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Alpenrose Velodrome, we hardly knew ye

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Alpenrose Velodrome, we hardly knew ye

Old 02-23-21, 10:31 PM
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Alpenrose track closed permanently - Portland Oregon

https://bikeportland.org/2021/02/23/...sed-327021News release from Oregon Bicycle Racing Association:

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

Thatís 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.
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Old 02-23-21, 10:58 PM
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Sad news - I just saw this myself in a Jerry Baker Velodrome update on FB. Can't believe they can't try to find a workaround to save the v-drome

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Old 02-24-21, 02:56 AM
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Alpenrose Velodrome, we hardly knew ye

The Oregon Bike Racing Association sent out an e-mail this morning informing its members that we would no longer have access to the Alpenrose Velodrome and surrounding facilities, which have been the heart of bike racing in Oregon for over 50 years. It's a sad day for us here. While I've never mounted the walls of the velodrome, I have participated in 62 cyclocross races on the grounds a dozen or two of which have involved passes through the velodrome infield. The Cadonau family which had owned the dairy which hosts the velodrome sold the business and the property to a Seattle-based dairy a couple of years ago. OBRA negotiated a year of access with the new owners, but that year was 2020. Now the new owners have decided they're done with us.



It was nice while it lasted.
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Old 02-24-21, 03:45 AM
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Money wins. Vision loses. Alpenrose Dairy's park grounds in which the velodrome was located, up on one of the ridges between Portland and its nearest big 'burb city, Beaverton, was and could have continued to be, a nice, wooded recreational spot. The velodrome was just one of the park's attractions, which included as well, a softball field, quarter-midget kid's racing, an old west opera house, and other attractions I don't recall. This wasn't a typical amusement park at all, with carny rides and lots of asphalt parking lot.The demand for housing is great, and the temptation to go for big money from condo developers probably is also. It's kind of too bad. Continued use of the land for a park, would be good for this area. But...parks cost money, while housing makes money. Now, Portland has no velodrome available for use.
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Old 02-24-21, 08:49 AM
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Sad day! I tried it out once and determined I needed more miles on the body!
Did Easter egg hunts multiple times with the kids as we lived only half a mile or so away.

I suspect they will bulldoze it down, and turn the land into housing development.
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Old 02-24-21, 08:54 AM
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Old 02-24-21, 09:01 AM
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Sad day. I'm not a trackie and I hung my numbers up 40 years ago, but I live 2 miles away and have watched many races there. Stopped by returning from rides to see if anyone is there training. Loved the AVC challenge every July. When it was going full tilt I got to see racing like I thought I would never see in this life. Got to know good people there. Watch beginners start off being coached to ride the banking by people both very good at it and passionate about sharing the love and skills.

The entire park was a huge gift from the Cadonau family to Portland, Oregon and young people. Serious 1/4 Midget racing. The softball World Series. The velodrome and cyclocross. It will be missed. I may be altering rides just because it's going to hurt going by.
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Old 02-24-21, 09:54 AM
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Old 02-24-21, 10:44 AM
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Sorry to hear this. My sis lives in PDX and we took a trip to the velodrome in 2005! Here's some pics. I recall how steep the banking is compared to the local Northbrook track.







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Old 02-24-21, 12:09 PM
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Dang, Portland is shutting something down that's bicycling related?! I think hell shall be freezing over shortly.
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Old 02-24-21, 12:37 PM
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@thinktubes

