Category ArchiveHistory

NPDCC are here to stay

Over the past few months NPDCC committee members have been working tirelessly in the background, getting our new cycling club up and running, setting the wheels in motion for many great things to come.

We’ve poured hours and hours into exploring and brainstorming many ideas to honour the club’s past heritage in the area, which we are reviving through the old Noble Park Dandenong Cycling Club.

At the same time, we’ve established regular group rides and slowly but surely, the word is spreading. The Noble Park Dandenong Cycling Club is growing from humble new beginnings! We’re a club for all and all are welcome.

Many things are in the works as we are gearing up into the new decade. Keep in the loop on the club’s revival via our website and social accounts…but maybe you don’t have to .. if you spot NPDCC’s iconic club kit on your next ride then you’ll know our club is well and truly here to stay!

One man, one wheel, one mission

Ryan’s supporters at Maurice Kirby Velodrome, Parkfield Reserve, Dunblane Road, Noble Park

  • Sign the Change.org petition: Save Noble Park Velodrome before it’s too late!
  • Chuffed.org crowdfunding: Help Us Rebuild Noble Park Dandenong Cycling Club

  • How’s this for sheer determination to battle through adversity?! On Friday 1st March 2019, under the relentless and intense Noble Park sun, this young man, Ryan Koroknai, set out with one goal in mind, to ride 100km on one wheel at the Maurice Kirby Velodrome (MKV) to raise funds to help restart the Noble Park Dandenong Cycling Club Inc. and save the historic velodrome from demolition.

    What was a single man’s personal test, became a story of unimagined proportions. We had scores of local cyclists come out, lap records fall, tales of Ryan’s grandpa racing around this hallowed grounds and even three unannounced Japanese cyclists training on the track.

    By the time when the 100km mark had been breached on his unicycle, Ryan had one thing to say: “Water has never tasted so good.” We raise our glasses of water to you Ryan and your fighting spirit! You deserved every drop of it!

    Here’s that link again for anyone that wants to help kickstart the old Noble Park-Dandenong Cycling Club and be part of something big. NPDCC will only grow from strength to strength here on in.

    On a side note, the three Japanese cyclists remarked the MKV as a beautiful track to ride on. The velodromes where they are from all must be paid and booked before using and are not as relaxed as MKV compared to Keirin tracks. How did they stumble across the MKV? They googled for ‘velodrome’ on Google Maps and we happened to be the closest!!

    One man, one wheel, one mission

    Ryan Koroknai

    I had the honour yesterday of completing a task on the Maurice Kirby velodrome in Noble Park, which many believed was just about impossible. The 100km unicycle challenge. Nevertheless, I pulled my socks up (literally) and got to work.

    My first hurdle came 20km in where I had a nasty high speed accident, leaving me with a ripped skin suit and a lot of pain. All the training in the world wouldn’t have prevented the accident. It simply comes with riding a unicycle… but when you fall you get back up and keep going. As dad always told me, “finish what you start”. Those who know our family well, know that we don’t give up without a fight.

    The mission wasn’t just about completing the 100km unicycle challenge, it was a whole lot more than that. My mission was also to raise as much money for the Noble Park Dandenong Cycling Club and to show City of Greater Dandenong how important this velodrome is to the community.

    We had international riders from Japan came to the track by pure chance as they were looking for a velodrome to train at and Noble Park was the closest one.

    I feel very proud to be saving this iconic velodrome named after Maurice Kirby. I’m still in great disbelief with the current situation on the velodrome being fast tracked. But as they say … it’s not over till it’s over!

    I’d like to thank everyone for coming yesterday to support me especially family, friends and those who have supported my mission.

    To my Omi for being there through the 38C° heat in your wheelchair as you cheered me on is something I will never forget. To have completed the challenge on the track my Opi (Olympian grandpa) used to race on is something rather special.

    To my brother for staying the whole day counting 250 laps over 5hrs and for being my feed station.

    To Miranda and Will for your encouragement. Special thanks to Will for patching up my wounds and driving me everywhere.

    To my mum and dad for their endless support. Your words of encouragement and sheer presence was enough to keep me going. My unicycle was also homemade by dad the handyman.

    And last but not least, to the team at NPDCC, you know who you are… thank you for all your hard work to promote my ride whether that be a facebook post, radio broadcast, or an ad, it didn’t go unnoticed! So once again, thank you!

    Saving the Maurice Kirby Velodrome

    From Luke Mascioli: In 2002, the Noble Park Velodrome was renamed in honour of Maurice Kirby for his contribution to cycling in Australia. The Velodrome was home to the Noble Park Dandenong Cycling Club as well as the Pedals Club which at its height, had over 50,000 members Australia wide. In this video, Maurice Kirby’s daughter Gayle speaks about his legacy and the injustice it would be to tear down this iconic piece of local history.

    Saving Noble Park Velodrome – Maurice Kirby’s legacy

    From Cam Nicholls: The fundraising page for the Maurice Kirby Noble Park Velodrome: Help Us Save Noble Park Velodrome From Demolition

    In this video, I will share a story of a local velodrome in Melbourne’s Noble Park area that is currently under threat from the local council. There are proposed plans to bulldoze the Noble Park Velodrome and replace it with sporting grounds.

