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23/06/2011 // INFO Leave a comment

Cycle parking at major sporting events – a trip to Wimbledon

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Wimbledon

On Tuesday, the Going Going Bike team kindly let me have the day off to go to Wimbledon to watch a day of tennis on the proviso I found out what the world’s premier tennis tournament does to cater for those who  cycle there to watch the event.

I had vaguely dreamed of cycling about 4am in the morning to get a place near the front of the queue in Wimbledon Park alongside the overnight campers. These people generally get tickets to the show courts that are on sale on a daily basis, with usually 1,500 to 2,000 being available.

However, I was unsure where to leave my bike for the whole day having only the made the decision to go to see the tennis the night before, so didn’t bother cycling in the end and queued up from 8am after getting to Wimbledon via the tube.

Bike parking at Wimbledon

As it happens,  the All England Law Tennis Club does have bicycle parking facilities as I found out later.  Car Park 6, which is located on Church Road, has free parking for bikes.

All public car parks outside the grounds are monitored during the hours the championships are on but not during the night if you plan to leave your bike there.

From what I saw following the end of the days play there were a lot of people cycling away from the grounds and surrounding area including a fair few of the stewards that volunteer their time to help the public at the Championships.

Olympic Games

With the Olympic Games coming up next year, I wondered what facilities will be on offer to cyclists at the Olympic Park or some of the other venues around the UK. After all the London Olympic organisation committee LOCOG has made great pains of stressing that it wants to see people to cycle and walk to the Olympic Park where the majority of the events are being held.

Indeed I will be making my own journey via this way to see the only event that I have a ticket for (Hockey). I live locally in Hackney and there is a defined route via the Regents Canal to the Olympic Park according to LOCOG.

I’ll also make sure I don’t drop into one of those VIP lanes to the Olympic Park if I cycle near the complex in case I get fined £200, though LOCOG have been a pains to say that cyclists are more likely to be given a ticking off if they enter the lanes.

I did contact LOCOG yesterday afternoon to ask how many cycling spaces will be available at the Olympic Park and whether there would be several bike park stations or one big one. I have yet to get my reply.

“Limited” cycle parking

The London 2012 website says “limited” cycle parking will be available for spectators at all competition venues despite the fact that they expect at least 4,400 cycling to the Olympic Park itself on a daily basis.

Wembley Stadium and Arena, which will host football, Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics, has bicycle parking available on street level in the north east corner of the Stadium. Wales’ Millennium Stadium, which will be hosting football matches, does not have cycle parking facilities on site but there is bike parking close to stadium.

Broxbourne (Canoe/Kayak Slalom), Dorney Lake (Rowing) and Weymouth and Portland (Sailing) are all receiving investment to help with better cycle routes to these venues in the run up to 2012.

What are your experiences of cycle parking at big event, whether it is a sporting event or not?

See also

Ensuring cyclist safety when a car passes

Football club encourages matchday cycling to watch team

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