diamond geezer

 Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's a big day in the Olympic Park. It's not as big a day as Tuesday, when the first competitive test event took place in the Basketball Arena. It's not as big as 50 weeks time when the Olympics proper opens. But it might just be bigger than yesterday, when the preliminary rounds of the BMX test event took place. That BMX-ing culminates today with the finals of the Supercross World Cup 2011, one of the International Cycling Union's major global competitions. You might have assumed that BMX is for nine year-olds on street corners riding some bike they got for Christmas from Halfords, but this is proper dynamic rip-roaring up-and-down stuff. The sport's only 50 years old - a two-wheeled version of motocross. In the proper-competitive version, riders launch themselves from an eight-metre high ramp and then race around a 350m circuit of tall bumps, banked corners and flat sections. Lots of them fall off. The winner is the bravest, most skilful, luckiest rider who overtakes the most.

If you want to see what the course looks like, watch this.
If you haven't got a ticket, you might well be able to watch this afternoon's event here.


After the Games are over, the BMX track will form part of a new Velopark to the north of the Olympic Park. Those with not-very-long memories will remember the Eastway Cycle Circuit, which used to exist on precisely the same spot until it was bulldozed flat to make way for world-class cycling facilities. Although London gets the crisp-shaped Velodrome as payback, those who prefer road racing have watched in anger as ambitious plans for the surrounding Velopark have been shrunk back. This Spring the OPLC attempted to downsize legacy facilities yet again, lopping loops off the road racing circuit by removing two bridges across the River Lea. I wandered into the View Tube one weekend to find the official public consultation unexpectedly underway, and staff particularly reluctant to admit that their new plans were in any way a downgrade. I merely grumbled, but sufficient local cyclists complained that the planners have relented somewhat. The road circuit will no longer be constrained to one side of the river, but will indeed cross to the parklands on the opposite bank, leaving more room for mountain bike trails to the east. It's all a compromise - every extra acre of bike track means one acre less of park or fewer houses crammed into the final development. But when Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park finally opens to the public, longer after the BMX medals have been awarded, two-wheeled visitors might just have the most fun of all.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream