It might seem like Minneapolis’s overenthusiastic support of bicycling has only recently bloomed, with the advent of Nice Ride and the Midtown Greenway. But in fact, the city’s appreciation for the two-wheeled locomotive extends back to the 19th century. We hosted the world’s first international six-day bike race in 1896 and set up an indoor cycling track in the 1930s.
Now, according to the Star Tribune, the cycling group MN Cycling Center dreams of hearkening back to these days and outfitting the city with a new indoor bike track. The group has proposed redeveloping Northeast Minneapolis’s Shoreham Yards into a velodrome and event center. They held a meeting Tuesday to get support and answer questions from the community.
The group, which currently uses an aging wooden velodrome in Blaine, is just getting the proposal-wheel turning. The current vision includes an indoor track and outdoor BMX track, with the cost of construction estimated to fall between $15-$20 million. The MN Cycling Center plans to seek city and state taxpayer subsidies if the proposal moves forward.
Turns out the velodrome would add a fairly unique aspect to the Twin Cities—there are just about a dozen in the nation. So even if your transportation interests lie elsewhere, at least you’ll have another fun fact to throw out at cocktail hour.