Lee Valley Velodrome - Is it fulfilling its legacy promises?

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  • This sounds very similar to Glasgow.

    It was about 3 years before the management here started taking bookings from clubs because there was a fear that one or two clubs would try and dominate the whole thing and make it a monopoly (i.e. join our club or don't get track time) and also that they'd come in and be doing things that'd damage the track.

    Development of riders too, management of Glasgow see that as the job of the NGB but they are coming round to the fact that they need to invest a bit of effort in this in order to maintain usage.

    The problem up here (and I'd imagine it's a similar story in lvv) is that the people who are ultimately making the important decisions are not participating in any of the sports that happen in their venues. They're looking at things from a business point of view. It's not ideal but if you let the users run the places it'd be dirt cheap entry fees and do what you want and the only question would be whether or not the place would fall apart before it went bust.

  • Just seen this thread.

    I had my first ever go on a rack a couple of weeks ago in Bordeaux. It cost me 10 euros including bike hire (1.50 euros) . Bike storage for the year I believe is 33 euros. It was an absolutely brilliant experience to be on a track with so much history.

    The difference there is that it is seen as a public facility and it isn't about squeezing the oranges until the pips squeak.

    Hopefully I'll be back there for another go in the future

  • Arghhhhh the Lee Valley booking website is so terrible I can't take it any more.

    WHO DESIGNED THIS??? Every time I book a new session I have to start again from the horse riding and ice skating pages. And I can't just browse to see what track sessions are on, I have to decide which session I want and then see when they are doing one.

    Just rubbish.

  • Agree, website functionality for booking is a PITA. If it helps, my workaround, is to look at the track calendar to see what is on and when, before using the system to book the session I want.


    Its not a direct link, as the pdf changes each month, but the link is on the third row

  • Thanks - will give it a go!

  • Um, no you don't. Use the 'back' button to retrace.

    But your assessment is correct, it is pretty bad...

  • Anyone done the winter track league? Good?

  • It costs the same as an SQT, you get about the same track time and it's a much harder workout. I definitely enjoyed but not getting the time to go anymore

  • Quite a few of my club mates do and rate it. It's the cost/hassle of getting there which is the main issue unsurprisingly. Also a few of them actively dislike paying anything for Full Gas events, Mr Gibb is not a popular man.

  • I'm doing the winter track league for the first time this year, though I've done quite a few of the other Full Gas races there over the last few years and they've always been fun and well organised.

    @Currid How come Tony Gibb is unpopular?

  • Sorry missed this. Yeah see above. Generally known as a massive tosser. Charges rip off prices. Races in his own races and starts on other riders. Haven't heard anyone have a good word to say about him tbh,

  • Not sure what dealings you've had but I've always found him very amicable, knowledgable and honest.

  • Nothing first hand admittedly but numerous accounts from various teammates.

    Not just our lot either:


  • Totally not surprised, Tony Gibb got some anger management issues that's for sure. Raced with him at the first Track League at Lee Valley and it looked like he thought he is God. He was an exempt to all of the rules, that he came up with.

  • Wow! The LVV management sound more like a business than a social enterprise. I don't use the track, but use the outside track so I'm very oblivious to it. Furthermore, from the perspective as a teacher, I've never really seen that many kids out as a part of a school. Also, the Cyclesurgery shut down a week or so ago. Due to sky high rents and not a lot of custom.

    PE / After school clubs have always had pressures related to time and money, but you'd think a facility like this needs to give something back to the borough. There have been some great community BMX projects in S London for example. Often, kids climb over with their BMX's and have a go on the outside BMX track. I just look the other way and challenge them to a race instead. Makes me wonder that they aren't that great at community engagement.

    I think it's more management by spreadsheet than actually talking to people.

  • What's going to take Cycle Surgery's place?

  • I'm guessing Evans, not sure who'd be able to afford it

  • It's a bit of a funny one having a generic store there IMO.

    The ways an LBS (even a chain) makes money is form selling off-the-peg bikes, clothing, cycle2work stuff and workshop services but the one at the velodrome is lacking in the sort of customers that buy that sort of stuff.

    I'm guessing here, but I reckon the most common visitor to the velodrome is the type of customer who can probably mend their own bike, wears team kit and is established enough as a cyclist to know that buying from the internet is easier and cheaper.

    It either needs to be hyper-specific with a very good range of Track, Road Race and BMX specific goods (supported by an online business) or not bother at all.

  • There's also another bike shop (assuming it is still there) nearby.


  • Fuck knows how that one ^ makes enough money to pay the rent. Never anyone around there.

  • They were brilliant when I went in there. I’d sheared off a chainring bolt at the Velodrome before track league, cycle surgery had none left (“we always run out for some reason” Ha!) so I popped by. They weren’t even open yet, hadn’t unpacked. Spent ages rummaging around in boxes for me, then gave me a dura-ace one for free when they found one as I’d been waiting so long.

  • “The Court Of Appeal has made it clear that road rage is something the courts must take very seriously and punish severely.”

    They forgot: "except when a cyclist is the victim."

  • My missus has ridden the track here and had a great time. I'm a bit jealous.

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Lee Valley Velodrome - Is it fulfilling its legacy promises?

Posted by Avatar for Señor_Bear @Señor_Bear