Discuss Detroit » Archives - Beginning January 2007 » Abandoned detroit velodrome « Previous Next »
Top of pageBottom of page

Ypsirocks
Member
Username: Ypsirocks

Post Number: 28
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 6:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A friend just sent this to me:

http://detriot.org/dorais/

Has anyone on the forum ridden this (or do they currently)? I'm dying to fly my bike home with me next time I'm in town.

Thanks,
Top of pageBottom of page

Jeduncan
Member
Username: Jeduncan

Post Number: 64
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 6:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Where is it? That's really cool! (though I prefer trails over paved riding any day).

but very sweet nonetheless.
Top of pageBottom of page

Ypsirocks
Member
Username: Ypsirocks

Post Number: 29
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 6:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think it's at eight mile and mound. Any other fixed gear riders on the forum (I like all kinds of bikes, this is what works for me right now). Not a fixed gear snob by any means.

R
Top of pageBottom of page

Kathleen
Member
Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 2104
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 6:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Some history about velodromes in Detroit, including the Dorais velodrome, which I believe was named for football great Gus Dorais.

http://www.m-bike.org/history/ TracksAndVelodromes.pdf
Top of pageBottom of page

Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 8591
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 6:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Where the heck IS this track?!

Oh shit, all it took was a google.

quote:

10/17/00

Back home in Michigan we have a dream that we are trying to make come true. We used to have a velodrome in Michigan. To be exact, it was the Dorais Velodrome located at Eight Mile and Mound.

Those who have ridden the Dorais Velodrome know the location; it's not a place you forget.

It doesn't matter when you rode the velodrome, even if it was when it first opened in 1969, you'd remember. It's not like the Los Angeles or Indianapolis velodrome in or near a college campus.

It's not like Kenosha or Northbrook that are located in a nice park. And it was never like T-Town, which is the cream of the crop for track racing.

No, our Detroit track was located in one of the "not-so-nice" areas. The drive to and from the track provided lots of scenery. Eight Mile is known for its irreputable dance places and the night brings out the corner workers.

The track had no boards at the top; if you got taken to the top you could just ride along the grass at the top of the track and hop back in.

The same could be said if you got pushed well below the pace line. The track had no bridge and it had no tunnel to get to the infield. Then again, no one wanted to go into the infield.

Everyone would park around the outside of the track where you could sit in your car and watch all the races and training rides. You could even look down on the burned-out cars, old tires, and dumped appliances that littered the infield.

When the velodrome wasn't being used as a track for bikes the locals took it upon themselves to use the track for their drag racing.

You could even see the skid marks on the track from these cars.

One time during a training session, we heard a police car chase. Low and behold if we didn't see the guy running from the police come running up, over and through our track to escape the police.

If it weren't for us riding on the track, I'm sure the cops would've driven onto the velodrome without much hesitation.

Top of pageBottom of page

Fishtoes2000
Member
Username: Fishtoes2000

Post Number: 185
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 6:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'll ride a lap on it when I'm in the area (though on a mountain bike, not a fixie.)

It's on the north side of E. Outer Drive just west of Mound. http://maps.google.com/maps?f= q&hl=en&q=e.+outer+drive+at+mo und,+detroit,+mi&sll=37.0625,- 95.677068&sspn=82.147548,75.23 4375&layer=&ie=UTF8&z=19&ll=42 .441966,-83.045373&spn=0.00244 1,0.003176&t=h&om=1&iwloc=addr
Top of pageBottom of page

Cman710
Member
Username: Cman710

Post Number: 264
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 7:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So, what is the condition of the velodrome now? Does it still look like it does in those pictures, with the abandoned, rusted car in the middle? On Local.live.com, it did not appear that the car was there, though I don't know how old the picture was.
Top of pageBottom of page

Charlottepaul
Member
Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 691
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 7:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wouldn't imagine that most fixed gear riders would find that track esp. attractive in its condition nor consider it as an asset in the City of Detroit.
Top of pageBottom of page

Ypsirocks
Member
Username: Ypsirocks

Post Number: 30
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 8:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It would still be fun to ride or at least visit. Lighten up for Christ's sake.

"and we're not gonna fall for the banana in the tail pipe"
Top of pageBottom of page

Lilpup
Member
Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 1882
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 8:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The old Dorais crowd have moved up to Bloomer State Park - http://www.velodromeatbloomerp ark.com/
Top of pageBottom of page

Jimaz
Member
Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 1736
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 8:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, I chatted with the guy that did the Bloomer park velodrome. I think he built a velodrome for some Olympic event elsewhere. It's pretty impressive. The Bloomer velodrome's only a few years old.

