The glitz of the 2008 Olympics may be long gone, but Beijing still brings in some world-class athletic competitions. Professional cycling is one sport that continues to benefit from the city’s sports infrastructure. From 13-15 January 2012, Beijing will host the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics at the Laoshan Velodrome. I had a blast during the 2008 Olympics, but I’m looking especially forward to the World Cup Classics because I actually know one of the athletes from the USA, Dean Tracy.
Hailing from Portland, Oregon (where cycling is fueled by coffee), I’ve watched Dean grow as a cyclist since he was in high school and began courting Jennifer, my niece. Now, 8 years later, Dean is on track for fulfilling one of his dreams, competing in the 2012 Olympics in London. The next step along the road to London will be here at the Laoshan Velodrome in a few weeks.
After searching in vain for ticket information online, I finally reached out to Ines Brunn at the Beijing Fixed Gear Bike Crew, a group of fans dedicated to the sport of riding fast and performing tricks on single gear bikes. He told me that the Track Cycling World Cup has been in Beijing for the past four years and that the Bike Crew has attended everyday for the past three years. As far as Ines could tell, they were the only fans in attendance except for the mostly elderly Chinese women bussed in to make it look like people were actually watching.
Ines said getting tickets is easy, even on the day of the event, and that they can be purchased on www.piao.com.cn. This year, I plan to increase the number of fans in the audience by personally cheering loudly for Dean. If you’ve got the time, head out to the Laoshan Velodrome with your family on 13-15 January and cheer with me, Ines, and the rest of the Beijing Fixed Gear Bike Crew. We should be easy to spot amidst the crowd of Chinese grandmothers.
To find out more about Dean Tracy and the 2012 USA Olympic Track Cycling Team, visit www.ProjectLondon.com.