It was the steepest in the country when it was built, still no. 2 I believe.
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Old 02-24-21, 12:57 PM
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Agreed. 43į banked turns are right up there with the steepest tracks in the world (and many of those are indoor tracks). Climbing up those banks as a kid in the fall/winter well before I knew what it really was, was pretty difficult. I've ridden Marymoor Park's (Jerry Baker) velodrome with it's "relatively sedate" 23į banks and I find nearly doubling that to be a bit crazy. I'd still love to try it, but it looks like none of us will now. Guess they'll have to figure out a way to smooth the JB track's turns because it basically feels like you're riding an oval version of Seattle streets. Don't know if that was the intent.....
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Old 02-24-21, 01:08 PM
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When I tried and failed, it was a hard right turn to go left! Can you tell I am not track guy! I couldn't get the speed up, in my condition, to negotiate one lap!
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Old 02-24-21, 01:40 PM
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Had some comments that disappeared in the thread merge so excuse me if I repeat myself.
Some great riders were developed at Alpenrose, including the late Steve Maaranen, 2x national champion in the 10 mike and Olympian in Mexico City. And at Alpenrose, riders did develop. Once I learned to ride Alpenrose, every other track I rode was a piece of cake. I am glad I got the experience.
But as sad as I am to see it go, I am amazed that it lasted as long as it did. The track itself was flawed.The original design was for a longer track but due to space limitations, the straights were shorted, leaving transitions that would make catching air a real possibility if you weren’t alert. And because it was so close to already existing housing, lights could not be installed.
Then there is the site. A public use recreational facility on private land was an amazing bit of philanthropy, but it’s existence hinged on the the continued generosity of the owners. Once the Cadeau family started suing each other, the end was near. A transfer of the land to the city or Metro would have been a really good idea 25 or even 10 years ago, but with land values being what they are, that is not going to happen in today’s economy. Plus there are ongoing issues with the neighbors. While Alpenrose no longer has cows on the property, as they did at one time, it still is an operating dairy manufacturing facility with its share of dairyish smells from time to time. There are some neighbors who would prefer that no trace of Alpenrose remains in the future.
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Old 02-24-21, 02:17 PM
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@Andy_K, Cyclocross record holder for several years running:

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Old 02-24-21, 02:33 PM
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More cyclocross at Alpenrose. Knowing that there was a good chance that Alpenrose would close down, late 2019 Andy was bugging me about coming down to watch a cyclocross race. Since I live less than 2 miles away from Alpenrose it was hard to say no. I'm glad I went


About 5 years ago I rode down to the track to check it out. Interestingly enough, there was no fencing, nothing to stop anyone from taking a spin around the track. It took several laps to even get the courage to climb up the steep banks. @SJX426 is correct, you need to turn right to get up on the bank to go left.
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Old 02-24-21, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Dang, Portland is shutting something down that's bicycling related?! I think hell shall be freezing over shortly.
The place is going to hell in a handbasket. Velocult, then Rivelo, Norther, now this.

Might have to bail on this place in a couple of years and open that co-op we discussed.

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Old 02-24-21, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
More cyclocross at Alpenrose. Knowing that there was a good chance that Alpenrose would close down, late 2019 Andy was bugging me about coming down to watch a cyclocross race. Since I live less than 2 miles away from Alpenrose it was hard to say no. I'm glad I went

https://youtu.be/gqQLvftanwg

About 5 years ago I rode down to the track to check it out. Interestingly enough, there was no fencing, nothing to stop anyone from taking a spin around the track. It took several laps to even get the courage to climb up the steep banks. @SJX426 is correct, you need to turn right to get up on the bank to go left.
Always been that way, if there was no event or session going on, anyone could try their luck which especially in recent years was amazing given the litigation society we live in.
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Old 02-24-21, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Always been that way, if there was no event or session going on, anyone could try their luck which especially in recent years was amazing given the litigation society we live in.
My thoughts exactly. It felt like I was getting away with something the one time I rode around it.
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Old 02-24-21, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
My thoughts exactly. It felt like I was getting away with something the one time I rode around it.
I always thought it suffered from being a well kept secret, most people didn't believe it.

We rode it several times back in HS and of course I had planned to get there again but snoozed and losed, again.
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Old 02-24-21, 05:49 PM
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I moved to Portland in '98 for a job on the eastside. A coworker kept telling me about Alpenrose, the velodrome way out on the west side. Bought a house in Garden Home (a short mile south of Gugie) but never looked into the velodrome because "way west" was Hillsboro! It was several years before I discovered it was only two miles away!
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Old 02-24-21, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by wsbob View Post
Money wins. Vision loses.
That's it, in a nutshell. I raced for several years on (what is now) the Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome in Redmond, WA but never even rode Alpenrose. Sad news.

Scott Peterson
Newport OR
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Old 03-01-21, 12:13 AM
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Went out today, drove right in like always, pulled up to the track, saw 3 other guys there that had rode in then saw the barriers maybe 100 ft. out of the turns. Got my bike out of the car and we made 1/2 track laps, 1/2 cross laps around the barriers, beautiful day, great fun.

Yes I got pics but can't get them uploaded yet, standby.
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Old 03-01-21, 02:12 AM
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