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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Detroit Thunderdrome - from their website


The Thunderdrome is our racing series for mopeds, pit bikes, scooters, geared road bikes, fixies and mountain bikes. It place on Saturday, October 16th, 2010 at the Dorais Velodrome in Detroit, MI. The ‘Drome is steeped in history – this is its tale.



B
ack in August, a group of renegade landscapers calling themselves The Mower Gang hit Dorais Park in Detroit, MI with tractors, hand tools and a fistful of determination. They literally uncovered a relic of a Detroit passed – a Velodrome, or banked racing track, built in the late 60′s amid the tensions and trials of the riots that broke out in the city only a few years prior to construction.

In 1967 or ’68 Mike began the project that would become the Dorais Velodrome located on Outer Drive and Mound Roads. The facility was finished just in time for the ’69 Nationals to be held. In the same time frame when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon, Mike stepped out on the infield of the Dorais Velodrome to return track racing to Detroit, another monumental feat by a determined individual. The Dorais Track had a useful life of approximately 20 years…By the 90′s that track surface had deteriorated to the point it was good only for BMX…Once again Detroit was without a Velodrome. —Link

In the 80′s, car gangs set upon the ‘Drome to hold illegal races at night. The heavy weight of the cars shifted the concrete pads and severely damaged the surface on the inside of turns, making it too costly to repair for such little use Dorais was seeing at that point. In the mid 90′s, a new Velodrome was being built outside of the city, far to the north in Rochester Hills – with that, Dorais Park was left to die.



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