Glasgow Sir Chris Hoy Velodromecrop

Riding a velodrome is a unique experience. From pedalling a fixed gear, brakeless bike to the buzz of riding the banking, cycling on the same track as your heroes is a buzz.

There are now four indoor UK velodromes, from Glasgow to Newport, with a fifth opening in Derby soon. The Lee Valley VeloPark in London offers women's only sessions, while others assure us women tend to enjoy the challenge of mixed sessions. And unlike road cycling, even if you are a bit on the slow side and get dropped it's hard to lose sight of the group.

There are also a selection of outdoor velodromes - we've included Herne Hill Velodrome and York here, both of which are running women's only sessions.

Why You Should Try a Track Taster Sessions and Take it Further

Review: HOY Fiorenzuola 002 Track Bike

Lee Valley Velodrome to Hold Women Only Track Sessions

If you're not used to riding fixed, or clipping in, don't worry - coaches tailor taster sessions for absolute beginners - so long as you can ride a bike.

So, whether you just fancy trying the track or intend to take on the world, a usually one hour taster session will teach you the basics of track riding, so by the end not only will you will be able to handle a track bike, you'll know your Cote d'Azure from your stayer's line.

Should you want to keep turning left, the four stage track accreditation course is your gateway to more track training sessions, and track leagues for the super keen.

Fullscreen capture 22072016 150956

Where: 104 Burbage Rd, Herne Hill, London SE24 9HE

What: Not that we're biased, but this is our editor's absolute favourite place to be of a Saturday morning. Built in 1891, it's the oldest cycling track in the world - though facilities are currently being updated with a new pavilion for spectators and riders.

The track is 450 metres long with 30 degree banking at its steepest. Accreditation is required for more advanced sessions. You start with a Taster, this allows you to ride as many 'Basic Skills' sessions as you like, before completing 'Training Accreditation' which means you can ride 'Intermediate' sessions which are longer and more advanced. If you want to race, you do one more driving test like assessment for a Race Accreditation License.

Herne Hill offer sessions for youth riders and there's loads available for women - with 2 hour sessions on Sunday evenings plus women and vet's sessions on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. There are often coaches on the track, which makes for a really fantastic learning environment, especially since sessions start from around £5. On top of all that, there's a women's track league once a month too.

Cost: Sessions vary, but many 1 hour sessions are £5 with 2 hour sessions about £7. Probably the most cost effective velodrome around!

Get in touch:

Herne hill velorome website here.

Womens group Lee Valley Velodrome

Where: Lee Valley Velopark, Abercrombie Road, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 3AB

What: The Siberian pine track that hosted the 2012 Olympic track events is often dubbed the world's fastest velodrome. Known as the pringle for the building's distinctive outline, the Lee Valley VeloPark's velodrome opened to the public in March 2014. There are plenty of mixed track tasters, as well as women's only track taster sessions, which run roughly twice a month. For 12-16 year olds, youth track taster sessions also run twice monthly.

Dame Sarah Storey to take on UCI Hour Record

There are also both women-only and mixed track sessions for accredited riders. Lee Valley VeloPark's 6000-seater UK velodrome hosts Revolution Cycling Series events and the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships where you can watch the superstars of track cycling battle it out.

The VeloPark also has a one mile closed road track, an MTB course, and BMX track. To book track sessions, apply for free online membership here; you can book for up to eight people in advance.

Cost: £30 per adult per session, £22 concessions, including bike hire and helmet

Pedals: Platform or Look Keo cleats

Get in touch:

Lee Valley VeloPark website


Where: The National Cycling Centre, Stuart Street, Manchester M11 4DQ

What: Now in its 21st year, Manchester's National Cycling Centre is home to the crack teams at British Cycling and Team Sky. Ride with up to 15 other novices for an hour on the same Olympic-standard (250m) track the pros train on, where you'll learn the basics of track riding. There's morning, lunch and afternoon taster sessions available for ages 12 plus, and you can also hire the velodrome for birthday parties, an excuse to drag your non-cycling mates/family members onto the track. There's also family sessions for ages 9 up.

The National Cycling Centre hosts Revolution Cycling Series events, and there's nothing like watching the pros racing, for inspiration. The National Cycling Centre is also home to the National Indoor BMX Arena and outdoor MTB track.

Cost: Tasters £15, or £9 concessions, which includes bike hire

Pedals: Platform or Look Delta cleats

Tip: Bring a water bottle, as there's water chillers but no cups provided

Get in touch:

Glasgow Sir Chris Hoy Velodromecrop

Where: 1000 London Road, Glasgow G40 3HG

What: Built for Glasgow's 2014 Commonwealth Games bid the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome, aka the Emirates Arena, is the only indoor track in Scotland and the home of Scottish Cycling. To get your wheels on the Siberian pine track, register online here before booking online or over the phone up to 31 days in advance, though you'll have to be quick to get in on an hour-long taster session - they can sell out very quickly.

There's also junior sessions for riders 15 and under, and family introductory sessions for ages eight and over. You can hire the place for parties but everyone has to be aged over 11. For spectators the Revolution Cycling Series visits the UK velodrome in Glasgow, there's capacity for 2,000 spectators, with another 2,000 temporary seats added for major events.

Cost: Taster session £10.40/£7.30 adult/concession and junior. Bike hire, helmet and cleats included in the price

Pedals: Platform or Look Keo cleats

Get in touch:

0141 287 7000

Women cycling Newport Velodromecrop

Where: Newport International Sports Village, Velodrome Way, Newport, South Wales, NP19 4RA

What: Wales' official national UK velodrome and the home of Welsh Cycling, the Wales National Velodrome hosted Team GB and Paralympic GB in training for London 2012, Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004.

If you want to try track for the first time here you will need to sign up to a three week course, which runs from the start of each month, depending on demand, on Monday evenings, 6.30-8.30. There's also improvers courses, and track sessions for all levels, including coached lunchtime sessions.

The site also has a gym, spinning studio and an outdoor cycling track, and for events, including British Cycling's National Masters Championships in June, there's seating for 500 spectators.

Cost: A three week beginners' course costs £35 including bike hire

Pedals: Platform and Look Keo

Get in touch:

Newport Velodrome website


Where: York Sport Village - Lakeside Way, Heslington, YO10 5FG

What: York's outdoor velodrome is a 250m Olympic-sized track with 30 degree banking at each end. They run activities from April-October, providing something for most ages and abilities.

Accreditation is required for more advanced sessions, and this is a four stage process. You can repeat as many stages as you like, Stage 1 is £10, Stage 2 is £10 also and stage 3 is £15 - there are also discounts for concessions. They also run women's sessions from time to time which will appear on the site and here.

More info here.