Yesterday arvo myself and few of the B’n’C boys drove out to New Norfolk to check out an old velodrome we’d heard about. We found the track, but it wasn’t what we’d hoped for.. Years of neglect had left the tarmac in a bad way. Glass, grass, potholes, moss and tree roots had all done their work. It was totally unrideable. Such a shame.. It is without a doubt the nicest shaped track I’ve seen so far. It has two distinct straights, beautifully curved ends and a bank runs the whole way around. It would have left Newtown Oval for dead when operational.
We spent a bit of time just kicking about, checking the whole track out. The relic features really said alot about the hey-day of track in Tasmania. There were lights set up at intervals around the oval, so at some point they must have held night races. It really must have been a huge cycling scene.
I’ve heard rumours that someone had been looking into having this oval re-surfaced. Likewise, I heard that at one point the Southern Pedals were considering re-surfacing the now derelict velodrome at Franklin oval. It would be awesome if either eventuated. I believe that if the numbers of track cyclists in Hobart continues grow as it has been doing, this is could be a real possiblity.
I’d be interested to hear any stories about racing at New Norfolk or Franklin. If you have any yarns that you’d like to share or, even better, some old photos.. send them in to Bottles and Chains and we might post them up in a retro track thread.