2013 looks set to be another exciting year for Herne Hill Velodrome. Last year we had a new grippy surface, this year we have the new SOLP facilities to make the most of. Who knows, next year we might have a nice pavilion to use. Support the Friends of the Velodrome
to help make that happen!
What Does Southwark Olympic Legacy Project (SOLP) Mean for Herne Hill Velodrome?
The big news at the end of January 2013 was that Herne Hill's Southwark Olympic Legacy Project
plans were awarded planning permission. Work will started in early February 2013. More details here
. In the meantime, here's how we expect the SOLP works to benefit Herne Hill Velodrome:
Peter Cattermole, Chairman of the Herne Hill's managing club Velo Club Londres, said: "These new facilities, along with the new surface, will create a real step change in the numbers and diversity of users at Herne Hill. We are already a very busy site with school sessions during the day, public sessions in the evenings and at weekends plus more open track events than any other track in the country. Being able to extend the use of the Velodrome site to all ages and abilities as well as making it a year round venue proves cycling’s commitment to an Olympic Legacy."
Schedule of Works
Work on the infield began in early February and is now complete. Track lighting is being installed during May 2013, well in time for us to use before the end of the summer.
The Junior Track
This is a great facility which will be a benefit for the many school sessions and disability groups that use the velodrome throughout the week. Riders will also be able to use the junior track during the evening and weekend public sessions. We envisage the junior track will be used for younger and novice riders to get used to fixed wheel riding, groups working on specific skills and techniques and warming up/down in between races. We'll be exploring these uses as the season progresses.
2012 was the second wettest year on record, and the area in the track centre where riders gathered was often wet and boggy. This should no longer be a problem and will also provide a good level area to use rollers. It is hoped this area will also be used for Bikability training, disability cycling and, with the addition of a fence, Bike Polo.
Track lighting will allow us to use the velodrome all year. We will be allowed to use the lights until 9pm (plus 15 minutes to clear the track). This means we can run a full schedule of training and racing throughout the year without having to curtail sessions early due to low light.
Cyclo-cross is becoming an increasingly important race discipline at Herne Hill. The SOLP works will mean some of the previous cyclo-cross course routes will have to change, but not at all for the worse.
The track centre will have less grass with the junior track and hard standing, but this doesn't mean there won't be room for cyclo-cross. The junior track is flat and will only have a fence down the outside of the home-straight so it can be crossed at virtually any point. The tarmac sections will be a welcome relief to riders after slogging round the grass field. There will be a minimum 6m gap between the junior track and the main track, allowing for 2 lanes of cyclo-cross course (see overhead plan here
It is intended to use the earth dug up to lay the tarmac for the track centre works to resurface some of the out-field trails. Over recent years these have been subjected to substantial wear and tear from at least 5 cyclo-cross races a year, many private school sessions, and the weekly HHYCC mountainbike club. This should create a potentially faster, and less puncture-prone surface. We are also exploring the possibilities of using some of the excess dirt to build some fun off-road lumps and bumps!
Due to health and safety regulations, the new track lighting will be set back 1m from the inside of the track fence. This will narrow the existing cyclo-cross route around the outside of the track fence along the top of the banking in turns 1 and 2. The remaining path will be too narrow to race on. To address this we are having a new wide track gate fitted at the start of the back straight to allow cyclo-cross courses to enter the track centre from the back straight, removing the need to travel around the outside of the fence around turns 1 and 2.
We are also planning some adult cyclo-cross training sessions towards the end of summer.