The Velodrome Story
24 Acres and a Vision
The Valley Preferred Cycling Center, the most celebrated velodrome in modern American cycling history, traces its roots to the dream of one inspired visionary and its legendary success to the dreams of countless champions who began their trek to glory on its 333-meter track.
The concrete crater in a cornfield was the idea of publisher Bob Rodale. Rodale fell in love with track cycling while competing in skeet shooting at the Mexico Olympic Games in 1968. The president of Rodale Press and later publisher of Bicycling and Mountain Bike magazines knew in his heart that the excitement and colorful action of this healthful sport could capture the interest of Americans.
Construction began in 1974 on a plot of land in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania owned by Bob and Ardie Rodale. As the work progressed and the track took shape, Rodale worked with community leaders to create programs such as the Air Products Developmental Cycling Program that would develop new young local riders.
Rodale reached out to two of the most celebrated cyclists of the 1960s and 1970s Jack Simes III and David Chauner to bring his dream to life. Working with
When the first race was held on October 12, 1975, there were no locker rooms for the athletes, no seats for the fans, and no railing at the top of the track. From those early days legendary athletes such as Jerry "The Gentle Giant" Ash, Leigh "the Tree" Barczewski, Gil "Gabby" Hatton, Sheila Young, and Connie Paraskevin reignited the sport of track cycling in the United States, and Rodale's dream caught the imagination of the American cycling public.
Soon after the track's completion, Rodale donated the land to Lehigh County in return for a pledge that the county would continue to support development of the track and its programs. In 1979, the Trexlertown Velodrome, or "T-Town", as it is still affectionately called by the national and international racers who make their home here each summer, was renamed the Lehigh County Velodrome.
The velodrome is now managed by The Velodrome Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)3 foundation that continues to promote track cycling. Thanks to the generosity of Valley Preferred, a community partnership of doctors and hospitals, the newly renamed Valley Preferred Cycling Center continues to lead the nation in quality competition, championship racer development, and community programs that offer
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Sports. A significant historical date for this entry is October 12, 1975.
Location. 40° 32.82′ N, 75° 36.648′ W. Marker is near Breinigsville, Pennsylvania, in Lehigh County. It is in Upper Macungie Township. Marker can be reached from Mosser Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1151 Mosser Rd, Breinigsville PA 18031, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lock Ridge Iron Furnace (approx. 2.7 miles away); Portland Cement (approx. 2.8 miles away); Lock Ridge Furnace (approx. 2.8 miles away); Casting Pigs (approx. 2.8 miles away); From Production to Preservation (approx. 2.8 miles away); Servicing the Furnace (approx. 2.8 miles away); World War II and Korean Conflict Memorial (approx. 2.9 miles away); War Memorial (approx. 2.9 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2023. It was originally submitted on September 8, 2012, by Alan Edelson of Union Twsp., New Jersey. This page has been viewed 522 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 8, 2012, by Alan Edelson of Union Twsp., New Jersey. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.