Velodrome will get facelift

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published February 6, 2013

ROCHESTER HILLS — The International Velodrome at Bloomer Park will receive a makeover this spring, thanks to a Michigan Department of Natural Resources grant.

The $45,000 grant was funded through the Michigan Recreation Passport Grant Program.

“This is made possible because the residents of the state of Michigan checked that box when they renewed their license to pay $10 for the Passport Grant,” Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said. “This is money coming back into our community.”

Bloomer Park is located north of Bloomer Road and east of Rochester Road. The Bloomer Park Velodrome, a stadium with a banked track for bicycles races, was built in 2001.

Funded entirely by donations and built by volunteers, the structure was given as a gift to the city and was designed by Olympic track designer and Rochester Hills resident Dale Hughes. Hughes pledged the required 25 percent match to the Recreation Passport Grant in labor and equipment necessary for the surface panels installation.

“After 13 years, the wood panels began to decompose, causing a rough ride for cyclists,” said Hughes, the owner of V-Worldwide of Rochester, in a statement. “Using the latest in technology and installation methods, the new surface will last 20-plus years.”

The International Velodrome at Bloomer Park is the only velodrome in Michigan and draws enthusiasts from around the state, Ohio and Canada. Hundreds of bike riders, ages 7 to 70, and thousands of spectators enjoy weekly events at the velodrome. More than 20 Bloomer Park riders have qualified for national and international championships. 

The resurfacing project is slated to begin this spring with the installation of new paneling and seam sealing on the track.

The project is one of only 19 approved of 82 Recreation Passport Grant Program applications, Barnett said. The Recreation Passport replaced the resident motor vehicle permit, or window sticker, for Michigan state park entrance in 2010.

“This has become a world-class facility right here in our own backyard,” Barnett said about the International Velodrome at Bloomer Park. “I am truly grateful for the generosity of Dale Hughes and the volunteers who have helped build and maintain this unique community asset. We thank the grant team and Dale and his team, as well.”