Rochester Hills, MI – Velodrome you say? A bicyclist race & training paradise I say!
From the ashes of the Dorais Velodrome in Detroit emerged the shiny new INTERNATIONAL VELODROME AT BLOOMER PARK (IVBP) in Rochester Hills, Michigan. The history is quite a saga.
Russ St. John, a Board Member of the WOLVERINE SPORTS CLUB spoke to me about it. Bruce Carlson, the Manager of the IVBP and Gene Diggs, who helped built the boarding on the tracks filled in more facts for me too.
Lead by Mike Walden, the Dorais Velodrome was built in 1969 by the Club. Until 1990 the Club used said track for training and racing. In the late 1990’s, after the Club discovered the great Bicycling facilities during a Championship Season in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Club wanted a new place to race & train. The Club’s Board lead by Leonardo Genola’s idea of building a new track as the Dorais was not up to par for the club came about. Dale Hughes, the Son-in-Law of Mike Walden, was an expert Velodrome builder (having built around 20 during his career) and explained about $100,000 was needed to build a new Velodrome. Mr. Genola got the $100,000 commitments from various sources. In 2000 the hole was dug and such and in 2001 the structure itself was put up. The neighborhood thought is was going to generate crowds and traffic but soon found it didn’t.
The City of Rochester Hills gave the Non-Profit the ground to build. Then the finished product was given back to the City but is maintained by the Organization. Money to support the track is raised via contributions, fees for training and equipment and race-related fees. There are also constant Bicycle Shows held in the center of the track periodically.The track attracts cyclists with moderate experience as a training tool. Alot of folks here mentioned the growing love of Cycling. This is hard-core bicycling not for the faint of heart. There are constant Races here which brings on the grandeur of the Tour de France atmosphere. This place isn’t going anywhere soon…nor will it wind up like its predecessor Dorais.
It is $200.00 a season to ride or $20.00 per use at this state-of-the-art velodrome. Bicycle rentals are $20.00 per use. From children to Adult Bikes are available. A great sport with a amazing facility & trainers- this place is a great find for this sport. From a Sports Club training Facility to a Community-sanctioned sports Park, the INTERNATIONAL VELODROME AT BLOOMER PARK is a gem for Oakland County. The ideas of personal achievement and honor transcend to the Community. Everyone benefits.