Friday Night Lights At the Frisco Superdrome
Raise your hand if you have ever heard of the Superdrome in Frisco. Now raise your hand if you’re ever attended any of the races there? Hat’s off to those of you who are hip to this premier track racing venue that’s in our very own back yard (well at least within the upper 40). For everyone else – this article is for you!
The Superdrome is a 250 meter outdoor wood bicycle racing track (velodrome) conveniently located in Frisco, Texas. It is recognized as one of the premiere velodromes in the world. VeloNews described it as the best in North America.
The course is an oval comprised of marine-grade plywood with a laminated finish. It has 44 degree banked turns and 13 degree banked straight-aways. These are steeper than typical banks which result in very fast racing.
How fast do they go? According to their website, “The Superdrome has global recognition as the fastest outdoor low-altitude track in the world. The track record is approximately 45 miles an hour, set during a sprint event by a member of the U.S.A Olympic team” Unless members of the Olympic team are racing, chances are you won’t see speeds like that, but they move quickly, especially the Masters Class.
Races are free and fun to watch. The seating area will accommodate 1,100 spectators, though they seldom have big crowds. This is a great place to take the whole family and the kids will find other kids to play with if bike racing is not their thing. There’s a grassy picnic area where they can run around.
Watching the youth class race was a hoot and when I watch the women’s class racing I can’t help but think about some of the women I know who ride fixies – I bet they could kick some ass on the track.
And you need not own some super-carbon- titanium-freaky-zilla-race-bike-thing, your stock Bianchi Pista or similar track bike is perfectly adequate to get you on the track, well assuming you have no brakes and sport the proper pedals, drop-bars, and whatnot. I’ve seen people participating in the races with entry-level track bikes like that, including a Schwinn Madison. That said, most of the bikes seen racing are higher end examples.
The track is open year round (weather permitting) and they offer 1/2 day development class for those who want to learn to ride there. The cost is $25 and they furnish the bike. For those wanting to ride on the track (yet maybe not race) a season pass is $100 or you can pay $5 per day. How cool is that?
As far as creature comforts go…They don’t have a formal food vendor but each week they have someone grilling hot dogs and selling bottled water near the entrance. That seems to be more of a volunteer effort, yet I’m inclined to bring my own picnic supplies. I wish they served beer.
So, if you’ve never watched velodrome racing now is your chance. On Friday nights the warm up period begins at 6pm and the racing usually begins at 7:15pm. The 2010 racing schedule can be found here.
Did I mention it’s free to attend?