Clubs and user groups
Herne Hill Velodrome is a unique venue, not just because of its historic track, but because of its exciting and vibrant atmosphere. This is down to the varied nature of the cyclists and supporters that use it. Track cycling and racing are the focal point, but this is complemented by many other activities offering something to all cyclists. Mountain biking, road bike training and Cyclo Cross are on offer, along with sessions for less able-bodied cyclists and women only training. Top cycling club, VC Londres manages Herne Hill Velodrome on behalf of British Cycling. Their philosophy - to have an affordable venue that is ‘run by cyclists for cyclists’ together with their excellent knowledge of the sport - has resulted in a highly collaborative approach between themselves and other local clubs and interest groups, offering users the best possible choice and experience. Listed below are the organisations who make a big contribution to the Velodrome’s personality.
VC Londres (VCL)
VC Londres is based at Herne Hill Velodrome and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the site. They are synonymous with Herne Hill and track cycling. Under the leadership of VCL, Herne Hill Velodrome has evolved from a semi-derelict site to become a thriving venue shared by all cyclists. Herne Hill Velodrome now hosts more open race meetings than any other cycle track in the country. VCL run most of our track training sessions and activities, a track league and the holiday club.
VCL is one of the larger and most successful cycling clubs in the country. It was set up in 1964 with the aim of encouraging young riders into the sport and has been endorsed by the main governing body, British Cycling, in recognition of its efforts to get young people
into the sport. Now catering for riders of all ages and abilities, VCL members are encouraged to race and frequently achieve success at national level.
Herne Hill Youth Cycling Club (HHYCC)
Herne Hill is home to the only urban MTB course in the UK. HHYCC is also a resident club. They run very popular mountain bike sessions for boys and girls on Saturday mornings, all year round. Lots of HHYCC members make use of their technical skills by doing very well in cyclo-cross and mountain biking.
HHYCC formed in the early 2000’s when a group of friends got together to do something about the ‘untidy bit of waste ground’ nestled away behind the track. They drew up plans, raised some money, went on coaching courses and formed a cycling club!
Crystal Palace Triathletes (CPT)
Since 2008, CPT Juniors have used the track at Herne Hill for their Tuesday night road bike training session. During the summer they ‘trade places’ with the Herne Hill trackies, who traditionally race the road circuit races up at Crystal Palace Park. This session is open to the public as well as club members, and welcomes a mixture of ages and abilities. In 2011 CPT took over the running of Tuesday nights and now there are as many adult CPT members taking part as children, further reinforcing the relationship between CPT and the Velodrome.
CPT is a friendly and sociable club. They organize the award-winning Crystal Palace Triathlon each May at the National Sports Centre. They have thriving adult and junior sections, which were recognized in 2011 when they won the British Triathlon Federation’s prestigious ‘London Region Club of the Year’.
Team Mule Bar Girl
Team Mule Bar Girl have been running women’s only sessions with support of VCL at Herne Hill Velodrome since 2010. These sessions continue to grow in popularity as more women realize they can learn skills and racing know-how in a less ‘scary’ and testosterone fueled environment. These sessions take place most Sunday afternoons during the summer and during the winter if weather permits.
Mule Bar Girls are part of a new breed of uncompromising female cyclists pushing boundaries and doing things on their own terms. They get a kick from pushing their bodies and competing, but they take with them a passion for femininity, friendship and an appreciation for the land that they ride on.
Mule Bar Girl FB page
Wheels for Wellbeing
Wheels for Wellbeing relocated its weekly session from Brockwell Park to Herne Hill Velodrome in the summer of 2012. They run a drop-in cycling session for disabled people or anyone who thinks they can’t cycle (see their website for details of times etc). Wheels for Wellbeing provides all equipment and is confident it can find a cycle for you! Only the flat part of the track
is used for these sessions. No lycra & no experience required!
Wheels for Wellbeing is an award-winning charity that has helped hundreds of people with disabilities In London to cycle using a wide variety of specially designed bikes. With the backing of National Lottery Funding, the charity has grown into the biggest supporter of disability cycling in South London.
Wheels for Wellbeing is expanding its activities to lead on the development of an inclusive cycling network for London with funding from Sport England. (awarded 2013)
Silverfit began offering sessions for ‘senior’ riders in the summer of 2013. They run a drop-in road bike session every Wednesday morning, offering the chance to ride in a traffic-free and supportive environment. The sessions came about after Silverfit founder (and UK’s oldest ‘Iron Woman’ triathlete) Eddie Brocklesby began riding at Herne Hill whilst training for the 2013 Triathlon World Championships.
