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Alpenrose Velodrome and event site is permanently closed

A cyclocross race at Alpenrose in 2019 and the cover of the Dairyville Gazette from August 1962.

The beloved racing event site at Alpenrose Dairy is now permanently closed.

That’s the terrible news just released by the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) in a statement released this morning from Alpenrose Velodrome Director Jen Featheringill and OBRA Executive Director Chuck Kenlan:

Dear OBRA and Alpenrose Velodrome Friends,

Although we expected this someday, we are sad to inform you that the Alpenrose Dairy property has been permanently closed to events and all other uses. For us, this includes the velodrome and the surrounding property that is used for cyclocross races. Although we knew that this day would probably come, it is disappointing to not get one final year of racing at this historic property.

We are incredibly grateful to the entire Cadonau Family for the decades of generosity to the Oregon community by allowing all of the groups the use of the land and facilities free of charge. It is truly the end of an era.

Many of us have fond memories of the AVC, the Six-Day, and all the weekly track racing series that introduced so many people in our community to riding one of the most challenging velodromes in the country. There are memories of the first Cross Crusade race in 1994 which was also a Super Cup race and the epic Crusade season openers in the following years. In 2009, Tony and Joe started the Blind Date Series which brought new racers to the sport of cyclocross every Wednesday night in September for 11 years.

We invite you to share your memories of racing at Alpenrose on the OBRA Facebook page here: facebook.com/ORBicycleRacing and the Alpenrose Velodrome Facebook page here: facebook.com/groups/AlpenroseVelodrome.

Alpenrose opened to bicycle racing in 1962 and has become a premier destination for track and cyclocross races ever since.

Alpenrose hosted the U.S. National Road Racing Championships in 1967. In a cover story for the October 1967 issue of American Cycling magazine journalist and photographer Peter Hoffman described it as “Portland’s finest hour.”

In March 2019, the sale of Alpenrose Dairy, the corporation headquartered on the southwest Portland property, sent a scare into the community that its new owners might decide against hosting large public events at the site. Those fears were put on hold when it appeared the new owners would allow racing to continue.

In the end, the potential of a multi-million payout to develop the very valuable real estate we used to ride bikes on proved to be harder to pass up than that person in front of you on the wonderfully dreadful, off-camber muddy section on that hill in the back corner of the property.

While today’s news isn’t a huge surprise for those close to the recent sale and ownership battle, it doesn’t make it any easier to accept.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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