The value of Britain’s oldest velodrome

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Track coach alongside the Herne Hill Velodrome, London

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Britain’s oldest velodrome has become a hub in the resurgence of track racing in Britain.

 

A lot of people use Herne Hill because there are only nine tracks left in the country – about four indoor and five outdoor. So, in the southeast of England, there is nothing to to go to really. Brighton was just condemned. South of the river, tracks are very difficult to find. Riders come from a long way away to ride here. We have our own club, Velo Club Londres, and we have a number of champions at different levels and age groups as there are no other tracks for kids, teenagers and adults to ride.

We have track league on a Wednesday from April onwards to September and that starts  for under 12s. Then under-14 and under-16. Then  amateurs and semi-professionals and then Cats A, B, C. Now in the velo history, 125 years next year, it is the second oldest track in the world, we have a vets league for 40 plus. We have women’s league. And then alternate Saturdays a sprinters league. So we cater for a lot of people. The only new track around here is the 2012 track in Lee Valley, but it is indoors, it is wood and harder to get to. So that is why we have a lot of national champions.
We have flood lights now since 2012, so now we can ride at night for the first time in it history.  So we used to stop at night and most through the winter, but now we can ride year round.  And we have an awful lot of national coaches  and British Cycling coaches that are stationed here.
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