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Archive for September 2010


Drome Prep

Bobcat brush hog combo raw diesel power.

Prep Work

We’ve had a great day bringing Thunderdrome to a reality. Andy, Ben and I hit Dorais Velodrome with some major machinery today. Thanks to Kilburn’s Rental Equipment in Warren for generously supplying a most awesome tracked Bobcat fitted with a brush hog (epic destructive power), the infield, mountain bike trail, vendor area and spectator area are all cleared. We took down the remaining trees too close to the track with a chainsaw from Kilburn’s too, and things are coming along nicely. div>

Tour de Troit.

video from mattmtb1

The Thundedrome Is Here.

The Thunderdrome is our racing series made for mopeds, scooters, road bicycles and mountain bicycles and takes place on the Dorais Velodrome in Detroit, MI. The ‘Drome is steeped in history – this is its tale.

Back in August, a group of renegade landscapers calling themselves The Mower Gang hit Dorais Park in Detroit, MI with tractors, hand tools and a fistful of determination. They literally uncovered a relic of a Detroit passed – a Velodrome, or banked racing track, built in the late 60?s amid the tensions and trials of the riots that broke out in the city only a few years prior to its completion.

In 1967 or ’68 Mike began the project that would become the Dorais Velodrome located on Outer Drive and Mound Roads. The facility was finished just in time for the ’69 Nationals to be held. In the same time frame when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon, Mike stepped out on the infield of the Dorais Velodrome to return track racing to Detroit, another monumental feat by a determined individual. The Dorais Track had a useful life of approximately 20 years…By the 90?s that track surface had deteriorated to the point it was good only for BMX…Once again Detroit was without a Velodrome. — Link
In the 80?s, car gangs set upon the ‘Drome to hold illegal races at night. The heavy weight of the cars shifted the concrete pads and severely damaged the surface on the inside of turns, making it too costly to repair for such little use Dorais sees. In the mid 90?s, a new Velodrome was being built outside of the city, far to the north in Rochester Hills – with that, Dorais Park was left to die. Snap forward to 2010. The weeds that have grown heartily between the cracks of Dorais’ venerable pavement have been chopped down and graded to form perfect, smooth seams between the cracked portions. The zealous foliage that has been obscuring the track from public view has been pruned back and groomed to present a large, study stone bowl that so many once knew so well. From the sweat of a few local optimists came a beautiful sight never seen: Dorais Park had been given a new lease on life and the opportunity to again host racing in earnest.

Detroit will never be as it once was; the rows upon rows of factory workers and their families have left for good. We believe in revitalization through reinvention – realizing the gifts our ancestors have given us are still here and still very real. Enter The Thunderdrome. We’re a racing outfit here to get Detroit’s road bike, mountain bike, scooter and moped racers back out into the bright, wide world and competing. The entry fees are just enough to cover the costs of the event – with real prizes, trophies and awards being given out to the victors. Spectating will always be free at every Thunderdrome event – forever. That’s our way of giving back to the community that’s given us the chance to do this at all. We welcome our spectators to become VIP Spectators by donating a minimum of $5 or more to the cause, which can be easily done onlineor at the door to the event.

All profits from Thunderdrome events will be used to maintain and update Dorais Park and the Velodrome. We’ll be taking over the repair, maintenance and general upkeep as long as people are still racing.

Let’s get to it.


Prolly Viking

Two of my favorite pastimes just collided tonight, one being reading bike blogs, and the other is design on Illustrator.  That being said the video below is from a fella named Jackson Anderson who recently  submitted a video to one of my favorite bike blogs Prolly.  The video is a time-lapse of him creating a design for a contest hosted by Prolly.  This Illustration is amazing!

PROLLY VIKING from Jackson Armstrong on Vimeo.




A Day With HGC

The day starts at Paper Street Motors

prep some of the tools that will be needed for todays repairs

the office Fresh chain gives this bike new life. Driving Big Yellow to Detroit to pick up some supplies. Abandoned  building no, Detroit Cycle Supply yes!  This building is over 100 years old and has one of the areas oldest functioning elevators.

This is Charles he had a sign that said "Please Help" so I gave him a box on wheels full of cans that I was about to take to Meijers.

Repair going back to a customer.

Big Yellow is loaded and ready to head north to drop a repair and visit Pontiac Lake Rec.

Schlutow bike parking lot.



Morgan & Wright, a Chicago company that moved to Detroit and, at one point during the bicycle boom at the end of the 19th century, was the world's largest manufacturer of bicycle tires.


Life Cycles

Life Cycles OFFICIAL Trailer from Life Cycles on Vimeo.


Thunderdrome coming soon.


Cross Season

Cyclocross season is upon us again so here are a few steel steeds for your viewing pleasure.

Independent Fabrication Titanium Planet Cross.

Independent Fabrication new team beige.

Stephen's Igleheart.

beautiful 5 piece fork construction.


We Love Bikes


Mario Kart Bike lane


Coffee and a bike

This afternoon we stopped into the Weather Center Cafe in Sheboygan, Wisconsin for some coffee and Wifi. Walking down the sidewalk tot he cafe's entrance, our eyes were drawn this fine Kresge All Pro.

We walked through the peer side shop, with it's natural and slightly hippie vibe.. greeted by the scent of freshly roasted coffee with a hint of patchouli.  A pleasant gentleman took our order and handed us a number. We made our way to the "West Wing," which was an adjoining room, adorned with an eclectic mix of furniture and wall art. While Mel enjoyed a piping hot house blend coffee, Al sipped on his iced mocha (forgot to ask to hold the whip).

On a side note, Al accidentally went into the women's bathroom instead of the men's.... In his defense, they were merely labeled with a brass "W" and "M," so it can be seen as an innocent oversight. Thankfully, for Al, it was a single seater, so as to save him from the embarrassment of a gal walking in on him...or vice versa. A few minutes later, in the midst of us enjoying some pics and video clips of our trip thus far, Al heard his number being called, and went back to the counter to pick up the sandwich he had ordered: "The Twister." This sandwich, touted as the Weather Center's favorite veggie sandwich met Al's expectations, both aesthetically and tastefully (freshly baked french loaf bread topped with 2 cheeses, sprouts, greens, herbs, & a special house dressing).

We dinked around on our laptops a bit and agreed that we would map out some coffee shops along our route home (back through northern Wisconsin, through the U.P., and back home)... We will chronicle the simple adventure here... Don't worry, this will not be drawn out... We'll be heading back home Friday morning... With a 10 + hour drive back, the coffee shops will offer an additional bit of fun to the day :)... This also got us thinking: since we've a definite affinity for unique cafes and tasty coffee, we'd love to hear your great coffee shop finds.. and/or stories. p.s. Bean & Leaf, you'll always be #1 in our book 😉


this is a 1982 gerber with my name on it...