Silverfit are a ground-breaking charity playing an important role in raising awareness about the many benefits of exercise for the over 50s. They provide advice, opportunities and enjoyable ways for participants to exercise regularly.
| Eddie's blog
Dulwich Paragon is a distinguished local cycling club whose connection to Herne Hill Velodrome goes right back to the beginning. ‘The Dulwich’ was instrumental in getting the venue built in the first place, as it was a strong supporter of the creator, George Lacey Hillier. They remain a key user to this day: a large contingent of their membership train and race regularly at the track; they use Herne Hill Velodrome as a meeting point for their Saturday morning club ride; and the starting point for their legendary autumn sportive, ‘the ride of the falling leaves’.
Dulwich Paragon has over 400 members and is dedicated to the serious and sporting cyclist. Road and circuit racing form a major part of their activities. As well as the track, the club also competes in time-trials and cyclo-X events. They also participate in sportives, at home and abroad, and have some enthusiastic long distance riders.
Brixton CC is a local Cycling Club that hosts the Brixton CC Super Madison Track meet at Herne Hill Velodrome. This is a top event and is part of our ‘Super Series’. Brixton CC turn up regularly to train and race on the track. One of their members, Judith, is a regular presence at Herne Hill as a commissaire and coach, for both track and MTB sessions.
Brixton Cycles shop has been around for 30 years and is an institution in South London. Its cycling club, Brixton CC, was set up in 1997 because friends and customers wanted to ride and race together. They are a friendly club, but do some serious racing.
Rollapaluza are the force behind Muddy Hell a ground-breaking night time cyclo-X event at Herne Hill Velodrome. There is nothing else like it! It started in 2009 and was the first major event to include genuine Belgian race atmosphere, night-time racing, fancy dress, music, food, beer (including racing through the bar tent) plus huge participation and hundreds of spectators. The senior racing is fierce but there are competitions for kids and novices too, so everyone can get in on the act. And it’s free to spectate.
Rollapaluza is responsible for the resurgence of roller racing in the UK. Roller ‘rigs’ are set up where two riders battle it out to see how far they can ride in a fixed time-scale. There is tournament with heats across the country. The national final is held down the road at The Half Moon pub in Herne Hill on Good Friday (so fans can get a double-helping of cycling with the Good Friday race meet at Herne Hill Velodrome earlier in the day). They also organise the Urban Hill Climb, a lung-busting hill sprint in Highgate, North London. Rollapaluza have an outreach programme working with schools and communities. Addionally, they have a cycling club for the ‘laid-back but competitive cyclist’ with riders based all over the country.
Velo Club Dulwich College (VCDC)
Velo Club Dulwich College was established in 2008 as a way to offer a variety of cycling experiences to Dulwich College students. Prior to that, the College had used Herne Hill Velodrome for several years as a games option for it's older pupils, Since the founding of VCDC, weekly cycling training is now offered to pupils in Year 10 and above. Herne Hill Velodrome is the epicentre of activity, with road rides to the Surrey Hills or Richmond Park also taking place.
VCDC are pro-actively promoting cycling as a viable competitive school sport, not just at the College, but at other schools and colleges too. Each Summer VCDC hosts the Dulwich Inter-Schools Cycling Championships at Herne Hill. Guests of honour included the late 1948 Olympic double medalist Tommy Godwin and top TV cycling presenter, Ned Boulting.
Velo Club Dulwich College | @VCDC2012
Friends of Herne Hill Velodrome
The Friends of Herne Hill Velodrome Trust (Friends) has been set up to strengthen the connection between the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust and the Herne Hill Velodrome. They have their own management committee which consists of local residents, supporters and cyclists. Most of the user groups at Herne Hill have someone on the management of the Friends.
An easy but excellent way to support our future, is to become a 'Friend of Herne Hill Velodrome'. The Friends are already playing a vital part in shaping the future of the venue. Becoming a ‘Friend’ costs just £10 a year. The more people that join the Friends the brighter that future is going to be.
Friends of Herne Hill Velodrome also help raise funds for Herne Hill Velodrome Trust so they can do the things that need doing, like build a new pavilion and create a financially secure venue. They also provide an enthusiastic volunteer force for the Velodrome and make sure all events get a good crowd!
Other Cycle Clubs at Herne Hill Velodrome
In addition to those clubs and user groups listed above, there are many other cycle clubs that make a significant contribution to Herne Hill Velodrome. These include:
East London Velo
Cycling Club Hackney