Marking the steady passing of history at Herne Hill velodrome

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cycling coach on the Herne Hill velodrome

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Herne Hill is creating more reminders of the history of the track

“We have a bike that Bradley Wiggins used to ride here which is a hire bike that will be restored and hung in the new grandstand we are having built for our 125 anniversary next year. Before he had sponsors and his own bikes, he was riding around on a hire bike from Herne Hill Velodrome. But interestingly there used to be a velodrome near Paddington and, when it was closing, all the coaches caught wind of it and rushed down and bought all the second track bikes and Wiggins was racing on a bike like that.

“We have a photo of him being beaten to the line by a 13 year old who said to him, ‘You ought to become a professional’. And he retorted to her, ‘You beat me, I think you should become the professional’. Unfortunately, she did not, but he did. And now we have a yellow jersey winner after 99 years of British riders not winning anything. And the year before Mark Cavendish had the first green jersey and the year after Bradley Wiggins and now we have Froomie. A little South African in him, but we will forgive that. And now with the Olympics and the state of riding in the UK, and the work done to make it easier for people to ride to work and the new bike lanes coming in and the hire bikes and the velodrome being revamped, it is a great place to be a cyclist.”

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