One of a handful of operating velodromes in the United States, the historic Major Taylor Velodrome is the home of track cycling in central Indiana.
Events & Programming
MAJOR TAYLOR RACING LEAGUE: 2017 EVENT DATES
THURSDAY NIGHT RACING: Racing begins at 7pm unless otherwise noted. Every Thursday May 18 through September 7 (except for June 29). See full schedule and registration for race type.
MIDWEST CHALLENGE: June 23 & 24, 2017. Regional level event for cat 1-3 men and women. Over $4000 in cash prizes available. Mass start and timed events, and keirin.
TEAM PURSUIT SHOWDOWN (3nd Annual): held in conjunction with Indy Crit - July 7, 7pm.
SATURDAY SPRINT SPECIALS:
The Major Taylor Velodrome season lasts from April through September and includes a host of events, from development camps, to regular Friday night races, and even regional and national competitions. We also have a regular schedule of coached and open track riding sessions. All riders welcome. Please note that all velodrome programming/events are subject to cancellation, especially due to rain or extreme heat. We will post on our Facebook and Twitter pages when these closures are necessary. No pre-registration required for weeknight programming.
On Monday (Elite) and Tuesday (Intermediate) training sessions, the track is open prior to the start of the session from 4-6pm. However, 'open track' does not continue after the session begins. Riders must take part in the session or leave the track.
Check-in for sessions begin at 5:15pm, sessions begin at 6pm.
MONDAY: Elite Training [Cat 3+ motorpaced workout] 6-8pm.
TUESDAY: Intermediate Training [Introductory skills drills/workout for novice track riders] 6-8pm.
WEDNESDAY: Morning Open Track 6-8am; Junior Night [skills training for riders 15 and under] 6-7:30pm.
THURSDAY: RACE NIGHTS - See event schedule. Racing at 7:00pm. Gates open at 5:15pm.
FRIDAY: Madison Training (selected dates, see calendar)
SATURDAY: Track 101 and Open Track on selected dates.
SUNDAY: Open Track 12-3pm
FEES and PasseS
- Open Track: $10 per session [$5 for juniors]
- Junior Training: $15 (includes bike rental)
- Intermediate Training: $15
- Elite Training: $20
- Bike Rentals: $15 per session/race, $10 for juniors
- Bike Locker Rental: $20 key deposit & $40 monthly (dependent on availability)
- Race Entry Fees: varies by event, see USAC registration pages
- Track 101 and INTRO Rider Packages - click here for info and pricing
fees are subject to change - cash, check, and credit cards accepted
PRIVATE MOTORPACING: Available depending on track and driver schedule. Scheduled through the office; email Matt (mgittings[at]marian[dot]edu). Please request sessions at least 72 hours in advance. Staff will notify you of availability and connect you with the driver. Timeframes are flexible depends on staff availability. All sessions are a minimum one hour request.
- $60 per hour, one rider. Additional riders, $20 each per hour, not to exceed four additional riders
- Discount available for Diamond-level passholders
- This pricing does not include the suggested tip to the driver.
- Payment for private sessions due at check-in. Cash or check only. Checks to "Marian University."
FACILITY RENTALS: Did you know your group can rent the Indy Cycloplex facilities for your event? Contact us for details and prices.
- Who owns the Major Taylor Velodrome?
- The velodrome and park are owned by Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Department, and is currently being operated by Marian University.
- What are the velodrome’s dimensions?
- The track is 333 meters long (three laps to a kilometer) and had 28 degree banking in the turns.
- Where is the velodrome located?
- 3649 Cold Spring Road, directly across the street from the Marian University Eco Lab. Find directions here.
- Is there an admission charge for spectators?
- Nope! Admission is free at the velodrome and for other events (cyclocross and BMX). Our riders love to race with the stands full of spectators!
- Can anyone ride a bike at the velodrome? Can I ride my own bike on the track? Do I have to be certified to get on the track?
- Aside from specified times and events, only track bikes (fixed, single gear and no brakes) are to be ridden on the velodrome. You do not need to be certified to ride on the track, but we do require our Track 101 course, or a similar velodrome clinic, to be able to race at MTV. We recommend our 101 course to anyone wanting to utilize the track regularly. Learn more about Track 101 here.
