Alpenrose Velodrome is one most exciting tracks in the United States. At 268.43 meters around with a 16.6 meter radius and a 43 degree bank, Alpenrose is also one of the steepest velodromes in the country. The steep banks make races on the velodrome interesting to watch and just plain fun to ride. Alpenrose is still home for the only North American Six-day race.
Because Alpenrose track is not your typical 25 to 33 degree banked track (it is between 42 and 43 degrees on both banks according to one grade meter), so at least one or two training sessions are recommended before venturing out for a mass start race. You especially want to get use to riding the short radius corners although the upper transitions have been improved for safety.
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The Alpenrose Velodrome is one of the few tracks without a lock and key. Riders are allowed to come ride the track any day of the week as long it is not during an organized track session. Monday through Friday evenings are reserved for scheduled practice and race nights, the only other thing to worry about are scheduled weekend events. (Alpenrose Velodrome schedule)
Mike Murray has made bike lockers available this year on a first come first serve basis. These are going for $100 a year. If you come in from out of town, you might work a weekend deal if they are not all taken, but nothing has been worked out yet. Contact Mike Murray for more info.
Make sure that your bike is in good condition and remember during race nights only track bikes with no brakes, fixed gear, no quick releases, plugs in the bars, etc. Make sure that your tires are glued on well, and if you have a new tire, scrape it on the ground on the edges to make sure that it will not slip in the corners. The minimum speed to safely make it around the corners is 12 mph or 19 kph. This varies with poor, brand new, or over inflated tires, so be careful.
The only cost to race at Alpenrose is an OBRA membership ($5/day, $15/year), $5 for Wednesday practice, $10 for Thursday Night races ($5 for juniors, kiddie kilo is free) and $5 a night for a rental GT track bike with clincher tires.
Alpenrose seats about 500 spectators, but has ample room in the grass along the velodrome for easily over 500 more. Riders take over the grass infield during races. During the weekends and some evenings when softball and baseball games are being played the upper bathrooms and concession areas are opened up. During most weekday races only the lower bathrooms (closer to the track) will be open. Racers can use also use the portable toilets on the infield (May through the end of August). During most races there is only the water fountain on the infield, so you may want to bring your own water and be sure to bring your own food. And, while there are showers in the lower bathrooms, they are normally locked.
Marriott Courtyard (503) 684-7900
Very close to the track:
Pepper Tree (217 @ Allen) (503) 641-7477
On the Barbur Blvd./Capital Hwy side (Southeast of velodrome):
Scandia Lodge Suites (kitchens, etc) - Barbur Blvd @ Capital (503) 244-0151
Hospitality Inn (Barbur & Capital) - (503) 244-6684
Near Washington Square (southwest of velodrome):
Phoenix Inn - (Greenburg Rd) - (503) 624-9000
Courtyard by Marriott (Hall & Nimbus) - (503) 641-3200
Howard Johnson Express (Pacific Hwy) - (503) 245-6421
Days Inn (Pacific Hwy) - (503) 246-8451
For those of you who will be coming from out of town and need a place to stay, please contact the Murrays (Candi and Mike) at (503) 661-5874 and they will try to help out. For the Alpenrose Challenge, Meg and Paul Mautner coordinate housing. They can be reached at (503) 452-7786 or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can call the velodrome for information on rain delays or other information during events: (503) 246-0330.
Alpenrose Velodrome's address is 6149 SW Shattuck, Portland, Oregon. One way to get to the track is to take the Terwilliger exit (297) off of I-5, then go straight for half a mile (north) on Bertha Street or Terwilliger to Highway 10 and take a left (west). Follow Highway 10 for 2 miles, also called the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, until you get to the Wendy's (on the left) and take a left (south) on Shattuck Street. Follow Shattuck for about half a mile, until you get to the Alpenrose Dairy, on the right (6149 SW Shattuck). (Overview map, detail map)
Alpenrose has ample parking. During off hours, just come into the dairy and park next to the track. During weekday races you will likely need park slightly to the north of the track and doubled up. During larger events riders will park behind the track or in the rodeo area and enter the velodrome from the rear while spectators will park either in the front parking lot area just before the velodrome (room for about a 1,000 cars) or if they are lucky they make it to just in front of the velodrome. Officials will be parking in the area that the riders use during the weekday and local weekend races. Remember that we share the dairy grounds with other events and be on the look out for little softball, baseball and go-cart kids running around.
While July and August are the driest months, Alpenrose has very few rain outs during the season. Detailed temperature records are available for Beaverton. During events, you can call the velodrome to check for rain delays: (503) 246-0330.
Before getting on the track:
A few simple rules that make everyone's day a little safer. The primary rule is to always look where you are going and know where other riders are and how fast they are going. Riders at speed can cover half the track in under 8 seconds so watch out. Once down to the infield (never cross the track during a race) test out your bike on the apron (during general warm-up) or warm-up circle (during a race) before going on the track. This means making sure your front wheel is on good, rear cog will not come loose, handle bars and seat are in tight, all other parts are attached and your bike feels ok.
Warming up before a race:
Once you get ready to get on the track during general warm-up take a few laps on the apron first. Then look across the track to see who might be getting ready to do a fast lap then look over you right shoulder and if it is clear go up track to above or near the blue line. Remember to keep your arms loose, try not to death-grip the bars and look beyond the wheel in front of you when riding on the track (These all help reduce the chance that you will over-react to a situation). You should always enter and leave the track at the start of the straights to give yourself time to get up to speed and slow down. Only if you want to get up to speed or get in a pace line should you venture down near the black line. The red line to the blue line is usually reserved for riders who are passing or pulling off of pacelines so try to keep above or at the blue line when going slower on the track, or just ride on the apron.
Never go very slow (under 15 mph) while warming up as you could slide down track taking out a paceline or two along the way. Listen for things like "stay", "stick" or "hold", and don't go up track if you here this even if it is your turn to pull up track. While faster riders do get the sprinters lane it is the rider who is passing that needs to pay attention and go around the slower riders who are also in the sprinters lane. Remember the important thing is to be aware, ride a straight line and look first. If there is a crash or mishap, the riders involved will "use" gravity and go down track, so you should always attempt to ride above them and go up track. Riders with a mishap should head towards the apron or infield and never go up track as this may just make it worse (gravity).
During a Race:
Attempt to ride as close to the main group as you feel possible. Remember that the sprinters lane (between the black and red at the bottom) is the fastest line, so use it when possible, especially if off-the-back. It is fine to pass around the top or underneath as long as you have room. (Do not pass underneath riders that are already in the sprinter's lane.) Always give yourself room when passing as other riders may choose to pass at the same time and may not notice you from behind. When being passed by faster riders always hold your line. While it is better to be high on the track when the group passes, both to allow the faster riders to race and give you a chance to use gravity to get back up to speed, do not attempt to go up track at the last second and make the faster group go even higher to try and pass. As long as you pay attention to the other riders you should be fine.
The basic rules always apply. Communication is important, always let people know anytime you are doing something that may catch everyone else by surprise. You must always wear a helmet whenever you are on your bike at the track. Do not try to ride the track when wet, you will fall. Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Ride counter-clockwise only. Glass containers are bad. No swearing. Have fun. Play hard. Smile big.
– Jamie Mikami