Bowl of Death, Revisited.

Back in 2014 I made this post on my bike business website about building the Bowl of Death, a circular tiny velodrome at Artisan’s Asylum.  Since I’ve closed that business and taken down the site, I’m reposting here for posterity.

 

December was cold, the shop was slow, and I had a problem to solve.   I wanted to ride my bike inside, but not on rollers. I wanted to try riding on a track.  I wanted to have some friends over and have a bike riding party.

 

During a long train ride from Boston to Philly for Christmas, I did some CAD work and drafted a 25 foot diameter circular velodrome.   By the first week of January, I had ordered plywood and 2x4s. Then Sus and Piranha set to work, with some guidance from my friend Pete.

 

They spray painted the patterns for the ribs on to ¾” plywood with a sheet metal stencil I made, and jigsawed out all the shapes.

 

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After that, things really started picking up speed.  They started to assemble the sections – 14 in all.

 

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And once we put them all in a circle, we skinned the faces with plywood.    It didn’t take long before some bmx test runs happened.

 

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It turned out a little bigger than we thought, so now we have a 27 foot diameter circular velodrome.  I’m calling it the bowl of death, because spectator faces are right at the top edge, and there’s no wall.   

 

It’s a great test track and tons of fun to ride.

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