- Does the velodrome rent bikes?
- Yes, for most training and racing events. However, we don't usually rent bikes to those category 3 and above. We strongly advise those who are interested in the track to invest in their own bikes.
- Who is allowed in the infield?
- For most events, only riders, officials, staff, and some coaches are allowed in the infield. Alcohol, glass, and pets are NEVER allowed in the infield.
- Can I come take photos at velodrome events?
- Absolutely, we love to have photographers for our racing and training events. However, please check in with the office staff upon arrival to receive a short safety briefing and appropriate credentials before heading into the infield.
Named for international cycling legend and Indianapolis native, Marshall “Major” Taylor, the velodrome was actually the first building in Indianapolis that was built with public funds to be named for an African American when it was erected in 1982. Thanks to a bid won by the Indiana Sports Corporation, Indianapolis was set to cement its reputation as the “Amateur Sports Capital of the World” by hosting the 1982 National Sports Festival. However, the city was short a natatorium, a track stadium and of course, a velodrome necessary for the festival competition.
All three venues were built to state-of-the-art standards via partnership between the Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Dept. and the Lilly Endowment. The Major Taylor Velodrome (MTV) alone was a bit of an engineering marvel, having been strategically nestled into the side of a knoll that blends seamlessly atop a natural flood plain.
Just five years later in 1987, the tenth Pan American Games ascended upon the Circle City and the Veldorome. Other noteable events hosted at MTV include the 1982 US Olympic Festival, Junior Track Nationals in 1992, 1999, and 2002; Elite Track Nationals in 1985, 1993, 1994 and 1995; Masters Track Nationals in 2000, 2005, and 2013; and Collegiate Track Nationals in 1993, 1998, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2011, and 2014.
Unfortunately, in recent years the venue suffered a slow and steady decline in both usage and condition. However, the MTV’s saving grace may just be that the track did serve as an impetus for neighboring Marian University to form a USA Cycling collegiate cycling team in 1992. Now 30 National Cycling Team Championships later, the 2,400-student, Catholic liberal arts institution has come to the aid of the MTV.
Joining with Indy Parks and the City of Indianapolis, Marian University has led the charge to resurrect the Velodrome as a part of the comprehensive Indy Cycloplex facility. Together, these entities are creating a new, brighter history for the property.
ABOUT MAJOR TAYLOR
Track racing was once as popular as baseball or boxing in the United States. Between 1890 and 1910, few athletes were as well-known as track cyclists, especially Indianapolis-born cycling legend Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor. The first African-American athlete to be a member of an integrated professional team and the first black world record holder, Major Taylor is the namesake of Indy’s only velodrome, built in 1982. Learn more about this successful and talented world champion who overcame many challenges to be one of the most successful athletes of his time.
The Major Taylor Velodrome celebrates its 30th Anniversary in 2012 as a part of the growing Indy Cycloplex. Riders and spectators will continue to enjoy racing at this venerable Indianapolis venue, which will host eight Fast Fridays throughout the summer months and numerous other cycling events.
Timeline of Major Taylor’s life:
- Born in Indianapolis in 1878
- At 13, wins first road race
- At 16, wins a road race in Indianapolis in horrible weather conditions, is the only rider to finish
- At 17, breaks current world mile record by over eight seconds
- At 18 (1896) begins his professional career at a six-day race at Madison Square Garden in New York and finishes in the top 10
- In 1898, sets the fastest mile world record, beating an international champion and skyrockets to fame
- In 1899, Major Taylor rides one mile on a trainer in 43 seconds, at a speed of roughly 82 miles per hour
- In 1901 he travels to race in France and finds success among the best of the best in Europe, winning 18 of his 24 races, including a world championship sprint title
- Retires from professional racing in 1932
- Delivered newspapers via bicycle as a boy
- Started working in a bike shop at 13 when downtown Indianapolis’s Washington Street was lined with bicycle shops due to the interest and excitement for bicycling as transportation
- Earned the nickname "Major” because he performed tricks on his bicycle while wearing a military outside the bike shop
- World champion in 1899
- American sprint champion in 1899 and 1900