HUNDREDS of people enjoyed Hereford’s new cycle track yesterday (September 23).
The £1.75 million facility next to Hereford Leisure Centre features a 1km loop as well as a designated learn-to-ride area.
A community open day was held in the morning for people of all ages to pop along and try out the new facility.
Grig Dick went with his children, Sebastian and Sammy.
“It’s a great event,” said Mr Dick, who lives in Bullinghope.
“We’ve been going here from 10 o’clock – the kids are having a wonderful time messing round, they don’t want to stop.
“Normally I just use the bike to get them to school and back, but the fact this is here is great.”
British Cycling ambassador and para-cyclist track world champion, Daphne Schrager also attended and was impressed by the track.
“It’s absolutely astonishing, I wish I had this when I was a child,” she said.
“There’s great technical stuff to do whether you’re junior racing or just starting out.
“I’ve met so many amazing children from all ages – the smiles on their faces is just what you live for as a professional athlete.
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Richard Preece, business development manager at Halo Leisure, said it took the best part of six or seven years for the project to be completed.
“It’s taken a time to get here, but we’re really pleased now that it’s open,” he said.
“There are children from 18 months old on balance bikes and we’ve had an 85-year-old cyclist who’s gone around with his daughter on one of the adaptive bikes.
“We’ve got people who haven’t been on a bike for a very long time to people learning to bike and people who are keen cyclists, which is fantastic.
“British Cycling have been fantastic right from the start and Daphne coming down to show people what you can achieve.
“We’ve been partly funded through Stronger Hereford. This project is in tandem with the skate park which is being done up.
“Side-by-side, we’ve the skate park, cycle track, the athletics track and the other facilities in the leisure centre – this is becoming a a real destination for families to come and do lots of different activities where they’re all together outside and just enjoying themselves.”
Mr Preece added that the plans to renovate the athletics track have taken a big step forward.
“We have secured a significant funding package,” he said.
“We’ve just gone out to formal tender to appoint a contractor and then we’ll know what the actual cost is.
“At the moment, we’re on track to complete it in the early spring next year.”
For more information about Hereford Cycle Track, including its timetable and prices, visit haloleisure.org.uk/herefordcycletrack