If you are wondering “WHAT THE HELL IS A VELODROME?!,” please proceed to the bottom of the post.
So I finally took the ol’ thighs to Portland’s own Alpenrose Velodrome and I think I may have been gravely stricken with the track cycling bug. Bother. Oh sweet, sweet bother.
So I thought to myself where in North America can I stand to live, now that I may need to live near a velodrome?
As always, I turned immediately to the internets to find exactly what I needed, a map of all the velodromes in north america. GUESS WHAT? There was no such map.
Well, now there is. Presenting…
My Map of Every Operational Velodrome in North America:
Note that not all of these velodromes are created equal. Just one in the US is indoor (in LA). Canada has two indoor velodromes, in Vancouver and in London, Ontario. The degree of banking (the angle of the walls that make up the turns aka the scary bits) vary significantly between tracks, as do the lengths. Portland’s velodrome is very steep and built to a mile standard rather than a metric one, leading to odd start and stop positions for metric events. The Mellowdrome in Asheville, NC is actually not a velodrome; the local cycling community has obtained an old automobile racing track. The track is neither properly ovoid nor truly banked (just 4-8 degrees compared to Portland’s 43 degrees).
And while several of the velodromes are either brand new or currently under construction, at least one has been neglected to the point of unusability – Dorais Velodrome in, you guessed it, Detroit. You can see from the air just how beaten up it is. You can read about that track’s decline and discover by the bike polo set here. I did not include the Dorais Velodrome on the map.
So there you have it. Don’t move to Omaha if you want to throb some serious quad on the track. As for me, I have to now throw my weight into a new bicycle subgenre, which means a possible new bike (spine shiver!). those who know me will not be surprised to learn that I am considering yet another life for my stalwort old Redline 925.
WHAT THE HELL IS A VELODROME?
It is nothing more or less than a special track built for bicycle racing. Numerous events, mostly of relatively short distance and blisteringly fast speed, can be held on the velodrome.
If you are in a track race, it might look like this:
And sometimes they look like this:
And I KNOW you want to see a crash, and I am happy to deliver. Make sure you watch to see Bauge’s legendary save.