Detroit velodrome reclaimed by lawnmower-wielding urban bike activists

A group of urban activists known as The Mower Gang have cleared the half-mile Detroit Velodrome track of weeds, beer cans, and other trash that kept bicycles away for decades. "It's really not about getting some 45-year-old guy a better place to ride his bike," said the Mower Gang's founder. "It's more about getting 10-, 12-, 13-year-old kids a better place to spend an afternoon." (, via Mr. Jalopy)


  1. Well done Mower Gang. Sadly, this type of citizen activism is more necessary than ever as government abdicates its responsibilities in many parts of the US. I wonder if some contractors would be willing to donate some time and asphalt?

    I never knew there was a velodrome in Detroit. I wish there was one in Toronto- they’re supposed to build one for the PanAm games, but it will be located in Hamilton!

    1. I don’t really see why the “sadly” is necessary. As people take more responsibility for the world around them, we need less government, and thus we are more able to shape our surrounding environments instead of letting a representative body do it for us. To me, that is an unqualified Good Thing.

  2. You never know until you ask. Try some cement companies also. Sometimes have extra mix, so if forms were already set up, they could go there to dump instead of the edge of a driveway.

    But great job to the Mower Gang! Kids need a place to ride.

  3. I got all excited for a minute because I thought this had something to do with Videodrome.

    Long live the new flesh! Anyone?

  4. Longer term they should hit that thing with some Round-Up to kill the plants growing in the surface of the track. After that simply having enough people ride on it would keep the weeds down.

    Very cool project. It is great to see people reclaim their public space.

  5. Half a mile sounds wrong, It’s probably 1/4 mile or less, as a 400m track is about as long as they ever get.

    Apart from that, way cool. Velodromes are a lot of fun for riders and spectators.

  6. With a little Googling, I was able to find a map of the velodrome.

    Too bad it looks like it needs a lot more than a lawnmower. As others have mentioned, it looks like the asphalt needs a lot of work. Probably more of a course for full suspension mountain bikes than those fancy fixed gear track bikes.

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