Dottie Farnsworth – a Cycling Pioneer

Track racing has been a part of the Minnesota cycling scene for over 125 years. Since the earliest days of bicycle racing, men and women roared around the state’s oval velodrome tracks, thrilling audiences of thousands in Duluth, Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Minneapolis resident Dottie Farnsworth was one of the stars of the early six-day velodrome race circuit. In 1895, she started racing professionally and in her first six-day race, rode over 300 miles – shattering a world record! Dottie was bold and confident and she was one of the best of her era.

The MN Cycling Center – the Next Phase of MN Track Cycling

Minnesota has been the home of a permanent velodrome for parts of the last 40 years, with the NSC Velodrome the most recent bike racing venue. That outdoor wood track, which has hosted the world’s best racers for nearly 30 years has reached the end of its useful life and will be torn down after the 2019 racing season.

The Minnesota Cycling Center is a nonprofit organization with a mission to create a home for the next generation of MN track cycling – a vibrant entertainment, racing, and education destination for cyclists of all ages in the Twin Cities. The proposed multi-purpose Velodrome and event center will provide community cycling and S.T.E.M. educational programs, street-level retail, and a home for gatherings of all types in the region. The MN Cycling Center is a recognized 501 (c)(3) organization.

The Twin Cities region is the perfect location for this one-of-a-kind facility. The state of Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area rank at or near the top of many cycling participation categories nationwide.

Highlights include:

> The 2nd highest proportion of bicycle commuter trips in the US.

> More trail miles per capita than any metropolitan area.

> 1000+ elite amateur bicycle racers statewide.

> 30+ BMX parks and tracks and scores of mountain bike trails.

The Need

With such a strong and robust cycling community, Minnesota and the Twin Cities provide a captive audience for a competitive racetrack and commuting destination. While a valuable resource, the state’s only outdoor Velodrome in Blaine will be closed in 2019 and offers only a fraction of the programming that can be offered at the new Center.


The Center aims to become the premier cycling, entertainment and education destination in the United States. The Center brings bikes within reach of kids and adults from all backgrounds and provides a way to explore their world and embrace a healthy lifestyle. While the bicycle is the vehicle used to reach people, the science-centric after-school academic and commuter center apprentice programs will make the real impact for kids and youth.

The MN Cycling Center is more than just education, though. The facility will host world-class racing events, concerts, expos, and community gatherings of all kinds. The 3,500-seat concert venue fits perfectly between the area’s intimate theatres and expansive venues.


Once opened, the MN Cycling Center will have a tremendous positive impact on the Twin Cities community and beyond. The Center envisions affecting three main areas, including economic, education, and neighborhood. Below is a snapshot of added community benefits:

Economic Impact

> 100+ Construction Jobs during build > 3,500 Event Seats

> 20,000 Square Feet of Retail Space > 50 Race Nights

> 100+ Ongoing Jobs > 12 BMX Race Weekends

> 287,500 Annual Visitors

Educational Impact

> 4,000 students Grades 6-12 reached annually through field trips and after-school programming

> 400 student racers

> 20+ state science and math standards met though unique science-centered curriculum

> 21st Century Classroom

Neighborhood Impact

> Proposed build on a currently abandoned site in Northeast Minneapolis

> Bring added vitality, retail, and patrons to neighborhood

> Extended Central Avenue retail corridor

Bell Lap Coffee Donates $3 for Each Bag of Dottie’s Roast proceeds to the MN Cycling Center.   Buy Now


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