Training grounds of national champions? Historic treasure and hidden secret of San Francisco?
Golden Gate Park’s beloved Polo Field has just been made better for biking thanks to Mark Slavonia and his group of do-it-yourself advocates at the Friends of the Polo Field!
Board member of the SF Bicycle Coalition and professional cycling enthusiast, Mark organized efforts to raise money and support for striping, new signage and pavement repairs to the track around the Polo Field.
The Polo Field opened in 1906 as a cycling track to race and train. Over the last century, use of the track declined and a number of changes were made which decreased the safety and functionality of the track, including an interior fence.
Despite this, teams, clubs and even national champions have used the track to train and host events. It is where I spent my early weekday hours when I first started racing in high school years ago. Though it has been a home to many, the track needed repairs. During a San Francisco Cycling Club ride last year, Mark Slavonia recalled the moment when he knew improvements were needed:
“In May 2014, during one of our club races, two of our best cyclists were badly injured when they were forced into the fence. That crash prompted us to form the Friends of the Polo Field to advocate for the restoration and safety improvements to this historic track.”
After Friends of the Polo Field was founded, they worked with SF Recreation and Parks Department and the SF Parks Alliance to develop and implement an improved plan for the Polo Field. If you’d like to see further improvements made to the track, visit and learn more at the Friends of the Polo Field’s website here.
This post was written by Bicycle Advocacy Intern, Miles Stepto.