Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Salem velodrome proposal could mean track events by summer ’08

Posted by on November 21st, 2007 at 9:31 am

An architect has submitted a proposal to
build a velodrome inside this building
on the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem.
(Photo courtesy Oregon State Fair)

Back in September I shared the news about a potential new indoor velodrome coming to the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem.

Now it seems like plans are moving forward and Oregon just might host bicycle track racing at the State Fair as early as this summer. Steve Brown, a track racer and head of Portland Velodrome, says noted velodrome architect Peter Junek has submitted a proposal to Oregon State Parks for the construction of a portable velodrome inside the Pavillion Building on the State Fairgrounds.

A schematic of the proposed velodrome. The proposal calls for using velodrome-specific plywood made in Oregon.

Velodrome architect Peter Junek sent me this photo of a track in Ghent that is similar to the one he’s proposing in Salem.

According to Brown, Junek’s proposal calls for the new track to be completed in time for a Six Day race at the State Fair during the last week of August 2008. Brown says the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) is also proposing a 5-6 date racing series leading up US National Elite Championships and following in preparation for the first World Cup event.

Director of Oregon
State Parks, Tim Wood.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

If plans for this velodrome succeed, Oregon would instantly become a destination for national and international caliber racing and it could provide the momentum for similar velodromes to be built in other cities around the state (like Portland!).

Junek’s proposal will be submitted to Tim Woods, the Director of Oregon State Parks next week. Following the submission of the proposal, Woods will meet with Brown and OBRA officials to review the proposal and discuss the next steps.

Stay tuned for more developments.

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  • Dave November 21, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Wow. That looks like it\’ll make for a seriously steep, narrow track. What\’s the planned banking? Must be 45+ degrees…

    Sounds fun.

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  • stephen mclaughry November 21, 2007 at 11:23 am

    It will be a pretty tight track, but anybody who has ridden at Alpenrose will find it easier, smoother, safer, and faster.

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  • Jonathan Long November 21, 2007 at 11:28 am

    I\’ve got dibs on Zak as a six day partner, I just gotta get in shape!

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  • Jim Lee November 21, 2007 at 1:06 pm


    I pledged 50 bucks. Do I get the first ride?

    Jim Lee

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  • Joe November 21, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Great for kids to get into bicycle racing. This could Keep them out of trouble or doing something healthy..

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  • Dabby November 21, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Who will be paying for this? Really.

    And, if it is coming out of parks money and also portable, will it be moved up here for racing sometimes?

    Cause going to Salem sucks.

    And the racing population that should be served is primarily up here.

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  • Jon November 21, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    This is great and can only hope it helps tracks in Portland, Bend, Ashland and Coosbay get built.
    The racing population for this track will come from all over the state by design, I think that why it\’s at the state fair.
    This could be the 4-H of bike racing.

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  • joel November 22, 2007 at 7:32 am

    first thing i thought when i scrolled down to the schematic was \”this is gonna be a lot like t\’kuipke!\” (the gent \”bathtub\” – the ~170m velodrome that they hold their 6-day on) – the banking is definitely 45+, steeper than alpenrose, but i cant remember the numbers. the straights are so short they never get a chance to hit \”flat\”.

    and dabby, im sure this would cancel out at least some portion of the going-to-salem-suckage you cite. hell, id go to salem to watch racing on a 170m track. hell yeah.

    i think putting it at state fairgrounds is a great idea to reach a wide audience that otherwise might never see track racing.

    and indoors, theres also the potential for a 6-day with all the trimmings!

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  • Peter Junek November 23, 2007 at 8:04 am

    Six day race in Ghent is on now.
    T\’Kuipke track is 166.666 meters, 54 degrees steep.
    Track in Salem will be also 166.666
    (for records recognition)
    and only 50 degrees steep (our \”dernies\” are slower).

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  • joel November 23, 2007 at 10:43 am

    oh man. we really would get our own bathtub. SWEET. ive seen video of racing on t\’kuipke, and talked to friends who hit that 6-day every year, and its one action-packed track.

    though couldnt we just make it 54 degrees and get faster dernies? 🙂 c\’mon, you know you wanna…

    this is super-exciting news, and if it happens, i know what *im* doing next august… its only a couple hours bike ride away!

    the idea of a world-class indoor track in oregon gets me thinking all kinds of crazy dreams of world cup racing and full-blown packed-infield-beer-garden-live-music 6-days…

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  • Steve Brown November 26, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    Joel 10. That\’s what I\’ saying.

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  • Shaun Wallace December 7, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    If you build it, they will come.
    Well I\’ll come at least, and I\’ll bring a bunch from San Diego.

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