Stephen Bromberg from Lee Valley Regional Park Authority on the new VeloPark and what it means for cycling in London.
Stephen Bromberg from Lee Valley Regional Park Authority on the new VeloPark, one of the gifts of the Games, and what it means for cycling in London…
It’s been an amazing summer watching the velodrome come to life. I really enjoyed watching Hoy, Pendleton and Trott all medalling, and seeing Pendleton crying after getting silver – really emotional. The noise, the atmosphere and the reaction of the crowds has been incredible, union jacks everywhere. And I kept thinking that in many ways, the best is still yet to come as the velodrome move into its next stage.
The velodrome is part of the new Lee Valley VeloPark which will offer people four different routes into cycling. There’s also a BMX track, which will be a modified version of the one used in the Games; a new 7km mountain bike trail and a new one mile road circuit, suitable for everyone from kids learning to experienced club riders and world champions.
It’s the first venue to bring track cycling, mountain biking, BMX and road cycling together in one place. So the key thing about the VeloPark is whatever type of riding you’re into, you’ll be able to try it out. We’ll also be running cycle training for school groups on the road circuit to give them the confidence and skills to ride safely before venturing out on the streets.
I think it’s really important to develop young people’s skills and interest in cycling, particularly as so few youngsters cycle to school nowadays. Otherwise we could lose a generation. I’m really hopeful that the wider renaissance in cycling will rub off on young people too. Who couldn’t be inspired by what Team GB and ParalympicsGB did in the Velodrome?
We hope the velodrome will continue to be a place for future champions to practice in, but also gets people to try the sport that wouldn’t otherwise have thought about it. There’ll be taster sessions for adults, women’s groups and disability groups, and schools and community groups will be able to hire it too. A ‘have a go’ approach also goes for the other three types of cycling.
I really hope it will lead to a longer term cycling legacy for London, that it helps keep cycling up there and inspires a generation. The Games are all about getting people to try things they haven’t tried before, to have a chance to do different sports.
I grew up a few miles from Stratford and the idea of having all this in one place ready for people to use is incredible. Maybe my three and four year old children could really shine there – what an amazing opportunity for them and all young people, but also what a great chance for people of all ages to try something new.
Find out more at: www.london.gov.uk/gifts/gold-standard