Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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Olympic Legacy Facilities, Lee Valley VeloPark

Posted by Colin | March 5, 2013 | 6 comments so far

Lea Valley Velo Park

The legacy of London 2012 is very apparent, particularly on the roads of Surrey, which are now full of lycra-clad folks getting in my wife’s way wherever she drives! Some sports will fair better than others with regard to legacy inheritance, cycling being one of the lucky few.

The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority has long been established to promote the recreational use of the Lee Valley (the site of the Olympic Park) and it will be the body that controls the legacy project.

We all know about the Velodrome and the fearsome BMX track but it is not common knowledge that in addition to legacy facilities, two additional cycling disciplines will be catered for – Road and MTB, perfect for us Moles!

I’ve detailed below the current vision of the newly created Lee Valley VeloPark which is scheduled to be open and ready for public use in the New Year of 2014.

We have to wait until then because once LOCOG have decommissioned the site, Lee Valley will inherit the the Velodrome and BMX tracks on their land, but the road circuit and MTB tracks currently don’t exist and need to be built from scratch. Thankfully they will be dumbing-down the BMX track! (see below).

The buildings were all modular and effectively get handed over as shells with no fixtures or fittings and even need such things as plumbing and cabling. Access roads need to be build and other infrastructure amended so there’s a fair bit to do so we will have to wait, but what we will inherit will be awesome, even if just a little too far to make regular sorties viable.

In summary

  • The site is owned and operated entirely and exclusively by Lee Valley (LV), no clubs or other bodies are in control eg. British Cycling
  • 1 Legacy, 4 Disciplines – Velodrome, Road Circuit, BMX and MTB
  • Key objectives – Community-Focussed, Commercially-Driven. In other words, it has to be self-funding and the intention is to achieve this by making it successful to the extent that it survives on its own revenues
  • To be open 7 days, with all disciplines running concurrently
  • Fleet of over 400 hire bikes, for all disciplines will be available on site

Velodrome Facility

Open 08:00 – 22:00 All Year. Site open to midnight so events can run to the closing time of 22:00
On site coaches will be available on a full-time basis and open for private/group bookings

  • 250m siberian pine velodrome
  • 6,000 seater capacity
  • Cafe
  • Conference Rooms
  • Fully kitted out Gym
  • Interior will remain temperature controlled, but not to the same extent unless running national/international championship events
  • An accreditation system will operate to control who is allowed to ride. Exemption criteria will be drawn up, e.g. for club riders who are deemed capable

Road Circuit

Open 08:00 – 22:00 All Year. Site open to midnight so events can run to the closing time of 22:00
This may run from 07:00 during summer, subject to demand/resourcing. On site coaches will be available on a full-time basis.

Open for private/group bookings

  • 1 mile closed in its full configuration and fully floodlit
  • Fully fenced and enclosed, with controlled access
  • Start/finish line booth with timing strips etc.
  • Section L1 – 645m with 7m rise/fall
  • Section L2 – 748m with 12m rise/fall
  • Section L3 – 225m with 4m rise/fall
  • Can be run as a whole or in part, with sections running different sessions concurrently if needed
  • No road rage, scaffold lorries or potholes!

BMX

Open 08:00 – 22:00 All Year. Site open to midnight so events can run to the closing time of 22:00, fully floodlit. On site coaches will be available on a full-time basis and open for private/group bookings.

  • Modified and scaled down from London 2012
  • Tunnel will be removed
  • Start ramp down from 8m to 5m but will be possible to increase for major championships
  • All other jumps and ramps will be toned down to aid accessibility for non elite riders and due to H&S risk
  • Corporate and private hire will be catered for

MTB

Open 08:00 – Dusk, all rear. It will be open for organised night events however not floodlit hence dusk closure. To be constructed around the perimeter of parts of the road circuit and BMX track. On site coaches will be available on a full-time basis and open for private/group bookings.

  • Total 8km of trails, graded as Blue, Red & Black
  • Also includes pump track

I think its really exciting to have this at our disposal and being so accessible, both in terms of location and opening hours. Makes you wonder how many more folks, young and old will get into our sport having this kind of facility to get them started.

Can’t wait to race Dandy on the BMW track!!

For further reading, see: Lee Valley Velo Park.

Filed under 2013, News in March 2013

Colin

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There are 6 comments on ‘Olympic Legacy Facilities, Lee Valley VeloPark’

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  1. Dandy says:

    I know I’m regressing as what little hair I have left turns greyer, but I really fancy a bmx session. Is it just me? I’ve never ridden one, as they (along with mtb’s) weren’t invented when I were a lad 🙁

  2. Andrew AKAK says:

    I would fancy the bmx and the velodrome but only once…which isn’t much of a legacy maybe?

  3. Matt says:

    Mustn’t forget the Hadleigh Farm MTB centre in this context either – I quite fancy a go round there…

    Also, there seems to be more velo building in general as demand rises – read about this proposed velodrome in Paignton this morning. Bit far to go but worth dropping in if on hols?

  4. tony says:

    This is great news. I was up at this site for the para-olympics last summer so it’s excellent news to see it being used fully.

    I’d like to give the velodrome a try out and I also fancy floodlit road racing. That would be fabulous.

    As well as this site there are also road racing sites in Hillingdon, Hog Hill (bottom of M11) and a outdoor velodrome at Herne Hill. It’s good to see a purpose made MTB and BMX track added to them.

  5. OrangelessRoo says:

    Thanks Colin; great to have bit of detail about the emerging plans of the Legacy.

    I was part of the EDAW Olympic Park and Olympic Stadium Design team, which apart from being an amazing experience gave us the opportunity to steer some of the Legacy to the disciplines that were already on the site such as the road track. Glad to see the MTB track is coming back too.

    I agree with Matt – can’t wait to try Hadleigh Farm.

  6. Dazzler says:

    Was at Hadley the other week, sad to say it’s closed. You have to book to ride the course. Plus parts have been dug out & is incomplete. The locals aren’t happy as they feel the promise has been broken. So much for being open to us bikers. Run out of money I’ve been told… Least I had a quick lap before 2012.

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