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Portland's New Velodrome a Big Win for Cyclists, Hematomas

A night of competitive cycling on "brakeless" single-speed cycles offers a veritable highlight reel of face planting and smashing into walls.

San Francisco messenger-bag goliath Chrome Industries recently staged a night of competitive flat-track cycling at its Portland outlet, and the results were just brutal.

After constructing a circular track from plywood, the company invited participants to chuck in $5 for the winner-take-all event, featuring "brakeless" single-speed cycles. What followed was a veritable highlight reel of face planting, elbow skinning, and smashing into walls with enough force to scrape off a tattoo. Basically, it was bikers behaving like billiard balls in a spinning laundry dryer.

Urban Velo contributor Jason Finn was there to record the carnage, which by the end of the evening left the floor crayoned with black-rubber skidmarks, like the kind you see when trucks swerve off the highway. Skip to 4:15 for the main event. If you're squeamish, yes, there is blood. At least the cyclists got some PBR at the end to kill the pain.

Chrome Subfloor Circuit from Jason Finn on Vimeo.

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.