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Rob B

Odsal

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Questions & Answers:
Having a brief review of feedback on social media, always a good barometer, I selected the below as my pick of the day!
'The pictures of the shale being laid at Bradford is one of the best sights seen anywhere this side of 1997. According to Steve Rees, it's proper red shale. Only the best for Odsal. And top track curator, Andy Meredith is overseeing the operation. ''
I have also read with interests 'expert views' on how a track should be laid, but didn't recognise any of the names as experienced track curators so perhaps for the layman, a few words of 'how it works'!
1. First and foremost is drainage, and Odsal has an extremely efficient Dutch drain system with pumps, some reparations have been done in servicing and cleaning the system and getting water away is key, and the efficacy of the system was thoroughly tested last month with heavy rain and deep snow and thaw - Drainage is key!
2. How you lay the track is first down to procuring the right material - and 6 months went into this. There is no exact science as the terminoligy of what is 'shale' is a misnoma as basically it is a waste by product from quarrying / extraction. At some point brick kilns were a source of bi product mixed with clay and other aggregates hence the 'redness' but most product used is either mixed with a clay content or granite percentage. Clay can come white or black. 'Red' shale has become increasingly difficult to source, one of the biggest suppliers, Breedon in Leicestershire effectively ran out as the seam became unproductive and curators have had to become more ingenuous and look at different solutions and more latterly a lot of material has been 'grey' - After looking at several types of material my experienced track man concluded that what we are using is amongst the 'best' available and with the right proportion of clay mix - All tracks are different, for example, for exclusively speedway, they can be of a lighter construction and composition however for sharing with cars as the surface may be more robust. 'Experts' try and compare the UK with the how the US build dirt tracks which is an entirely different scenario. Tracks are bigger, wider, different wheel dynamics [ F1's are not Sprint cars on wide wheels - god forbid they ever become that, tyres are currently a major issue in track wear] and most tracks are Clay based to a reasonable depth. That is because of size,shape, racing dynamics and hot temperatures typically as during the week tracks are harrowed deep and 'flooded' to hold the water and the water tyre packed in. When it rains in the US quite simply meetings are 'rained out' - UK has different dynamics, sizes and needs and bikes needs to slide and not suddenly 'grip' so comparison is odious. Picking up too much grip in the wrong place has serious consequences for a man on a bike with no brakes!
3. Every track is different as to how it is constructed and it's base - In Bradfords case, we are building a clay/shale base to be durable to around 6 inches [ deeper on the corners as you go out ] and as the tarmac itself has degraded over years, it is beneficial that is abrasive enough to 'grip' - we hope! Some tracks are built on different levels of aggregate. In this country with unpredictable weather too much depth of shale can also be an issue in wet weather and create it's own problems.
4. The first job in laying a new track is getting the material to site, a huge logistical [ and costly ] experience, haulage by far the biggest cost and, it has to come over a number of days - and then be laid. As in the update photos from Odsal, the first job is to spread the shale around as it arrives as vehicle movement to unload is a big planning consideration and for this we have two machines on site - again, not cheap, to lay it, pack it in and eventually, with the excavator fitted with a grader bar, to level it out to an even spread.
Effectively by mid next week, that is it the, initial work done to lay the track, but not the last! We had heavy rain last night and we are supremely pleased with how the material handled it. When this part finishes, between then and opening another 300 tonnes of 'lighter material' will be added to further build it up and then it will be graded back and forth to 'mix' it and tyre pack it in and that process will continue until we open and thereafter. We cannot expect perfection day one, weather is a bigger factor as is 'settling down' the track which in itself takes time. Fingers crossed it's about the 3 P's - People, Product and Process - we have attempted to get those right as part of the other P - planning!
We always welcome feedback and if any is useful and helpful and the individual has the proven 'street cred' in prep work, we will welcome them on the team, more experienced hands make light work!
Some comments have questioned why did we not paint the fence first and the direct answer to that is that it is primed and greased, it will be the last job we do to spray and paint it after all the 'mucky' work is done - It will always oxidise but at 10mm thick is not going to rust away! and the track side will for appearance require a refresh after every meeting as one of the downsides of shale!!!! Hence, one of last jobs to be done
Hope answers some feedback.
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20 hours ago, tyretrax said:

Maybe should have said new track or fences being replaced. Glasgow replaced the chain link with weld mesh a couple of years ago.

