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The Thunderdrome!

On June 30th, 2012, there was another installment of Thundrome at the Dorais Park velodrome

Thunderdrome is series of bicycle and small engine motorcycle races held at a long-forgotten banked track at Dorais Park, at Outer Drive and Mound Road. From BMX, to mopeds, to entry level dirtbikes.

Thunderdrome has been evolving since its first occurrence in 2010. For the first time, they had to charge $5 admission in order to pull off this event. There was a temporary orange plastic barricade set up, but people could still see the racing from outside of it. It is a public park after all.

Another change to the format was having the spectators stand in the center of the track. This allowed the fans to be right in the center of the action. It also meant that someone losing control of their motorbike, being pulled to the outside of the track by centrifugal force, would be unlikely to collide with the spectators.

On a sweltering hot day the most welcome change was beer sales. There were also some side attractions going on.
There was a demonstration of fowling, a cross between bowling and horseshoes, but with a football.
Fowling is an ongoing attraction at the old Toy Warehouse on Van Dyke.

The races always start with the racers on the other side of the track from their bikes. It's not for the sake of adding one second of running to the race, but to put more emphasis on mechanical prowess. A motorbike that doesn't start on the first or second kick has a low chance of winning. There were even a few instances of motorbikes losing their chain mid-race.

For the motorbikes, each race was ten laps. By the time the tenth lap came around, the lead racer was often well ahead of his competitors. No photo finishes, and it was common for the last place finisher to be lapped.

Despite complaining that he wasn't placed in the correct bike class, "Whoa as me" won first in his class, and first overall. Here is he with his hastily welded trophy.