On Tuesday 28th November 2014 the weather in London was beautiful; clear blue sky and warm - lucky! This was the day that 10 young cyclists from Guiness Youth Club (GYC) visited the Lee Valley Velopark in the Queen Elizabeth Park for the first time. They came to the Concorde Centre Bike Club via mini bus in good time after being collected by our driver Roger Steil and Hayley Birch. After greetings the group were issued with club cycles, head protection and a pre-ride briefing from myself; Young Hackney's lead cycling coach (Sports Unit).
Additional staff members Darren Popham, Norman Saggers and Fiona Meeks joined in for the car free ride around Hackney Marshes and across three bridges into the QE Park. Along the route we all observed autumnal trees, the River Lea, the Orbit statue and the 2012 Olympic stadium as a picture book back drop to 82 football pitches on Hackney Marshes.
On the last bridge close to London’s iconic Velodrome there was sense of excitement, a feeling like standing right next to someone world famous. Underneath us ran 1.5klm of road circuit and to the left we could see the BMX track start gates and main ramp.
After a respectful ride around the velodrome’s perimeter path we headed for main reception, took our bikes inside and went up stairs for refreshments in the café while observing a training session. There were various questions from our young riders to answer about cycling at the Velopark and accessing cycle sport, but the main point was that this trip must be remembered as the first of many.