FINISHING LINE IS IN SIGHT FOR CYCLISTS
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
THE Coffs Harbour Cycle Club is about to see years of dreaming, planning, fund raising and work finally come to fruition when the new $1.5 million velodrome in Toormina officially opens this Saturday.
A full day of activities has been planned for the opening to ensure that the city's latest sporting asset kicks off in style.
The club's publicity officer, Terry McLean, says the velodrome's opening is the culmination of 20 years of hard work.
"We've been fund raising with raffles and the sort for probably 20 years now building towards this day," McLean said. "There have been different committees that have worked over the years to get there."
Not all the funds raised for the new velodrome have come from the club's coffers.
The cycle club has invested $100,000 of it's own money into the project, which covers the costs of the very impressive lights around the track which have been seen lighting up the night sky around Toormina of late.
The rest of the money has come from the coffers of Coffs Harbour City Council, who have been working towards giving members of the community a high-standard venue to enjoy.
McLean believes that the track is already impressive but it can only get better.
"It's a fast track but once we get some heat into it and it gets used a bit it will be even better," he explained.
"I've seen the velodrome when it was unfinished from the air and I thought it was impressive then but I've been told it looks great now with all the lines painted on it."
The new velodrome is the piece de resistance of the project but the two criterium tracks that surround the banked track offer great riding for anyone looking to do some long-distance work.
The longer of the two tracks measures 850m on a track that has also been described as quick, with a hill climb that isn't too challenging but still offers a decent workout.
McLean insists the new venue isn't just for the use of the local cycle club. "Now that it's up and ready and going we need to think big," he said.
"We need other groups to use it as well and usage from school groups to be encouraged as that was one of our pushes to get the whole project going."
All members of the public are invited to the official opening this Saturday, with two open riding sessions set to start at 10am and 3.45pm.