DETROIT (WWJ) – Under a big puffy dome off I-75 at Mack a whirlwind of activity going around in circles.

The new Lexus Velodrome designed by Dale Hughes is an indoor cycling facility where the track is gradually elevated up the walls.

It’s an experience that people describe as terrifying — then addictive.

velodrome Velodrome Brings Indoor Cycling To Metro Detroiters

A cyclist at the Velodrome. (WWJ/Sandra McNeill)

“I think you go into the turn the first time and your brain says ‘this is stupid,'” says Hughes. “This is all about the science — the centrifugal force — holds you, so you are pretty much perpendicular to the track whenever you ride the track — if you go too slow, then you have too much of an angle and that’s when you will slip.”

The track is angled 50 degrees — at one point looking down from top — it was almost straight down – ideal for extreme cycling.

How do you stay on the bike? WWJ’s Sandra McNeill asked 62-year-old Debbie Cavender.

She says momentum helps her stay on the bike.

“It’s centrifugal force, you don’t even know you are sideways once you are on the track. I promise you. I promise you,” she says.

The biggest thing you have to remember to keep pedaling.

“When you slow down the back wheel starts to slip right out from under you,” she says.

He says they offer a course for first timers, “If you listen to the coaches — really the track will just take you — all you really have to do is pedal.”

Eighty-five-year-old T.J. Hicks has been cycling for 52 years.

How are you not scared when there are no brakes on the bike?

“Ah, it doesn’t matter,” says Hill. “It’s fixed gear, you don’t need brakes – you just back pedal.”

Find more information about the grand opening of Lexus Velodrome [here].


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