M.C.V.A. Velodrome location found.

To all our Bicycling Friends,

Great news! We have found a “prime” location for the Marin County Velodrome. This is exciting and important, as there are few locations in Marin County that meet all our criteria for premium access, non-interference with neighbors and other delicate creatures, and compliance with zoning and environmental regulations.

We have met with a site development specialist representing the two remaining undeveloped land parcels on the #580 Highway business corridor from San Rafael to the Richmond Bridge. He is supportive of our effort for a velodrome there, but points out that this location may be too “premium,” as the City of San Rafael expects huge developmental fees and high long term tax revenue from the Box Stores and other businesses that compete for these locations. He suggests that we also consider more rural, “previously disturbed” locations, such as quarry, airport, industrial, etc. Marin County is the first choice, but Santa Rosa, Sonoma County may also present enticing options.

The important thing is to find the “right place.” This is a M.C.V.A. priority.

The San Rafael site representative is the President of a Company that “Builds Cities.” He is open to, and supportive of working with the Marin County Velodrome Association to assist in enabling us to build a velodrome at the San Rafael Hwy #580 location – or wherever else may be most appropriate.

This is a good step forward. Now we need funding for preliminary studies, reports, applications, filing fees, negotiations, etc.

The time for this is now. Please support the Marin County Velodrome Association.

Enthusiastically yours,

Gil de la Roza

Executive Director                                                                                                       Marin County Velodrome Association

P.S. (It has been suggested that a BMX Track would be a welcome addition alongside the velodrome, sharing the grounds, parking lot, restrooms and other facilities. The M.C.V.A whole-heartedly supports this.)

A letter from Stephen J. R. Wilde, Co-founder of Velo Club Tamalpais.

To Whom It May Concern,

Gil de la Roza and I, Stephen Wilde; began to share a vision back in the early ’70′s here in Marin when we realized that cycling was more than just a fun means of getting around. We were forming friendships with other like-minded people at a time when bicycles were thought to be little more than toys by most of society,

As our cycling grew more serious, we began to consider the possibilities of bringing together these bicyclists, and we wondered what we might accomplish for cycling as a whole. We definitely were not looking to just create another social club. This was a time of change in society, and the two of us being young idealists, envisioned more.

Thus Gil and I laid the cornerstone for Velo Club Tamalpais, which we conceived to be an instrument of change. We knew we didn’t have all the answers, but we knew they were out there, and we strived to create a groundwork that all could work within.

Velo Club Tamalpais has a proud and positive tradition here in Marin County’s cycling history. We did affect how cycling is perceived here in the county, work that goes on to this day through the excellent efforts of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.

Concerned V.C.T. members conceived and implemented a “Bicycle Safety” program for local schools so parents and kids could appreciate the validity of cycling in a safe environment here in Marin long before “Bike to School” and “Bike to Work” programs became commonplace.

Velo Club Tamalpais also became a solid road racing power. We changed sponsorship rules within the national organization, and many of NorCal’s best wanted to ride under our banner. Ultimately several V.C.T. Members became national champions.

The nucleus of the early mountain bike industry, for the most part, evolved out of Velo Club Tamalpais, with Marin now being considered “the home of the mountain bike”.

With all that said, Gil and I also laid the groundwork at that time for the Marin County Velodrome Association which unfortunately never acquired the necessary funding, despite receiving land appropriation from the County of Marin. While the concept of a velodrome here in Marin has remained dormant for years, the organizational structure has remained in place. I’m glad to see Gil de la Roza taking up the reins once again.

Marin & the north bay with it’s legions of cyclists deserves a velodrome. It needs to happen…

Yours truly,

Stephen J. R. Wilde, Co-founder Velo Club Tamalpais

The Whiskey-drome!

The “7 Gaynells” performed in furiously exciting races between from two to seven riders on an open fence track only 5 feet high and 20 feet in diameter pitched at the acute angle of 70 degrees. They also performed marvelous track and fancy riding. Their track became affectionately known as: The “Whiskey-drome”.




whiskeydrome speed
whiskeydrome sign


M.C.V.A. Executive Director Rides the Whiskey-drome.


whiskeydrome gil
whiskeydrome wall

The famous Whiskey-drome has been re-created by a group of Sonoma County artisans: Whiskeydrunk Cycles and the Fun Bike Unicorn Club. It was built slightly larger than the original, and was featured Saturday, July 20th at the Pedal-Fest at Jack London Square, Oakland, Ca.

The people who run it are great. They ride the Whiskey-drome with skill and daring, and encourage spectators to choose from a wide assortment of bicycles, and give it a try. Especially notable, is that they get little kids (who basically are very trusting and have no fear) up and riding. They had a little girl, (who is in the second picture above: second from left) on a little pink bike riding around the “track” on her own! After she tried to make the transition 3 or 4 times and got “bumped” back one of the guys just sort of ran beside her, lifted her “up” through the transition, and ran around holding her and the bike until she was stable and secure, and off she went! It was inspiring. The end of her ride was about the same in reverse.

The Whiskey-drome is truly fun, and safer than it looks. It is the only one in the U.S.A. Recently, there was another one built in North Hampton, U.K. Called the Bomber Drome. The build process is described in issue #11 of Boneshaker Magazine.

Gil – M.C.V.A.

Look For New Articles Here:

Look for new articles here. Soon to be coming:

  • The Art of Kevin Haapala.
  • Dale Hughes: velodrome designer.
  • The Sacramento Valley Velodrome project.
  • The Marin Museum of Bicycling and The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.
  • “Six Day Bicycle Race”, the movie, book, and CD.
  • The New York City velodrome project.
  • The World Singlespeed Championships.
  • and more…….

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