ve • lo • drome n. A sports arena with a banked oval track for bicycle racing.
Velodrome racing dates back to the 1800s, when, according to USA Cycling, it enjoyed the sort of popularity NASCAR racing has today. There are currently 20 or so outdoor velodromes in the United States, where cycling is once again beginning to reclaim some of that popularity.
The Velodrome at Brian Piccolo Park in Cooper City is the only velodrome in Florida and one of only three in the southeastern U.S. (the other two are in East Point, Georgia, and Asheville, North Carolina). It opened in March 1992 and on April 17, 1993, hosted its first major race. It attracts more than 3,500 athletes annually.
The Brian Piccolo Velodrome is used for both competitive cycling and recreational cycling and in-line skating. The competitive track is 333.3 meters long with a maximum 30-degree slope at each end. The recreational track is 200 meters long and has a maximum 10-degree slope at each end.
Bicycles for velodrome cycling have no multiple gears or brakes, which helps maximize speed, reduce weight, and avoid sudden braking. If you don’t have such a bike, they are available for rent at the facility, along with other necessary equipment. Track passes and youth track passes that include the free use of a track bicycle are available.
The Velodrome offers cycling development programs for both adults and children, as well as developmental classes for beginning, intermediate, and advanced skaters. Evening and weekend sessions are available.
The Brian Piccolo Park Velodrome is also home to the Florida Velodrome Association, a non-profit group that provides velodrome bicycle riding instruction and hosts a number of events at the facility.
Velodrome users are required to read and sign a release, indemnity, and waiver of liability (PDF 156 KB).
The Brian Piccolo Road Course, adjacent to the velodrome and skate park, is open from 8 a.m. to dusk daily for both cyclists and in-line speed skaters. It is a paved course that includes both 500-meter and 800-meter loops. Except for special events, there is no charge to use the facility, although the park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee (children 5 and under free) applies.
For more information on the velodrome and the road course at Brian Piccolo Park, call 954-357-5160.
Velodrome’s fee schedule.