The news earlier this week about the closure of Alpenrose Velodrome hit our community hard. As we take stock and think about what comes next, here’s something from reader that might help mend broken hearts.
This story is from former Portland resident Spencer Lueders:
I’m in Charlotte, North Carolina and just saw the news regarding the track and surrounding property. Very sad to see it. I wanted to share with you a personal story about Alpenrose.
I was clerking during my second year of law school at a Portland intellectual property law firm in the summer of 1998, and during my time there I visited Alpenrose. It was my first track racing experience, and I fell in love with the speed, finesse, and discipline.
Those feelings never left, and within 3 years I had developed a plan to build a velodrome in the Carolinas. That effort became the Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Without my experience at Alpenrose and the inspiration it gave me, the Giordana Velodrome — and the adjacent Rock Hill Supercross BMX track, road course, mountain biking, and CX — would not be. These cycling amenities have been the single largest economic impact driver in the history of Rock Hill, and have produced national and world champions while positively impacting the community and young people in particular.
So while this is the end of a legendary facility, its legacy carries on. The ripple effects can be seen all the way to the Carolinas.
Thanks for sharing that Spencer. Seeing images of Giordana Velodrome is so inspiring. I hope we can build something like that in Portland someday!
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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