Where in the rules does it say that it's changed?

From memory FIM rules state the thickness of the wire and the size of the "hole" or what ever is the word for that...

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Dont know, I'm not involved on that side of fence now but was told by someone who is that was the case.

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1 minute ago, tyretrax said:

Dont know, I'm not involved on that side of fence now but was told by someone who is that was the case.

All new tracks have to have a 5ft fence as in the rule book if mesh fence it's got to be 25m x 25m and 2.5 m like redcar ect. 

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All this discussion is very well but the bottom line is, as openly acknowledged by Mr. Rees, there will be no speedway at Odsall until someone with a substantial amount of money is willing to pay their share of the rent, and pay for any additional work to be done to cater solely for speedways needs. We can discuss the merits of the stadium until the pandemic is just a paragraph in the history books but despite a number of tentative enquiries no person has has come forward to do that and so no speedway at Odsal.

Whilst I hope that changes in the future I simply don’t see that happening now or even next year .

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4 minutes ago, Ringitsneck said:

All this discussion is very well but the bottom line is, as openly acknowledged by Mr. Rees, there will be no speedway at Odsall until someone with a substantial amount of money is willing to pay their share of the rent, and pay for any additional work to be done to cater solely for speedways needs. We can discuss the merits of the stadium until the pandemic is just a paragraph in the history books but despite a number of tentative enquiries no person has has come forward to do that and so no speedway at Odsal.

Whilst I hope that changes in the future I simply don’t see that happening now or even next year .

Having spoken recently to one of the ‘ tentative enquirers’ I fear you may be correct ( for once ) . The figures certainly frightened off the former successful promoter.

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20 minutes ago, Fortythirtyeight said:

Having spoken recently to one of the ‘ tentative enquirers’ I fear you may be correct ( for once ) . The figures certainly frightened off the former successful promoter.

In excess of 4K per meeting I heard and no revenue from food or drink outlets :drink:

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11 minutes ago, Fortythirtyeight said:

Having spoken recently to one of the ‘ tentative enquirers’ I fear you may be correct ( for once ) . The figures certainly frightened off the former successful promoter.

In Kelvin Tatum's book he mentioned the 'demographic change' in the East End of London that he felt meant the crowds were never going to be enough to keep the sport going at Hackney...

Since then, the demographic make up of the whole of Greater London has become even more hugely diverse...

Similar to a great many city centres in 'Speedway places' such as Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester and Wolverhampton for example..

And 'ex Speedway places' like Bradford.. 

Getting those ethnic minority communities who now live practically on the 'doorstep' of several tracks (some actually being the majority ethnicity in that area around the track),  to take interest in the sport has to be a huge opportunity for UK Speedway....

We have a shop in Bradford that has 20,000 customers a week with over 90% of them who class themselves as 'Asian'...

Guess what? We target them by offering a large range of goods that they want, and also provide offers on their 'staple purchases'...

Speedway should try and engage these communities as a key part of their strategy in certain places...

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Fair call. My local supermarket has designated aisles for Polish, Asian & Gluten Free foods.

I'm told if you use the Polish aisle you can only then go in one of the other aisles. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

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15 minutes ago, Lefty said:

Fair call. My local supermarket has designated aisles for Polish, Asian & Gluten Free foods.

I'm told if you use the Polish aisle you can only then go in one of the other aisles. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

Maybe we should be promoting the virtues of speedway to the 'gluten free community'

Edited by arnieg
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28 minutes ago, Blupanther said:

Proper shale...:)

Image

Looks a bit slick on the inside...

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