ROCHESTER HILLS — It’s some of the most exciting action you’ve probably never heard of.
And excitement, according to Carolyn Wells, is what the International Velodrome at Bloomer Park (IVBP) in Rochester Hills is all about, especially from July 20-22.
“It’s such a unique event we’re looking forward to,” Wells, the marketing manager for IVBP, said of the two-person Madison team races. “It’s awesome to be able to have something like this. And being an Olympic year, this is the time to get people out and get people enjoying this sport.”
The International Velodrome at Bloomer Park is one of just 26 velodromes in North America.
The races, which bring in elite riders from all over the country and Canada, serve as the signature event for the sport and the park.
The challenge, however, has been educating people about what’s really going on in their own backyard.
“This Olympic year, we’ve made a significant effort to let the community know about our unique facility,” Dale Hughes, IVBP designer and race volunteer, said in a prepared statement. “We have programs for cyclists every day of the week, and great racing action for spectators on Friday evenings. There is no better entertainment value out there.”
The international races are set to begin at 7:30 p.m. July 20. The event will continue at 7:30 p.m. July 21 and then conclude at 1:30 p.m. July 22.
Adults can purchase tickets for $5; tickets are free for children. Parking is $5 per car, but Wells said people are welcome to ride their bikes into the park or walk in for free.
“People are going to enjoy this,” she added. “The race action is just awesome. … It’s all hillside seating with general admission. So it’s great to bring the whole family out, watch some racing while you have a picnic or something. There are different age levels, and different distances and events and so on. There’s so much to enjoy.”
“The nice thing about Bloomer Park is, you don’t have to just sit and watch racing,” Wells added. “You can take breaks, walk around, come back and watch. There’s so much to do here. It’s going to be a great time for anyone that gives it a chance.”
According to the IVBP website, the Rochester Hills track was constructed in 2001 and officially opened in May of 2002. It’s an oval track, 200-meters around with banking ranges from 13 degrees on the straights to 44 degrees in each corner. The track itself is made of a specially coated marine-grade plywood and steel undercarriage.
A complete summer schedule for Bloomer Park and the race series can be found at www.IVBP.com.