I've often fantasized about creating a velodrome in the shape of those charity coin funnels. Imagine the liability insurance!
Top of pageBottom of page

Ypsirocks
Member
Username: Ypsirocks

Post Number: 31
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 8:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm so bringing my bike home with me this summer.
Top of pageBottom of page

Bearinabox
Member
Username: Bearinabox

Post Number: 132
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 8:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bloomer's not a state park anymore. Engler sold it off in the mid 90s, and I think it's now owned by the city of Rochester (Hills?).
As for the Mound and E. Outer velodrome, is that park still open to the public? I drive past it all the time, but never stopped for a closer look.
Top of pageBottom of page

Lowell
Board Administrator
Username: Lowell

Post Number: 3734
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 8:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There are a number of pictures of the Dorais Velodrome in this thread: http://atdetroit.net/forum/messages/6790/72584.html?1147780842

Here's a taste.


Dorais Velodrome Detroit
For mountain bikes only!
Top of pageBottom of page

Jimaz
Member
Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 1737
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 8:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When I talked to the guy that built the Bloomer velodrome I expressed my concern about whether it could withstand the Winter weather (it's exposed to the elements) but he seemed very confident that they had taken that into account. He said it had already withstood one Winter with no damage.

Take John R. north to the end. Enter the funnel from the northwest of this pic:

Bloomer Velodrome


(Message edited by Jimaz on March 19, 2007)
Top of pageBottom of page

Flybydon
Member
Username: Flybydon

Post Number: 88
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 8:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

West side of mound road, Northwest of Outer Drive. By the old Soap Box Derby Hill. Dorais Playground.







Top of pageBottom of page

Billpdx
Member
Username: Billpdx

Post Number: 35
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 9:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What a cool place! Only in Detroit.
Top of pageBottom of page

Toolbox
Member
Username: Toolbox

Post Number: 1042
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 9:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Velodrome at Bloomer Park was built by Dale Hughes son in-law to Mike Walden who was one of the builders of the Dorais Velodrome. Dale built the track for the 96 Atlanta Games and has constructed many other steel frame wooden surface tracks throughout the world.

Dorais has produced many champions at the World, Olympic and National levels. The most recent high profile rider being Dearborns Frankie Andreau who holds the record for most Tours de France completed, not bad for a flatlander!
Top of pageBottom of page

Bulletmagnet
Member
Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 112
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 9:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Back in the mid 70’s, Mike Walden built a wooden velodrome that could be trucked wherever. A pal of mine (and his brother) would race on that thing. I was there "support" team. Mikes track boasted the steepest incline and shortest straightaway of any indoor velodrome of the time. This made for a rather challenging track. It was great fun watching the racers doing a "Madison" heat, trying not to collide while handing off the baton. When they would wipe out it was just amazing no one got killed, including the spectators.
Top of pageBottom of page

Toolbox
Member
Username: Toolbox

Post Number: 1043
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 9:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Jimaz

When I talked to the guy that built the Bloomer velodrome I expressed my concern about whether it could withstand the Winter weather (it's exposed to the elements) but he seemed very confident that they had taken that into account. He said it had already withstood one Winter with no damage.



The surface of the Bloomer velodrome is an industrial marine decking. If memory is correct it is 22 plys and all cut edges are sealed . It is a very robust material. I can tell you firsthand it is heavy.

quote:

Bulletmagnet

Back in the mid 70’s, Mike Walden built a wooden velodrome that could be trucked wherever. A pal of mine (and his brother) would race on that thing. I was there "support" team. Mikes track boasted the steepest incline and shortest straightaway of any indoor velodrome of the time.



You must have heard "You sons of bitches" often if you attended the board track races. That was a damn fast track. Dale Hughes, Billy Jake and many others had a hand in that track. It was in the remake of Little Miss Marker.

