Des Plaines

a- The Northbrook program is for both boys and girls. The groups might be divided according to turn out, but there's certainly room for you and your friends as well!
Thanks! -Marcus

Have you ever wanted to try bike racing? Are you high school age? Read on!

2005 Brings the introduction of a new spring program for high schoolers at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook! This is a new program that was instigated by Chris Mailing and is being supported by numerous local bike shops, teams, mentors and the Northbrook Park District.

We're looking for kids from all school districts in the area to participate. It doesn't matter where you live (IL, Wis, IN) as long as you can get to the velodrome at the correct times twice a week. If you want to race at the velodrome but you need some help with logistics (transportation, program fees, etc.)- that's why we're here. We want to help you make it happen!

Contact me (Marcus) to discuss interest in the program. If you're serious about getting started on the track, or just want to see what it's like, and can make the commitment- I want to hear from you!

Many people start out at the local velodromes as juniors and move on to National and International competition (Rebecca Much, Aaron Kacala, Matt Fox, Natalie Klemko, Allyson Brunner, Samantha Schneider, and others)... And this Spring's high school program from 4 April until 27 May is a great way to get an early start on the regular summer race season (25 May- 1 September 2005).

The Northbrook Park District does not have details on their web site yet... But they'll have an on line registration form available soon.

The Northbrook METRA stop is nearby.

Program track bikes will be supplied by Alberto's, George Garner Cyclery, Turin and Yojimbo's Garage.




a note from the coach:


The Northbrook Park District is establishing a new High School track racing league this April and May at the newly resurfaced Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Meadowhill Park. My name is Chris Vogel and I will be coaching the program. The NBPD is running the program but it is open to all high school students regardless of residence. Registration will begin in early March and can be done online at www.nbparks.org. We will be on the track April 4 and will conclude May 27. Each participant will have two days a week of instruction, M & W or T & Th with Fr being a rain makeup day, and we will be on the track from 3:30 to 5:30. Track bikes will be made available but participants must provide their own cycling shoes and ANSI approved helmet. The cost of the program is $175 for Northbrook residents and $200 for non-residents. For more info call the Northbrook Park District at 847-291-2993.

Spread the word. We are trying to grow our sport by building interest with the next generation of cyclists and this is but one way we can do this. Our maximum number is 50 and we are driven to hit that number. Once the program concludes participants will be prepared and encouraged to continue racing throughout the summer at the Ed Rudolph and Washington Bowl Velodromes.

We currently have contacts to Glenbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield and Loyola Academy HSs and would like to make more at New Trier, Barrington and Wheeling but no school is beyond consideration. If you have a contact at any local school we would appreciate an introduction so we can build a relationship and promote our program within the school. And to say the least, if you know of any HS student(s) that may be interested we would be glad to have them join.

Thank you for your time. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at cvogel21@yahoo.com or check out the NBPD website www.nbparks.org.

Chris Vogel


Gary and Gracie think you would enjoy the track as well!