Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pershing Velodrome

Lincolnites approved the Haymarket Arena.

The looming question: what happens to Pershing Auditorium?

After this epic winter, my vote is Pershing Velodrome. I got really good at Mariokart in January. Just sayin'.

For those who don't know, a velodrome is a high-banked cycling track. You've probably seen one while flipping channels during the Olympic games.

I have a feeling the bicycle will be a big part of the coming decades. Bike lanes are popping up in cities all over the country. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has pledged support for safe cycling initiatives.

People already race bicycles, but as more and more people discover the bicycle as transportation, more and more people are going to seek out racing opportunities. Lincoln has the opportunity to become the midwest's winter cycling destination in the coming decades with Pershing Velodrome.

 There are outdoor velodromes in Colorado Springs, Minneapolis, Chicago, and St. Louis. I like to think people in these cities want to race during the winter.

Having an indoor cycling facility and a weekly "winter racing series" from November through March can draw tourists to Lincoln who would otherwise not have visited. (Gotta get heads on pillows in Lincoln's hotels to pay for the Arena somehow...)

I also envision people from the surrounding office buildings convening at the Velodrome during the week for an "epic lunchtime spinning class".

Seriously: riding a stationary bike is the cycling equivalent of fast food: it takes the edge off and you aren't starving. You just wish it had more flavor.

I've read that Pershing is still a great structure, a testament to those hands that constructed it decades ago, but the inside needs some serious TLC. 

If there's room for a track (both inside Pershing and in Lincoln), this is a great opportunity to move this aging facility into the 21st century.

Why not? Folks are trying to build a horse track.


  1. For reference, the $50k they spent to plan the horse track buys about 50% of the wood and everything else for a small velodrome.

  2. I Believe there might be room in the middle for an MTB/Trials bike course as well.

    Great blog

    ~Welder Steve

  3. I have a feeling they could stuff a 200m track in there if they removed the stage and a good portion of the seats. I'm certain 166m is feasible.

    They didn't sell out a Saturday night circus when we were there last.

    Anyone know who to suggest this to?