The penultimate round of the current Rollapaluza winter roller-race league takes place this Wednesday 3 February at the Half Moon pub in Herne Hill.
The pub is a regular haunt of South London’s cyclists, including those visiting the nearby velodrome, and the fastest riders from the evening’s racing will get the chance to compete in the National Finale against the top riders from around the UK who have taken part in other events in the series.
Racing takes part from 6pm to 11pm, with qualification rounds running until 9pm, and whether you’re taking part or just watching, it’s a fiver to get in, and the programme includes DJs as well as the racing.
And organisers say that you shouldn’t be put off if you haven’t tried the rollers before, saying that the winter series gives “an ideal low-key opportunity for newcomers to try Rollapaluza, all are welcome and you are guaranteed raucous encouragement from the now famous Rollapaluza crowds.”
One person taking part on Wednesday who definitely isn’t a novice on the rollers is Dave Legrys, who set a world record speed for roller racing of an astonishing 126.6mph on the late Roy Castle’s Record Breakers programme, shown in the YouTube clip below. Dave is still breaking records – last November, he set two age group world records while winning gold medals during the Masters Olympic Games in the sprint time trial and the 500m team time trial.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.