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One Tank Trip: Valley Preferred Cycling Center

Published On: Aug 04 2011 06:40:23 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 13 2011 10:35:08 AM CDT

Professional cyclists can top speeds of more than 50 miles an hour.

TREXLERTOWN, Pa. -

Professional cyclists can top speeds of more than 50 miles an hour.

It's so fast you can feel the breeze, but what you might not realize is that the velodrome in Lehigh County is a public park.

You don't have to be a pro to go for a spin at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown.

"It's the mecca of cycling," said pro-cyclist Chris Pritchard. "There's no other place like it."

The concrete crater was built in 1975 by the late publishing powerhouse Bob Rodale.

It's produced eight Olympians since then, including the Lehigh Valley's own Olympic gold medalist Marty Nothstein.

Besides the professional racing series, they teach.

All summer long, there are riding programs for kids and adults, and almost all of them are free.

There are five laps to a mile on the 333.3 meter track that banks at 28 degrees.

There are no gears or brakes on a track bike, so if you get on one, don't stop pedaling.

Within a few laps, you're on the same track as some of the fastest riders in the world.

In season, they race every Friday night.

"Until you see 40 riders going shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow at 40 miles per hour, 50 plus miles per hour on this banked track, if that doesn't get you excited, I don't know what will," said Nothstein.