A new cycling festival that celebrates 200 years of one of the greatest human inventions of all time is to launch next summer at the famous Herne Hill Velodrome. The P&P World Cycling Revival aims to become “the greatest celebration of the bicycle the world has ever seen.”
It will be a high-end sporting, music and lifestyle festival with racing, exhibitions, a retail village and hospitality with up to 20,000 people attending from 14th to 16th June.
With ambitious plans to rival tennis, rowing and motorsport flagship events like Wimbledon, Henley and Goodwood, The World Cycling Revival wants “the bicycle to take centre stage” and become the go-to event for cycling fans.
They have chosen the iconic Herne Hill Velodrome as its location now that it has been renovated and its new pavilion opened earlier this year. Herne Hill is of course best known as the 1948 Olympic cycling venue. Its heritage can’t be denied: cycling greats like Jacques Anquetil, Tom Simpson and Fausto Coppi appeared there decades ago and it has long been a spawning ground for British cycling talent. Among others, a young Bradley Wiggins cut his teeth on this track nestled behind Dulwich Village.
The organisers are encouraging spectators to enter the spirit by dressing up for the day and have offered a style guide for both men and women on their website ranging from “Sporting Tweeds” and “Club Casual” to the “Best Dressed Moll” and “1940s Home Front Honey.”
Whatever they wear they’ll be in for a treat on the racing front. The centrepiece of the programme will be a daily 5-race Keirin Trophy competition with Condor Bicycles providing vintage replica steel framed bikes. There’ll be other vintage races including Penny Farthing, Stayer, Derny and Tandem events as well as Madison competitions.
A Brompton Invitational led by David Millar is one of a number of unique one-off events. To top it all off Graeme Obree has vowed to make an attempt at breaking the lap record on a new bike that he has started to build.
In between all the action on the track festival goers can enjoy exhibitions including a collection of 25 historical bikes from the National Cycle Museum. There will be a display of “garden party style music” including Natty Congeroo and the Flames of Rhythm and Palace Swing. Get practising the Charleston and the Lindy Hop! And there’ll be a retail village with a vintage theme.
As well as the usual food and drink options there are some tempting hospitality offerings like track centre-field Private Garden Pagodas and tables of 10 people at the 1948 Club where you can enjoy a four course lunch with complimentary beer and wine served all day.
This is likely to be the biggest event seen at Herne Hill since the 1948 Olympics. Early bird tickets are now available from their website with prices starting at £65 per day or £150 for a 3-day season ticket. Various hospitality packages are available.