Lincoln Heights bike shop owners Gabriela and Roland Peters know first hand that fixies – or track bikes – are popular with young riders. But riding a track bike, which don’t have brakes and have been designed to race on velodromes and specialized tracks, can be risky for kids riding on city streets. Of course, there are no velodromes or outdoor bike tracks anywhere near Lincoln Heights. That’s why the Peters, who own Lincoln Heights Cyclery, are working to build support for an ambitious plan to build an outdoor velodrome in Lincoln Heights. Gabriela Peters is scheduled to provide an update and more details about their neighborhood velodrome proposal tonight during a meeting of the land use committee of the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council.
“We know that a lot of kids are riding fixies, and the number of them is growing,” said Gabriela Peters. But “we do not really like to see them riding in the streets without brakes. We want them in a safe place.”
Still very early in the planning stages, Peters said the city has been approached about including room for a velodrome on the site of a former Lincoln Heights dairy, which was recently demolished to eventually make way for a park by the Los Angeles River. In addition, Peters has been in contact with a Canadian velodrome designer, who said a simple outdoor track could be built for $500,000. The track would be financed by donations from bike companies as well as government grants, said Peters, who added that a nonprofit needs to be formed to apply for and receive those grants.
If and when the Lincoln Heights Velodrome ever gets built, Peters said she and her husband envision a place that offers cycling lessons to kids and adults and also host track cycling competitions, an Olympic sport. “We want to help them get into track racing,” Peters said. “Maybe one day one of our kids can become an Olympian.”
The neighborhood council’s Planning and Land use Committee is scheduled to meet tonight, March 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the offices of Aztecs Rising, 3516 N. Broadway, Lincoln Heights.