Circulus sat in three neat stacks in a corner of our warehouse for almost a month before we could round up some pals and get a free weekend day to get after building it. I had some rough dimensions in my mind from conversations with Sam, and I was certain that we’d have no trouble building the track around the poles that hold the roof up. It only took a shuffling of the fully built track about 10 ft and rotating cast of volunteers 9 hours to do it. We were nothing short of ecstatic when the first of our friends hopped on his bike and took a run at the track and stayed up for the first shaky lap!
The Future of Circulus
Photographer Jeff Snyder was there to document the entire build process, and within days videos of us building and riding the track were popping up all over the internet. Website commenters called Circulus the “Hipster Hamster Wheel” and referred to it as that “circular bastard child of a velodrome.” The idea that a bicycle accessory company would install a velodrome at their office was apparently hard to believe. Curious people started showing up to see it for themselves. First it was just people we knew. The garbage truck driver and the UPS man wanted to know what we’d built. Then people from Portland we didn’t really know started stopping by with beers hoping to turn a few laps. Eventually, people from outside Portland started arriving to peer into our windows.
By then we’d already started making plans for a Circulus event later in the summer, but when Interbike called and asked us if we’d be interested in setting up the track at the largest trade show in the bicycle industry, we knew that Circulus was much bigger than the physical space it took up. We knew we needed to act and give the people what they wanted—a Circulus Party.
In early spring we did just that. With Backyard Blam’s Amanda Sundvor spinning records and beer flowing, folks from a far as Los Angeles and Vancouver started turning laps. Five hours later, just about everyone in attendance moved into the center of the track where a dance party had broken out. Standing outside the track I couldn’t help but think that our gathering wasn’t quite “Dunhill Cigarettes and Fishbone” but I was pretty damn happy with how things had worked out.
So what now? We’ve put Circulus through its paces. Parts of the track need a little attention but we’ve learned quite a bit. Yes, the track is portable. We’re pretty sure that we can have it set up someplace in about five hours. Yes, it is fun. Just look at the smiles on people’s faces when they get done riding it. Hopefully the fun is just beginning.