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The Big Velofete is a new fundraising event for the Friends of Herne Hill Velodrome happening on the 15th & 16th of June. It is a weekend-long event with races and activities organised by the many user groups that make up the Herne Hill Velodrome (HHV) Community, helping to keep the popular local venue ‘saved’ for many years to come.
Throughout the weekend entertainment will be provided by race events from right across the spectrum of cycling and beyond. This will include road racing, track racing, sprinting, tandem sprinting, road bike criteriums, fixed gear criteriums, cyclocross, duathlon, cross country running and drag sprints. There will be a little bit of everything with competitions featuring people from throughout our racing community; men and women, young and old.
To kick off the Big Velofete there will be a special event on Friday 14th June from 19:30 in the Exodus Travels Pavilion. The newly appointed President of the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust, Ned Boulting, will be joined by friend David Millar in conversation discussing all things cycling, drawing from years of experience in their respective careers.
Tickets cost £10 Adult, £8 Special Friend and £5 Youth tickets and include free spectator entry for Saturday and Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online.
If that’s not enough, there’s plenty of ways for spectators to get involved with numerous ‘have a go’ activities throughout the weekend as well as exhibitions, talks, signings and stalls.
Have a go Activities will be run throughout the weekend we will have a number of activities for spectators to get involved with. Such as opportunities to test ride the adapted cycles used by Wheels for Well Being, Strider Balance Bike sessions for 2-5 year olds and Frog pedal bike sessions for 4-8 year olds.
There will also be track bike inductions for kids and adults, along with mountain bike sessions with Herne Hill Youth Cycling Club.
In partnership with Village Books, the Cycling Book Festival will host talks and discussions across the weekend with some of the leading cycling writers in the UK. Ned Boulting, bestselling author of How I Won the Yellow Jumper and others, editor of The Road Book and ITV’s voice of cycling, will headline Saturday night in the book tent. Other speakers include Tim Moore, Michael Hutchinson, Emily Chappell, Max Leonard, Paul Jones, Michael Broadwith, Marlon Moncrieffe, Kate Rawles Jools Walker, Chris Sidwells, Tom Simpson, Vas-y-Barry and Jenni Gwiazdowski.
Over both days of the festival, the ground-breaking research of Dr Marlon Moncrieffe will be exhibited in the Pavilion. ‘Made in Britain: Uncovering the life-histories of Black-British Champions in Cycling’. A fascinating display of narratives and photos featuring, amongst others, HHV riders past and present.
The exhibition showcases black British cycle racers like Maurice Burton, Russell Williams, Christian Lyte, David Clarke, Charlotte Cole-Hossain and others. Through a collection of testimonies by the cycle racers, the exhibition helps answer the question around why there is a dearth of high-profile black cycle racers.
Local schools orchestras will help provide the atmosphere over the weekend. Visitors should expect to hear a little bit of everything from classical to samba, folk to jazz. Saturday night will see a little bit of a party atmosphere creeping in with DJ Pedaler of Tekkerz CC taking to the decks from 9 pm.
Condor, Pro Cycling Trumps, Elite Cycling, Volcano Coffee, Canopy Beer and London Cycling Campaign will all be onsite will stalls, along with plenty of beautiful Friends of Herne Hill Velodrome merchandise items on sale as well as a pre-loved cycling books and clothing stalls, food and drink.
Herne Hill Velodrome is the second oldest cycle track in the world, built in 1891 and the host of the cycling events at the 1948 Olympics. It’s the last remaining venue from the ‘48 games, and between 1987 and 2011 it was the only velodrome in London.
In 2005 the velodrome was shut for a short time after negotiations on the lease reached a deadlock. The track fell into disrepair as the short lease granted meant raising funds for refurbishment was difficult. In 2011, the historic Herne Hill Velodrome in London was the focus of a high profile and ultimately successful campaign from the local and cycling communities to save the facility.
A new clubhouse was opened in 2017 and facilities are constantly being improved. HHV provides activities for a huge range of cycling, for riders of all abilities and backgrounds, from infants to professionals. Funds raised from the Big Velofete will be used to continue this vital, inclusive programme of exercise and sport for the whole local community.
Entry to the Big Velofete is done on a donation basis. A suggested donation will be collected on entry, this is £3 for Adults, £1 for children or £5 for a family.
Please be advised that there is no parking on site throughout the weekend but we have plenty of bike parking available.
For more information and to see the full schedule please visit http://www.hernehillvelodrome.com/velofete