|Ralph Schürmann was born in
Although born into a family of cycling he never himself competed in the cycling sport himself. Once -during a 6-day-race in Münster- his father Herbert put him on a track bike and held him vertical to the surface into the center of the curve, which had some 56 degrees inclination. This was it for track cycling and Ralph. Even a beautiful "Cinelli" children-racing bike, which his father brought home from a job in Italy couldn't help.
Only later -after building tracks himself- he overcame this impressing experience and learned to ride a track.
|Ralph had a traditional humanistic and scientific
education and already early accompanied his father to many building sites
of cycle tracks.
Being still in the school he already helped his father to calculate tracks (at this time still on mechanical calculation machines).
In 1971 he could make his first practical experiences of building, when he was part of the carpenter crew for the Olympic track of Munich.
|Following the family tradition Ralph almost "automatically" started his studies in the field of architecture in 1973, which ended in 1982 after engineering and architectural diplomas at the academy of Münster and the Technical University of Aachen.|
|Like his father he first made his
own experiences as an employed architect with normal architectural tasks,
but when the health of his father Herbert went worse in 1985, he joined
the family office and started to continue the family tradition of designing
cycle tracks. Together with his father he designed and built his first
tracks and was introduced into all secrets and techniques of designing
and building tracks.
Since then he has already built 11 international tracks on his own. His masterpiece so far was the track for the World Championships in Hamar / Norway, on which not less then 4 world records were broken.
|Ralph is very much interested in
the scientific aspect of track design.
With today's help of sophisticated computers and own programs he is analyzing the design criteria of all the tracks, which have been built by the Schürmann-family and tries to still improve and refine the design methods. The basis of all is nevertheless still the practical and reliable experience of grandfather Clemens and his very successful evolution process.
In addition Ralph is not only designing the tracks, but also the complete stadium (The Velodrome) or hall. His latest work is the Cycling stadium in Cologne / Germany, which was finished in 1996.
|In cooperation with the Union Cycliste Internationale UCI and the
International Working Group for Sport Facilities IAKS Ralph published a
very successful booklet about the general design criteria of velodromes
(Project Guide Velodromes) . It shall serve as a guide to
architects or communities, who for the first time deal with the subject
of velodromes and cycle tracks and gives them the most needed information.
Presently Ralph is working on the new edition. (A reprint of edition 1 is again available).
|1st : Clemens Schuermann||Home||2nd : Herbert Schuermann|