How long can you ride? 2 hours? 4 hours? How about 24 hours? This seems like an insurmountable feat. A feat that Ed Veal is willing to take on.
Ed “The Real Deal” Veal is a multi-time national and provincial champion in both the road and track cycling. He is a World Cup gold medalist and won a bronze medal at the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am Games. Ed is the current Canadian Hour Record holder and World 40-44 Hour Record holder, and this past season Ed won the Ontario Cup Road Series Championship for a record 6th time.
On Feburary 2nd 2019 at 11:11AM, Ed has set his sights on an even bigger goal, a goal to give back to the sport that he has had enjoyed much success at. “I want to use my bike as a tool to for good, to bring awareness to a need and to help out in any way I can” said Ed from his home in Hamilton. “The group at Forest City Velodrome (FCV) in London are doing an absolute fantastic job for youth cycling and youth development programs. They have a wonderful facility that is in desperate need of upgrades and repairs for it to stay open. It would be a real shame if the area lost one of the most unique sporting venues in the world due to lack of funding.”
The FCV is only 1 of 4 indoor velodromes in all North America. The FCV is a nonprofit organization and all programming and operations are administered by volunteers.
The idea to have a velodrome in London, Ontario came from Albert Schelstraete-Coulier, inductee of the Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame in 2017. With the help of his sons Ron and Bob Schelstraete, Rob Good and small group of people they we’re able to bring the track to life in 2005 with a goal of providing a center for youth to develop skills and train future Olympians. The FCV has produced riders that have completed at all levels of competition around the world. The FCV does not only train athletes, it provides programs for recreational riders from ages 8 to 88.
The FCV also has a unique program called VeloKids. The VeloKids program is the most important program at the FCV as it introduces young children to the lifelong sport of cycling. The VeloKids program gives kids a chance to be a part of something great while developing the multitude of skills that comes from being involved in a sport-based activity. The facility needs to be warmer and more inviting for kids and their families.
The FCV is currently looking to update both the heating and the lighting infrastructure. Originally built in 1955 the London Gardens was home to the London Knights for many years and most of the building hasn’t seen any significant updates in that time leaving the infrastructure dated and inefficient.
The FCV is always looking for fundraising opportunities and this is where Ed Veal comes in.
“When Ed Veal, former member of Team Canada’s track program and all-around cyclist approached the FCV about riding the track for 24 hours in support of us we were so excited” – Said Tony Fangeat, FCV board member. “Riding the FCV is unlike any other track in the world”. At 138m the FCV is one of the shortest permanent indoor tracks and as a result also one of the steepest with banks of 51 degrees in the corners.
“The G force plays a large part in keeping riders on the track but will also be a huge factor in Ed’s ride, this could possibly be the toughest 24 ride anyone has ever done anywhere?!?” Said Craig Saari, FCV President.
Do you want to be part of this historic event? Do you want to see how long you can ride?