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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Bournemouth Velodrome?

The Velodrome is a brilliant public facility, set in Slades Farm Open Space in Ensbury Park, Bournemouth. The facility, which is available to all, is managed by Active Dorset in partnership with Bournemouth Borough Council, British Cycling and the local cycling clubs.

We would be delighted to welcome you to use this facility, whatever standard of rider you are, and think we can provide a high quality sessions for all users from novices through to experienced track riders. For new rider, the lower levels can be used for gaining confidence while the banks are for the more experienced rider.

For track cycling, the Velodrome is an Olympic sized (250 metre) arena, with a flat tarmac zone, assembly area and grass infield. It features steeply banked oval tracks, consisting of two 180-degree circular bends connected by two straights. The straights move to a circular to the circular turn through a moderate curve.

2. Who can use the velodrome?

Everyone – the velodrome at Bournemouth is a public open space for the use of everyone who wants to learn and practice cycling activities in a safe, traffic free environment. We run regular sessions for all abilities of every age and offer a Velodrome membership, entitling the user to cycle the velodrome throughout the year.

The velodrome is a nationally recognised facility for developing track riding and the facility is regularly used by experienced riders and clubs.

The velodrome can be booked by schools, clubs and other organisations for cycling sessions and events with a dedicated cycle coaching support workforce. Slades Farm also has an administration office, equipment store plus changing accommodation shared with other Open Space users.

3. I've not used the velodrome before, which session is best for me to attend?

If you have not ridden before, come along to an introductory to cycling session or an introduction to track cycling session.

4. How can I book a session at the velodrome?

Go to the Velodrome Calendar here & simply click on the type of session you want to book onto for all the details.

5. Can I use a road bike?

Yes, but only for introductory to cycling sessions or for cycling below the inner blue line. No road bikes are provided, please bring your own.

6. When are track bikes used and should I bring my own

The velodrome is a track cycling facility so track bikes must be used for all track sessions. Only track bikes can be used on the banks. These can be hired at £2 per session, or you can use your own track bike if you have one.

7. Can I hire a bike at any time?

Only track bikes are available to hire in organised sessions and subject to availability.

8. When can I collect my transponder?

Transponders can be collected during organised sessions. Please contact us on velodrome@activedorset.org for other arrangements.

9. What other equipment do I need?

You need a hard shell cycling helmet, as with all cycling activities, but no other specialist equipment is required. The organiser /coach of any session will advise you as to basic suggestions which will will improve your track cycling experience. Equipment & Clothing Guidance is available here.

10. What does it cost to use the velodrome?

All sessions carry a standard fee per participant of £5, with £2 bike hire if required. Annual membership is £60 for adults and £50 for juniors (under 18).

11. What are the benefits of being a velodrome member?

Annual Bournemouth Velodrome user payment entitles the rider to ride the banked sections of the track at any time, except for booked sessions, without any further track hire charges. During club or organised sessions there may still be coaching fees, competition entry or club affiliation fees to be paid.

All Velodrome riders will be supplied with a transponder which must be used when riding the track. Recorded timings will be available online to each Velodrome rider.

12. I can see the velodrome with it's very steep banks, how safe is it?

The velodrome is a very safe venue, assessed regularly by British Cycling and Bournemouth Council with an enviable safety record. As with all sports facilities it does carry risks if not used properly and inexperienced/new riders cannot ride the banks until they are confident and competent to do so. All the booked sessions at the velodrome include instructors who will advise on this. A condition of velodrome membership is a declaration of competence by the applicant.

13. The velodrome has no roof cover, what about the weather?

Bournemouth is one of the outdoor varieties of velodrome! The cycling season is primarily from April to September. it can only be used when the weather permits so there will be times when it is too wet to use. The sessions are continually monitored for this eventuality by the coaches.

14. I would like to take my track bike onto the velodrome and ride when there is no one else there - can I do this?

Yes, but only if you are a paid up member of the velodrome. For safety reasons we have to monitor the use of the velodrome (with the transponder system) and welcome its use at all times (weather permitting) if you are safe to ride.

There are public notices at the velodrome regarding the safety of the track and no-one should ride the velodrome banks who is not competent to do so , these conditions are set out here.