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Kenosha has the oldest operating velodrome in the U.S.

Posted at 7:47 PM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 20:47:01-04

KENOSHA — The sign says it all.

"Just having the velodrome here in Kenosha is extremely lucky, because there's so few of them around the country," Carter Kasianowicz says.

Kenosha has the oldest operating velodrome in the U.S., built in 1927.

"I think it's really interesting and like really cool to be like a part of this kind of history. And like coming from a place like where it originated and seeing it like, expand off - I think it's just really a cool opportunity that I have," Mia Scarlato says.

Carter Kasianowicz found his love of the sport through family.

"When my uncle first had me join cycling, I just thought it was really cool to go fast," Kasianowicz says. "And you know, I heard of cycling on TV. Tour de France, didn't really know what it was. And I started riding the bike, and just riding the track here, you can get up to speeds of 30-40 miles an hour. And to me, it's a lot more fun than getting hit in football."

Which isn't to say that this sport is for the faint of heart.

"And I broke my collarbone right over there, actually," Kasianowicz says. "And my first year doing track cycling so you know, I think the biggest part of cycling is that you are going to crash at some point. And you just have to learn to get back on the bike, and it definitely helps you. And cycling, and in life, it's a good life lesson."

It's the banking and speed that hooks these competitors.

"It's exhilarating. It's awesome," Scarlato says. "It's why I love racing so much, that you know, like knowing that like I can do that. I can go 35 miles an hour and it's my body that's making it do that."

This summer night featured competitors young and old. Some from speedskating. Now, it just needs a little boost.

"The cycling community in Kenosha is stronger than in other cities. And I think it does continue to grow," Kasianowicz says. "And with teams like the Kenosha Cutters and Kenosha Velosport, local teams here that try to develop young junior riders to become, more a team of the track. I just think that getting the word out and having people notice it more is really important, and it will help the sport grow. And the sport does need to grow."

"It's gorgeous," Scarlato says. "We'd love to fill the hill more and more as the summer goes on."

It's not a bad way to spend a weekday Wisconsin summer night.

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