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Thursday night races at the Alpenrose Velodrome Friday, August 17, 2007

Cyclists fly around the track in the Thursday weekly races Aug. 16 at the Alpenrose Velodrome in Portland. The track, one of just 20 in the U.S., is unique because of its particularly steep corners—about 43 degrees, 10 degrees more than a typical track.

I've been meaning to head out to the Alpenrose Velodrome for a few weeks, but hadn't found the time until last night. In the summer, they have some kind of action there every night.

Thursday night is reserved for the weekly racing series. This week was a "long points race" night—participants race 40 or 50 laps around the 268-meter track, with points going to the leaders at the end of each lap and double points awarded every fifth lap.

They also raced a "Madison," which is a two-person relay race. Team mates switch in and out throughout the race, catching a slingshot start from their partner every time they trade.

(right) Bikes litter the lawn as cyclists warm up for the Thursday night racing series. (below) John Schmidt puts air in his tires before hopping on the track.

(right) Category 2 rider Peter Drake pulls hard around the first corner in the Madison race.

(left) John Schmidt, right, throws teammate Terry Keele back into the Madison race.

(right) A spectator gets an overhead view of the long points race. (below) A couple enjoys a picnic at the Velodrome while cyclists compete.

(right) Patrick Wilder, left, and Karl Choltus watch the category 1/2 long points race from the infield.

Faithful readers may recall that I went to the velodrome last summer. You can see the blog posting from that visit here.