Showing posts tagged dorais velodrome

Enter The Thunderdrome!

A while ago I reported on a guerilla urban renewal group called MowerGang who went and cleaned up Detroit’s abandoned Dorais Velodrome. Their mission was not to fully take on the restoration, but to invigorate the community’s interest.

And that’s where Thunderdrome comes in, a series of races taking place at the still-cracked and dilapidated Dorais Velodrome. Not just bike races either, we’re talking scooters and moped categories too — perhaps taking cues from these guys.

Given the condition of the track surface, it’s not really suitable for actual track racing yet. There will be a race category for road bikes and also a mountain bike course which strays from the velodrome surface a bit. Hey, someone should be throwing cyclocross races here!

All profits from Thunderdrome events will go towards restoring and revitalizing Dorais Park and the velodrome. Let’s see what you got, Detroit!

The first Thunderdrome race day is scheduled for Oct 16th. Check their website for more info and pre-registration.

[Picture stolen from Tracko]

A video about Mower Gang's weekend visit to the abandoned Dorais Velodrome which I posted about a couple days ago. Good to see this awesome DIY community initiative getting some coverage.

Read the full article at freep.com.

Pure Love — Mower Gang vs. Abandoned Dorais Velodrome

Mower Gang is a great DIY community collective whose goal is to reinvigorate abandoned and forgotten parks in the Detroit area. Armed with weedwhackers, lawnmowers and a whole lotta heart, they tackle the overgrowth and litter that have taken over some of Detroit’s unkempt playgrounds to help provide a place for children to play.

Yesterday Mower Gang visited the Dorais Velodrome, which has been abandoned for over 20 years. The outdoor concrete track is cracked with some serious weeds and bushes taking it over. As you can see, with just three volunteers and one day of work, Mower Gang made a huge difference.

Before:

After:

This is a very inspiring effort and goes to show that almost anything is possible if you’ve got just a small group of people with the “make it happen” ethos. What’s next for the Dorais Velodrome? Mower Gang definitely make it clear that their focus is to restore playgrounds for children since they aren’t physically capable of doing that kind of work. The folks who will be using this velodrome are active adults so its fate lies in the hands of Detroit’s cycling community. Mower Gang can only show you the door, you’re the one who has to walk ride through it.

So let’s see what you got, Detroit!

A huge salute and standing ovation goes out to Mower Gang. Not just for this effort but for all their endeavors in community restoration. Their next group mow is scheduled for August 28th at Riverside Park. Check out their website if you are interested in joining them (and I know you are).

See more photos at Norbert’s Flickr.


A website dedicated to the support and growth of grassroots track cycling, the comradery and heritage of the worldwide velodrome circuit and the roots and culture of fixed gear bicycle racing.

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