A “Velo-Dome”: A Spotlight on the U.S. Olympic Training Center Velodrome
Welcome to Colorado Springs, home of the ’84 Summer Olympic Games and present home of the U.S. Olympic Training Center (OTC) Velodrome. This open-air velodrome was built to stage the best of the best. Now, this track is the official training venue for Olympic and Paralympic athletes to hone their cycling skills.
Although it’s great to train in the open air during the summer months, cold winters, and a snowy track put the brakes on bike training. This is where The Farley Group comes in!
Tired of having to close up shop every season, the OTC decided to make an upgrade to the track. A 490’ long, 241’ wide, and 80’ tall upgrade. This seasonal dome is over seven stories tall and as long as long as five basketball courts. From now on, each winter the dome will go up to provide a climate-controlled, ideal environment for track cycling.
Photo credit: Kevin Loughery
This was a fun project for us because the venue presented some unique challenges. For example, the footprint of the track is unlike many of the other projects we’ve worked on. Bubbles may all look similar, but designing structures to meet the needs of specialized sports are challenges we love to take on. Another sport specific challenge we overcame was with the air lock system. Because these athletes have to bring a bicycle with them, the airlock entrance system needed to make it easy to get into the dome. A specially designed “bicycle airlock” makes it painless to get bicycles in and out of the facility.
Track cycling is a fast-paced racing sport where cyclists race each other on a specially designed track with banked corners. It’s an exciting time and we’re glad that we could help keep the track open year-round.
The OTC Velodrome is a premier training facility, but this doesn’t mean you need to be an Olympic athlete to enjoy it! The facility is open to riders of different abilities from the high-level elite, to amateurs, and even those just getting started in the sport. With the air dome, there’s even more time to enjoy the velodrome track so, as long as a cyclist arrives at the right scheduled time, riders are able to ride and train with the best.
The track also helps to introduce inexperienced riders to the sport of track cycling. The facility runs a riding class designed for those that want to learn how to ride a Velodrome track, but have never had the chance. Someone new to the sport can learn from the best athletes and coaches in the sport. After completion of the course, riders are able to track cycle train on the velodrome.
We’re just as excited about this project as the riders who will be training there! To keep an eye on everything that they are doing, finding schedules, and seeing the dome in action, follow their Facebook page. The dome is open now and ready for riders to spend their first winter on the velodrome track!