NORTHBROOK, Ill. -- From the air, it looks like a simple circular track. But on the ground we find the heart pumping excitement of track cycling at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome.
It’s the only one of its kind in Illinois and one of only 20 in the nation.
Josh Ryan is president of the Northbrook Cycle Committee and a former national competitor.
“A velodrome is a closed circuit race track,” he said. “It is banked on the turns so you can generate the speed and maintain a higher level of speed.”
No breaks, no gears and nothing but speed. Competitive cyclists can hit speeds upwards of 45 miles an hour on the 382 meter, 18-degree banked track.
The track was built in 1960 by former park district commissioner Ed Rudolph and is open to the public daily as weather permits.
They will teach anyone and Thursday night race nights draw experienced cyclists from all over the area and beyond. Monday nights they welcome new comers to learn the ropes.