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OBRA gets two-year commitment for racing at Alpenrose Dairy

Posted by on November 5th, 2019 at 1:25 pm

Spectators at Alpenrose Velodrome.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The latest twist in the Alpenrose Dairy sale saga is a good one for bicycle racing fans.

Announcement of Alpenrose Velodrome opening in 1962.

According to Oregon Bicycle Racing Association Executive Director Chuck Kenlan, they’ve been given at least two more years of permission to host bicycle races on the 52 acre parcel adjacent to the dairy business. The velodrome at Alpenrose opened in 1962 and is one of less than two dozen remaining tracks in the United States. Many people feared that the new buyers of Alpenrose would destroy the velodrome and build housing. Luckily, that fate has been avoided for now.

The sale of Alpenrose Dairy to Smith Brothers Foods was finalized in mid-October after a contentious lawsuit between members of the dairy’s founding family. While Smith Brothers now controls the dairy operations, the “community land” where cycling and other events takes place is still owned by Alfa Shattuck LLC.

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Yesterday we heard from Kenlan that he met with a representative from Alfa Shattuck LLC. “They have graciously offered a two-year commitment to allow OBRA continued use of the property for velodrome racing, equipment storage and event promotion through the end of 2021,” Kenlan shared. “They appreciate OBRA’s minimal impact on the property and have expressed their positive feelings for the organization. I am very pleased with this outcome and the opportunity to begin a strong partnership with them.”

Just to be clear, this agreement isn’t limited to the velodrome. It also includes cyclocross events like Blind Date at the Dairy and the Cyclocross Crusade.

Kenlan expects to have a signed agreement in hand by the end of this year and negotiations for future access will happen in 2021. He also said OBRA expects “minimal” overhead costs to operate the events.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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8 Comments
  • Avatar
    Kate November 5, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    I hope that also includes non-velodrome bicycle races like Blind Date and Cross Crusade. The statement sorta just sounds like velodrome use. Fingers crossed.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 5, 2019 at 1:53 pm

      It does include those Kate. I got that confirmation from Kenlan a few minutes after hitting “publish” and have updated the story.

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    Nick Youngblood November 5, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    I heard from an insider at Alpenrose that after the 2 years (which is consistent with the lease on the land ending) that the property will be up for sale. If true, OBRA should be thinking about a new home for a velodrome.

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      Steve November 5, 2019 at 2:53 pm

      Memorial Coliseum?

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    Dave November 5, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    In a society that tends more towards spectator sports than participant sports, it’s great news that a participants’ venue will stay available a couple more years.

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    Tom Howe November 5, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    The gentleman shown in the Alpenrose Dairyville Gazette is professional bike racer Frans Pauwels. He was instrumental in getting the Alpenrose Velodrome built, and in promoting cycling in Portland. This article from back in 2010 is a good read:

    https://bikeportland.org/2010/12/29/frans-pauwels-founding-father-of-portland-bicycle-racing-35117

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    middle of the road guy November 6, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Belgian colors are the best.

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    Vans November 9, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    This is great news, hopefully it can keep going after that, for now the legacy continues.

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