I’ve been feeling quite bereft this week now that the Tour de France is over for another year – but I got another surprise fix of cycle racing at the wonderful Herne Hill velodrome today! We’ve been regular visitors at the velodrome to watch racing since we moved to Herne Hill over a decade ago, but I’d always assumed it would be a few more years before Alex would be able to have a go. But a chance look at the velodrome website revealed a Saturday lunchtime class for 3-8 year olds!
With a quiet, local day planned we decided to have a go – and I’m so glad we did! The children’s lesson was based on the inner, training track while the adults whizz around the main velodrome track. Having seen Alex try the local BMX lessons and struggle to focus on the full 90 minute lesson, this one-hour session was perfect for him. Just the right amount of coaching and guidance with a manageable amount of activity. Alex listened really well and was soon confidently cycling around the track with a big grin on his face!
I loved how the children were surrounded by the adult cyclists – it was really inspiring for them and Alex kept asking when he’d be old enough to go on the big track!
We had one rocky moment when Alex made contact with another bike and fell off, resulting in some seriously over dramatic crying. But thankfully he recovered in time for the bike racing! They started with a mini time trial, with each child completing a short obstacle course – and Alex did the fastest time!
Last was the track race – one lap of the circuit as fast as they could go! I was a bit nervous seeing the busy line up that they’d just knock each other off as soon as they started.
But thankfully they all got off safely, and Alex made a good start – just like Chris Hoy, taking the outside of the curve on the first corner.
By the time he’d emerged from the fencing across the centre of the track, Alex had a clear lead.
And despite a great attempt by another racer, crossed the line in first place!
He was so proud of himself -and I must admit, we are too! We’ll be keeping hold of these pictures ready to roll out at the Sports Personality of the Year in a few years if this is the beginning of a successful cycling career!
He had a wonderful time and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves – can’t get over how lucky we are living within walking distance of such a great facility!