    We go behind the scenes to find out why the Noble Park Velodrome is an important asset to this local Melbourne community and cycling more broadly. Lastly, but certainly not least, Gaye Guest outlines why this cycling velodrome is considered to be a historic icon of Melbourne.

    Help Us Save Noble Park Velodrome From Demolition

    The Greater Dandenong area needs a cycling club

    We need to restart a cycling club to clearly show that our velodrome is not only used, but is appreciated by residents. Having a cycling club without a velodrome is like a football or cricket club without a home ground.

    And not just any cycling club. Our area needs bicycle friendly facilities for children, families and everyone to ride, learn skills and importantly, have fun riding a bike!

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    You can also follow us on facebooktwitter, instagram and wordpress.

    But there’s a problem

    Currently the existing Maurice Kirby Velodrome (MKV) at Dunblane Road, Noble Park is under threat from immediate demolition by Greater Dandenong Council(GDC). GDC have stated in their Parkfield Reserve masterplan that they believe there is no demonstrated need for the velodrome, as they also think there’s no cycling organisations in the area.

    Despite being badly maintained, MKV is required more than ever by the Greater Dandenong community. MKV is almost perfectly round, has no straights, has a gentle gradient and was designed and constructed for children in mind by the community and Noble Park Cycling Club in the early 1960s.

    Here’s what we’re going to do

    We need to reform the Noble Park Dandenong Cycling Club so we can work together to improve and expand cycling facilities in our area. We need to protect the Maurice Kirby Velodrome, ensure it’s resurfaced, DDA compliant, pavilions upgraded and all groups utilising Parkfield Reserve work together for everyones benefit.

    You can join us

    To restart a club requires a bit of cash, from getting a website, getting the website hosted, incorporation fees and necessary administration obligations. And we will inform you 100% on what the $2000 fundraising goal is used for.

    Here’s why you should support us

    You’ll be helping restart a historical cycling club with a huge history stretching back 100 years. You’ll be helping people who feel too intimidated by local roads around South Eastern Melbourne to share the simple joy of riding a bike. You’ll be helping to build a cycling community in Greater Dandenong, including if they ride for fun, transport, sport or training in another sport. You’ll also be helping to sustain the legacy of Maurice Kirby who created the Pedals Club of Victoria, which provided so much fun and enjoyment to children in the 1950s and 1960s.

    Thank you,

    Kim Nguyen, Greater Dandenong Cycling Initiative
    Marcel Lema, Beach Road Cyclist
    Chris Star, Yarra Bicycle Users Group

    PS: Please create a individual fundraiser page BEFORE making a donation if you want your contribution to be displayed

    Your story is important

    Include information about collecting social history about Noble Park Dandenong Cycling Club.

    Olympian Mick Hollingsworth rides Maurice Kirby Velodrome

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    Olympian Mick Hollingsworth rides Maurice Kirby Velodrome
    Video: Mick Hollingsworth, Kim Nguyen and Marcel Lema having a chat and gentle roll at Maurice Kirby velodrome, Noble Park.

    Article: Dandenong Journal: Olympian wheels into velodrome fight

    For much of his life, former Olympian cyclist Mick Hollingsworth rode by Noble Park’s Maurice Kirby Velodrome on the way to work.

    He cycled to work at a Gillette factory on Princes Highway, not far from the circular track that is under threat of demolition.

    He may have had only the occasional lap, but it’s the casual riders – the seniors or the kids learning to ride – that will miss this venue the most, he says.

    The mooted demolition by City of Greater Dandenong has activated the local cycling community.

    Mysterious disappearing velodrome signage: 2002 and 2018

    Take a look at these changes to local wayfinding by Greater Dandenong Council.

    Maurice Kirby Velodrome wayfinding circa 2002, image credit: Gayle George

    Maurice Kirby Velodrome wayfinding circa 2002, image credit: Gayle George

    Parkfield Reserve wayfinding, 3rd September 2018, image credit: Steve Barnett

    Parkfield Reserve wayfinding, 3rd September 2018, image credit: Steve Barnett

    Historical photos of Noble Park & Dandenong Amateur Cycling Club at Dunblane track

    Many thanks to Phil Stevens for sending these four great images of Noble Park & Dandenong Amateur Cycling Club and the Dunblane track from 1979 – 1982.

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    PhilStevens_NoblePark_DandenongACC_1982jpg

    PhilStevens_NoblePark_DandenongACC_1982_3

    PhilStevens_NoblePark_DandenongACC_1982_4

    We need your help to save the historic Maurice Kirby Velodrome in Noble Park

    Kirby5
    City of Greater Dandenong has put out plans to demolish the historic Maurice Kirby Velodrome to make way for an additional soccer field.

    The historic velodrome was built between 1954-1955 and named after Maurice Kirby, a Noble Park resident who started the Pedal Clubs of Victoria which reached 50,000 members strong.

    He was also a well known sports commentator for 3XY radio and Channel 9.

    This is the only velodrome remaining in the region and the City of Greater Dandenong have no plans to resurface, rebuild or replace the historic venue.