Posts Tagged ‘racing’

Elsa Von Blumen & Detroit’s first indoor bicycle track

Friday, January 26th, 2018

Some might think the new Lexus Velodrome is Detroit’s first — or even the first one indoors. It’s not. The Dorais Velodrome isn’t either.

In fact it’s challenging to know how many bicycle tracks Detroit has had since many were built just for a specific event.

One of those — and perhaps the first  — was built inside the former Music Hall for an endurance event in 1882.  Ms. Elsa Von Blumen (a pseudonym for Caroline Kiner) had come to Detroit in an attempt to ride 1,000 miles in six days, something she’d accomplished in Pittsburgh during the prior December.

Von  Blumen was born in Pensacola, Florida (or Kansas?), and not unlike Susan B. Anthony, moved with her family to Rochester, NY .


Detroit Criterium in Downtown is tomorrow!

Friday, July 8th, 2011

From bagels to bike racing, Detroit is getting a Do It Yourself reputation — at least in the media.

The Detroit News is reporting on tomorrow’s bike race in Downtown Detroit.

Downtown Motor City hosts its first bicycle race in more than 20 years Saturday with Criterium Detroit City, which is expected to draw at least 1,300 and is the latest example of a young Detroiter fusing D.I.Y. energy with corporate backing.

Criterium is the brainchild of 28-year-old Erika Fulk, who was tired of defending Detroit to non-Detroiters.

“I did it mostly out of spite,” Fulk said. “This is my city ? come and see it. You’ll see how amazing it really is.”

More details about the race — whether you’re participating or spectating — are on their Criterium Detroit web site.

Criterium Detroit City set for July 9th

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Plans are well underway for another USA Cycling race in Detroit this summer called… Criterium Detroit City.

Imagine Tiger Plaza at Comerica Park decked out with banners and flags, both sides of the street filled with thousands of screaming spectators ringing their race bells and cheering on their favorite cyclists as they battle it out lap after lap.

Our primary goals for the race are to promote cycling as an excellent activity for living a healthy lifestyle, recreation, exercise, and transportation and to promote the city of Detroit as vibrant, fun, entertaining and livable, to both city dwellers and especially those new to the city.

Erika Fulk is one of the race promoters. Fulk was very involved in event planning for the 2010 Tour de Troit, so we’re quite confident this will be another great cycling event in Detroit.

It looks like a great course, too.

Of course, we’d love to see this become an opportunity for Detroit’s youth to get a taste for competitive cycling — or just cycling in general.

Criterium Detroit City is also on Facebook.

The other USA Cycling race in the city of Detroit is the Mad Anthony cyclocross race at Fort Wayne.

Detroit bike racing: a hit and a miss

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The Hit — Mad Anthony Cyclocross

October 23rd is the second annual Mad Anthony Cyclcross race at historic Fort Wayne on the Detroit River.

The course features the usual cyclocross mix of grass, dirt and pavement,BUT there are also “150-year old cobblestones as well as the famous ‘TUNNEL OF TORTURE’, a 25 meter tunnel thru the walls of the old fort.” Sounds painful.

Last year’s race was super successful as this video shows.

The Miss — Thunderdrome

This was a great idea — bring some racing back to the city of Detroit’s famous Dorais velodrome. The promoters and Mower Gang have put in some serious effort to repair the old concrete track.

Unfortunately they didn’t put that same effort into getting approval from the city’s Recreation Department. The event is a “no go” according to the Recreation Department.

We thought it was odd to read about this event in the Detroit News when the promoters hadn’t yet spoken with the city about having it — and the event was less than three weeks away. Also, their claims of not being able to “reach the Detroit parks department” rang hollow. Detroit’s mayor, directors, and city staff had never been more available during the previous couple weeks with the Detroit Strategic Framework public meetings.

We tried helping out by emailing our Recreation Department contact information to the promoters. We also sent them some leads on event insurance since they didn’t have any.

As it turned out, Alicia Minter, Director of the Recreation Department had read the same Detroit News article and contacted the promoters to “assist them on event requirements.”

Yesterday, we sent another email to the promoter to make sure they’d gotten everything worked out with the city. Their response: “Yes, we met the city’s event insurance policies and we are all set.”

Not true.

According to the Recreation Department, “They have not met the requirements.” And the deadline for those were yesterday.

Minter responded, “It’s a no go. Did not receive any information.”

UPDATE, 10/15/2010 at 12:18pm: We just got an email from the Recreation Department saying that the event is now a go.

It’s really a shame the event promoters didn’t plan this properly from the beginning, work with the city, and have a successful event like Mad Anthony. They tried building and hyping an event before building a good foundation — ironically one of the problems with the velodrome, too.

Someone mentioned that it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission, but this isn’t about being right or wrong. It’s really about liability, which is pretty significant for motorized competitive racing that charges fees and serves beer.

In a city that is self-insured, the money to defend lawsuits and pay settlements comes from the same fund that pays for police and fire. This city — actually any city — is in no position to increase their risk.

People don’t sue for forgiveness.

UPDATE, 10/15/2010 at 12:18pm: We just got an email from the Recreation Department saying that the event is now a go.