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Detroit’s lost velodrome

August 21 2013 | no comments

velodrome ff-2

One of Detroit’s tarnished jewels was once a world-class facility where Olympic hopefuls trained.

A long-forgotten velodrome is being rediscovered and reinvented.

It was known as the Dorais Velodrome, located off Mound near Outer Drive on the city’s east side.

In 1969, it  opened to great fanfare and acclaim for a national championship bicycling race.

It was the center of the Michigan track racing universe in Detroit, and remained so until illegal car racing and the elements buckled the track.

The velodrome was deemed too costly to repair…and was abandoned for 20 years, until a group from the Detroit Mower Gang rediscovered it.

A group led by Andy Didorosi created a quirky annual event featuring bikes, scooters and mopeds…called the Thunderdrome.

This year’s event is scheduled for September 21st and 22nd.

The group is hoping to officially adopt the Dorais park and hope to rebuild some of the facilities there.

Click here to go to the Thunderdrome website for more information on the event and tickets.

 

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