Herne Hill Velodrome, the last surviving venue of the 1948 Olympic Games, will next June host what is being billed as “the greatest celebration of the bicycle the world has ever seen” – the P&P World Cycling Revival, spanning three days at the south London venue.
The event was launched in Soho yesterday by TV presenter and author Ned Boulton, retired pro cyclist David Millar, and former track world champion and Hour record holder, Graeme Obree.
It will take place from Thursday 14 to Saturday 16 June 2018 and will seek to recapture the spirit of the late 1940s, with attendees encouraged to wear vintage clothing.
The success of the Eroica Britannia, held in the Peak District annually since 2014 and attracting 3,000 people over the three days, proves that there’s appetite here for all things retro when it comes to cycling.
VIP tickets for next year’s edition of the Italian-inspired event went on sale last month, while the general sale opened yesterday – and as Chris Davey, tweeting as @MendipCycles, pointed out today, the two events clash, with the Eroica Britannia taking place from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 June.
As a result, it’s likely that many people who may have been attracted to the P&P World Cycling Revival will have committed to the Eroica Britannia already, which also features its signature mass participation ride on vintage bikes.
Racing, of course, will feature at the Herne Hill event, including a Japanese Keirin Trophy with five races each day on specially produced steel-framed Condor Keirin bikes, while a Brompton 48 invitational race will see the winner scooping the entire £10,048 prize fund, with Millar already confirmed among the entries.
There will also be an exhibition space, including a display covering the History of the Bicycle, devised in partnership with the National Cycle Museum.
Speaking at the launch at Soho bar Cahoots yesterday, the event’s founder, John Postlethwaite, said: “We’re very excited to launch The P&P World Cycling Revival today.
“This is an event like no other for cycling and we’re delighted to be working with Herne Hill in creating the greatest celebration of the bicycle the world has ever seen.”
Boulting said that there was a “special place in my heart” for Herne Hill Velodrome.
“I can’t think of a better venue to host a huge celebration of all things cycling; one that’ll appeal to cycling purists, vintage enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys a great and different day out,” he added.
Obree will be rebuilding the ‘Old Faithful’ bike that took him to the Hour record in the 1990s and which will be on display at the festival, albeit with a new name, ‘Bold Faithful’.
“There are tracks like Herne Hill, the same size, but they're not the same to me,” he reflected. “What I remember from 25 years ago at Herne Hill is the intensity and the atmosphere from thousands of people in the crowd.
“To me this track is London, it's the heart of the action, it's London’s velodrome. I want to be there to feel the vibrancy and the energy again.”
Obree will be rebuilding is his “Old Faithful bike” which will be displayed at the festival and aptly re-named “Bold Faithful”.
Early bird day tickets for each day cost £65, while a season ticket covering all three days costs £150, with more details available here.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.