St. Louis's Penrose Park Velodrome rises from the dust

Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated group of St. Louis area bicyclists, led by Bill Howard, the long-neglected Penrose Park Velodrome is rising from the dust. According to a StL Post-Dispatch article:

Tucked between the highway and the park's northern edge sits what was once one of the nation's premier bicycle racing venues. Mirror smooth with swooping curves, the velodrome - a banked, oval track used for cycling competition - hosted a national championship and several regional Olympic qualifiers.

But years of neglect have caught up with the velodrome. Today, the track's surface looks more like a driveway baked by the sun, pockmarked with wide cracks and overrun with weeds and brush.

Now, members of the area's burgeoning cycling community, riding the wave of popularity Armstrong and others have brought to the sport, are seeking private funding and the city's permission to repair the velodrome and restore it to its former glory.

"They called it the Penrose Park Bowl. We are trying to get it back on track, so to speak," says Bill Howard, a financial consultant and member of Velo Force, a local racing team.
The velodrome has been a topic of intense discussion at

A recent cleanup effort has left the velodrome in reasonably rideable condition. Before and after pictures are posted here.