Wet weather policy
Being an outdoor velodrome in the UK, Herne Hill can get rained on! The velodrome was resurfaced from concrete to tarmac in 2011, and after the initially glossy lines were sanded down it is now much grippier. The new surface is a special mix of tarmac called "MasterTrack" which is fast to ride on, but is effectively as grippy as a road, without the problems of oil and dirt found on the open roads.
Long-time riders used to our old surface will have to rethink their preconceptions about riding in the damp. The new surface is much better in the wet, sessions are much less likely to be canceled.
When it rains we have to take a view as to how safe the track is to ride. Decision on whether or not the track is safe falls to the coach(es) in charge of the session. The best way to know in advance whether or not a session is happening is to check our twitter page where we will give notice when possible, as well as checking weather and rain radar websites.
We will not run a track session in heavy rain. Heavy rain does reduce grip on the track, and spray off tyres can be very distracting.
During the warmer months, and with a little breeze the track can dry very quickly. If it has stopped raining and surface water has drained, the track may well be deemed safe to ride.
We realise people can travel over considerable distances for racing. As above, check the twitter page and rain radar websites. We will try to make a decision as early as possible if the weather is inclement.
Private sessions for school, and other youth groups will usually still be able to go ahead. Coaches will usually run a mountainbike session on our extensive network of off-road trails, or may be able to do some basic riding on the track depending on conditions.
Light Rain & Drizzle
Our general rule, is as long as the rain is light or intermittent and the spray off the track isn't a problem sessions can go ahead. However, we do take certain precautions.
Inductions and novice sessions won't go ahead on a wet track. Intermediate and Advanced training session will most probably go ahead if the coach is happy with the conditions. In this case sessions will be limited to "tempo" exercises, ie those that involve consistent speeds, and traveling in a straight line.
We should be able to run the majority of youth sessions - even those for younger and novice riders in damp conditions. These may be limited to the flat safety area, depending on the groups ability.
We will endeavour to let racing proceed as long as it is safe. If it rains during a race meeting and the track gets too wet, it is possible to pause the race meeting, and resume it after weather conditions improve.
Remember conditions can change quickly and little warmth and breeze can dry the track very quickly.
Why would you want to be anywhere else on a nice day. Riding at Herne Hill Velodrome with the sun on your back reminds you this is a very special place!