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“Originally the track was asphalt and then, the first summer, it got hot out here and the track just went ‘bloop’ down to the bottom,” says former board president Ken Avchen. “This year will be the 50th anniversary of the cement track.”

Tucked away in the Sepulveda Basin, the track itself is something of a hidden treasure today; you wouldn’t know it was there unless you went looking for it. But the track is so beloved—and a little bit mythical—that cyclists will descend upon the track after hours to ride under the light of the full moon, a sort of unofficial pilgrimage.

“When I was a kid we used to sneak in with our BMX bikes and ride around,” recalls Jonathan Tessler (better known as JT from, who grew up near the track and now brings his own kids out. Tessler’s is a familiar story, echoed by many fellow devotees of the Encino Velodrome.

The track’s accessibility is both good and bad. Periodic break-ins every three to four months make for an unnecessary added expense at a track operating with a shoestring budget and less than a dozen regular volunteers. And while regular repairs are done to the track when needed, the biggest expense is running the lights.

“My long term goal is to install a more efficient