I discovered Herne Hill velodrome quite by accident, as I pootled around SE24 discovering my new neighbourhood after moving from Cornwall in 2001. I didn't initially register the importance of the track, as being the last existing 'Finals' venue of the 1948 Olympics, where Reg Harris won the silver medal in the 1000m Sprint.
I've visited the velodrome quite a bit since, mostly for training for long rides and peleton practise, and yeah its a bit run down and greatly affected by the slightest bit of drizzle, but it has heart.
Theres something hugely endearing about turning up, paying my cash and getting a rubber band with a number on, much like it was when i used to go swimming all those years ago. However im not saying it should stay like that, it needs investment and improvement and some serious PR, and more to the point it needs Dulwich Estate to stop being so snooty and let those upgrades happen. Please don't let me read that its been sold off for some more 'desperately needed housing', which will no doubt get bought by bankers looking for a convenient zone 2 flat for their week in town - as im sure Cameron is already thinking (Update - apparently this is unlikely as it may be protected under 'Public Common Ground', phew).
I love the idea of making more of the centre space too, it would be great to see a BMX track (a la Brockwell Park) in the middle, together with some training facilities, how about spin classes and a gym, lets show the posh Tennis club down the road who's boss!
So, if you're in the area, and you too have a special place in your heart for large racing ovals, then make your opinion known, get your lycra clad butts down to the Dulwich College on 6th October @ 7:30pm, and lets persuade Dulwich Estates to give it the shot in the arm it needs, and im not talking EPO either - see you there hopefully.