Comment of the Week: A voice for a velodrome

Welcome to the Comment of the Week, where we highlight good comments in order to inspire more of them. You can help us choose our next one by replying with “comment of the week” to any comment you think deserves recognition. Please note: These selections are not endorsements.

Friday’s post about development plans on the old Alpenrose Dairy property brought an outpouring of really impressive comments. Thank you! It was a good conversation which showcased one of BikePortland’s strengths—our moderated comment section.

BikePortland readers have much knowledge and experience, and when you share it you round out our stories and fill in needed background.

That’s what Mike Murray did for the Alpenrose story. The truth is, BikePortland is not the magazine that sits on your nightstand with the story inviting you to linger over it for ten pages. People will only read so many words per story on a screen. The Alpenrose story was already getting long so I didn’t feel like I could be expansive about the velodrome.

Luckily Mike (a longtime Oregon Bicycle Racing Association volunteer and official) stepped in to fill in the missing background. Here’s what he had to say:

Obviously I have a biased view on this subject as I managed the velodrome as a volunteer since the mid 80s. It would be wonderful if there was a way to retain the velodrome. Velodromes are very rare with only around 20 in the entire country. I have nothing against ball diamonds but even if groups have trouble scheduling time on ball diamonds there are WAY more ball diamonds even when viewed from a per capita user point of view. The catch, of course, is that even a smaller velodrome like Alpenrose takes up a lot of land space.

Alpenrose was one of the busiest velodromes in the country, right up until we were banned from using it. It has now fallen into disrepair but those issues could be addressed with no cost volunteer labor and materials in a matter of weeks, as we did for the last 40 years. Management of the program could also be done at no cost to the property owners, just as we always have. I’m not sure these things could be said about ball diamonds.

Thank you Mike! You can read Mike’s comment and the entire thread under the original post.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)

Lisa Caballero is on the board of SWTrails PDX, and was the chair of her neighborhood association's transportation committee. A proud graduate of the PBOT/PSU transportation class, she got interested in local transportation issues because of service cuts to her bus, the 51. Lisa has lived in Portland for 23 years and can be reached at

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11 months ago

To call Mike Murray “a longtime Oregon Bicycle Racing Association volunteer and official” is true, but perhaps a bit of an understatement.

Mike and Candi Murray are some of the primary godparents of Oregon Bike Racing:

Candi Murray – Special Contribution to Sports | Oregon Sports Hall of Fame & MuseumAlpenrose Velodrome Shut Down | Portland Cycling ( bunch of history about Alpenrose Velodrome can be found here OBRA: Alpenrose Velodrome History. Including its start in 1962 as a dirt track, hosting national competitions in 1967 and 1989, and much more.

Alpenrose velodrome has been the site of so much bike racing fun. It is very sad to see it go.

edit – after re-reading of the original article I see the link to track history page – sorry for the duplication!