It’s such a shame that the UK track season opener is always subject to the weather. There has been a (scheduled) Good Friday meet at Herne Hill for over one hundred years now. The time slot is traditional – to shift it forward a few months just wouldn’t feel right.
It was a sorry sight though, when with the prelims completed on schedule, and then suddenly the South London skies burst open just ahead of the main race roll outs.
The cycling crowd knew what was coming. This perhaps explains the low turnout ahead of the main races.
Herne Hill is an outdoor track, something that we need to celebrate. Racing with the wind in your hair is an SE24 rites of passage. So is the call to clear the track, as soon as the first drops of rain start to fall.
No worries. There was the usual eccentric mix of bicycling entertainment happening elsewhere. The bonkers bicycle jumble sale was in full flow, and the very fine folk from Rollapaluza were doing their roller races under cover.
We sheltered in the beer tent for an early liquid lunch, looked around at the bruising skies stretching all across South London and then buggered off to @TheLidoCafe for our entertainment.
The food was excellent, although it couldn’t quite compare with the spectacle of penny farthings and tandems racing around Herne Hill.
There’s still seven months or so of cycling at SE24 to go this summer. The slight early season blip isn’t going to get in the way of me spinning around the track before the Great Escape.