Cycling Visionaries Awards – Project Details

La Ocho

La Ocho

Panajachel, Guatemala was the host to the 18th annual 10-day international Cycle Messenger World Championship, and introduced for the first time an outdoor figure-8 velodrome: La Ocho. Working with graduates from the architecture faculty at the University of Toronto as well as the Toronto-based organizer La Carrera, the physics, construction and planning of this track event were developed.

The project involved the design and construction development of an unconventional velodrome track for the Cycle Messenger World Championship held in Panajachel, Guatemala.

Working with students at the University of Toronto in both the Faculty of Architecture and Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, a 200m long track was developed that would idealize a constant 65km/h speed along its non-planar 'Cote d'Azur'. The challenges of this track geometry had to account for the over/under path created by a figure-8 shape, the track banking and cyclist momentum. To do this, the team employed something called an Euler Spiral easement curve which would ensure a smooth, constant pitch to the track.

The second major challenge beyond the track's geometry was its construction. Designed to be built on an outdoor soccer pitch that had been partially washed away by a storm-water surge from a nearby river, the track adapted to local building techniques with a rammed-earth (track) and timber (bridge) construction.

Several natural events during construction (a hurricane, earthquake and landslide) ultimately prevented the track's completion, but we remain optimistic and are actively seeking other opportunities.

Project Credits:
Design Team
Dieter Janssen
Jonathan Chan
Michael de Jong
Jonathan Gotfryd

Grateful assistance from Dror Bar-Natan (Department of Mathematics), Anthony Spick (structural engineer), Byron White & Jeff Powers (model builders), and Nadir Olivet of La Carrera Cycles (CMWC 2010 organizer).

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