(Message edited by toolbox on March 19, 2007)
Top of pageBottom of page

Bulletmagnet
Member
Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 114
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 11:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Toolbox, thanks for filling in the blanks. I tell you what, that track was (is) a speed legend. The racers could reach unheard of speeds on those boards and all without breaks and a fixed gear. Your feet are strapped in the toe clips for better performance. The sew up tires were inflated to 120psi and sounded like iron on that wood. I never got any photos of our time in there, and I would love to see any that might be out there. We also raced in several out door events from Chandler Park, Birmingham, Belle Isle, and London Ontario. What was the name of Walden’s bike shop(s)? BTW, my grand father and Uncle Bill owned and operated B&B Bike shop on Harper and 13 for many, many years. I think the bike is still on the roof. Thanks for bringing it back Ypsirocks and all, good topic!
Top of pageBottom of page

Milwaukee
Member
Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 1048
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 11:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's really cool. There's a great velodrome in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It's well preserved though. Kenosha hasn't gone through the turmoil Detroit has. I hope Detroit or a community group can fix it up some day.
Top of pageBottom of page

Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2858
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 11:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mound between 7 and 8 Mile isn't the safest part of town, Milwaukee. It's a helluva lot more dangerous than 17th and Walnut in Milwaukee.
Top of pageBottom of page

Rhymeswithrawk
Member
Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 460
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 11:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! At the VELODROME! MONSTER TRUCK MADNESS! GRAVEDIGGER! BIGFOOT! And the metal-crunching might of ROBOSAURUS! Tickets just $5. See cars meet their doom at the VELODROME!
Top of pageBottom of page

Lvnthed
Member
Username: Lvnthed

Post Number: 29
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:03 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Damn LY,

Could you please give it a break with that , "It's Dangerous" stuff.

Here I was having fond memories about the place that I spent so many summer days as a youth, and you have to go and talk about how bad it is.

That kind of talk is just not necessary. I don't have that much time to bitch & moan about the obvious shortcomings of a neighborhood.
Don't you think that your just preaching to the choir.

Let's just enjoy the memories that we have of this once fun place for kid's.

And just for the sake of full disclosure; The area between 8 & 10 scare the hell out of me.
Top of pageBottom of page

Fishtoes2000
Member
Username: Fishtoes2000

Post Number: 186
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:26 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Some more answers...

I don't recall a car in the infield when I rode the track last fall. Yes, it's very open and easily accessible when the ground is dry. I bet the road back to the track from E. Outer Drive is a mud pit right now.

I had heard the reason the track was abandoned was it was built on a poor foundation. As the concrete shifted, the cracks grew too much to be repaired.

Still, the park and track would make a cool venue for a cyclocross race.

Walden's old bike shop is/was Continental in Hazel Park.

The Rochester-Utica State Park was split and transferred to Rochester Hills and Shelby Township. The new parks are Bloomer Park and Riverbend Park. The latter includes Joe Louis' old farm.
Top of pageBottom of page

Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2859
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:28 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Maybe Milwaukee will come over and suggest to the neighbors that their community group should fix it up as he stated should be done some day.
Top of pageBottom of page

Lvnthed
Member
Username: Lvnthed

Post Number: 31
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:57 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LY, That's a good Idea!

That place is what drove my creative juices as a kid in the early 80's. Me and my friends use to organize neighborhood competitions at Derby Hill, and I have the scars to prove it. I bet you would never think that a bunch of city kids could build a soap box car, let alone organize a competition with no adult supervision. Well, I guess you could, If you allowed yourself to think positively about anything that has to do with the city or it's inhabitants post 1965.
Top of pageBottom of page

Larryinflorida
Member
Username: Larryinflorida

Post Number: 25
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 1:49 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I remember quite well being one of the first local kids to sneak their street bike on it after it was first built in 1969. Seemed gigantic, then. Like I was on an Indy track.

The latest aerials show the car is gone. That google shot is a few years old.
Top of pageBottom of page

Larryinflorida
Member
Username: Larryinflorida

Post Number: 26
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 2:01 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lowell, do you remember when the toboggan ramp at Derby Hill burned down?

I once found a telephone pole with live phone lines on top of derby hill in the early 70's. I brought a phone up there, hooked it up and called my buddy on Bloom at the bottom of the hill and said "look out your front window" as I waved from the top of the hill.=)
Top of pageBottom of page

Milwaukee
Member
Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 1170
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, April 06, 2007 - 3:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Maybe Milwaukee will come over and suggest to the neighbors that their community group should fix it up as he stated should be done some day."

It should get fixed up, what's wrong with that? It's a great prize that the city's ancestors left for the people and now it is in bad shape. I find that sad and I want it to be fixed. Is that so outrageous?
Top of pageBottom of page

Jdkeepsmiling
Member
Username: Jdkeepsmiling

Post Number: 244
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Friday, April 06, 2007 - 4:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That looks like something that should be in the movie "Prayer of the Rollerboys." A hearty congrats to anyone who can name a star of that movie WITHOUT looking it up.

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.