(Photos: Emily Lace – More images here)
The Circulus, a 132-foot circumference wooden velodrome made as a senior thesis project by an art student in California, will get a second life thanks to a Portland-based bike company.
Artist Samuel Starr is a graduate of Pomona College who created the unique track as a senior capstone project last year. When Dan Powell, one of the founders of Portland Design Works saw a video of the track online this past summer, it left a lasting impression. When he heard it was for sale, he got in touch with Starr and the rest is history.
Here’s another photo of Circulus:
“When I saw the video that Samuel Starr posted,” Powell told us via email today, “I connected with it. I realized that Circulus was art, but totally functional at the same time… It was one of the coolest things I’d seen in a while, because it was obviously built by someone with passion. It was authentic, it was outside the box and it was unique.”
Powell has arranged to fly to Los Angeles to pick up the track, then he’ll load it into a rental truck and drive it back. When all’s said and done, he’ll have a mini-velodrome for about $3,500.
Just what exactly does he plan to do with it? “Ride it of course!” Powell says. What’s it like to ride? An article in the Los Angeles Times described Starr after a riding session:
“Whipping around the 132-foot circumference in less than five seconds a lap, he clocked about 1,600 circles, or 40 miles, one recent morning and, apart from a sore neck, seemed hardly the worse for wear.”
So far, the plan is to set up the track at the Portland Design Works Mothership (15 NE Hancock, same location as BikeCraft VI). Later this spring or summer, Powell plans to host an event with Circulus as the main attraction. “Personally, I’d love to see it under a circus big top on a summer night here in Portland. Revival style!”
Learn more about Circulus on Starr’s project website.