Saanich Olympian Gillian Carleton learned track cycling at the Juan de Fuca velodrome in 2011 on a rental bike. Last summer she won a bronze medal in track cycling team pursuit at the London Olympics.

PISE donates bikes for velodrome

There are now more bikes to go around at the Juan de Fuca velodrome.

There are now more bikes to go around at the Juan de Fuca velodrome.

Through a partnerships with the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association and the Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence, 20 new track bikes are available for youth programs and the public.

“We had more riders than bikes last year,” said GVVA president Michael Cooper.

Before this donation, rental bikes at the velodrome were the same bikes from 1994 Commonwealth Games when the track was built, said Olympian Gillian Carleton.

Carlton won a bronze medal at London Games in the team pursuit. With many years of triathlon experience, she first took up track cycling at the velodrome in 2011.

“It’s really faces paced and with a banked track you can pick up speed. If you are an adrenaline junkie it’s a ton of fun,” Carleton said.

Carleton and the rest of Team Canada also just  picked up another bronze medal in Belarus at the Track Cycling World Championships last week.

The 23-year-old from Saanich would have never been able to try track cycling if it weren’t for the velodrome and the rental bikes available. Carleton said she is excited for the possibilities new bikes will open for youth in Greater Victoria.

“They are special bikes that most kids don’t have,” said Eric Simonson, the school bike league commissioner.

PISE donated $5,000, which matched with other donations sought out by the GVVA.

“We recognize that when you have healthy communities everything else tends to take care of itself,” said Robert Bettauer, CEO of PISE.

The bicycles will be used for the 2013 School Bike League and for other public programs.

charla@goldstreamgazette.com