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Eastway Cycle Circuit gone, still no replacement
28.09.07 by Buffalo Bill

I loved Eastway. I learnt to race there, I even won a race there (a mickey mouse race, but a win’s a win). I rode mountain bike races, time-trials and road races there. I was part of the crew that staged the 2003 European Cycle Messenger Championships there.

Eastway has gone, taken by the 2012 Olympics. 400 acres of parkland sacrificed for the greater good. British Cycling was promised that there would be an interim replacement, and that a bigger, better cycling facility would returned to the sport after the Olympics.

Not only has the interim replacement failed to appear, but the so-called ‘legacy’ facility is smaller than Eastway.

The Eastway User’s Group has this to say:

Meantime, we still await news of promised consultation and action to improve the total loss suffered by our sport.

Those new to the debate need not take only the word of Eastway Users Group on this matter. British Cycling said in response to the previous planning application made on Eastway’s site:-
The current Legacy Masterplan fails to provide for an adequate road race facility and does not provide anything like the amount of land that is required to mark out off-road trails suitable for off-road riding of the type previously enjoyed by Eastway users.

Sport England also commented on the application:-
“The replacement cycle circuit should be at least equivalent to the previous facility and ideally should be improved; the current proposals indicate a facility of reduced quality in a smaller area. Provision needs to be made for future community sports needs which will be in addition to the retained venues and would include new on site clubs and recreational areas within the Park. “

  1. i could bang on all day about the bloody olympics. seriously, this is a middle class tit’s knees up. how many kids in hackney do you think, are into discus and 400m hurdles? why couldn’t they have built this shit in surrey? may god rest hackney wicks soul and all who sailed on her…

    — papa44    28 September 2007, 12:49    #
  2. here here

    Jon    28 September 2007, 13:03    #
  3. No more Thursday night racing, no more Eastway 10’s, no more Sat and Sunday races. No more battles to be fought in the Ciclos Uno winter training series and gone are the days where you could sit up the top bank just on from Clareys and watch the bunch scream through that lethal left-hander for a white knuckle ride down then back up the hill.

    — exfakinger    28 September 2007, 13:24    #
  4. Clary’s? What a corner.

    I left half a tattoo on that corner.

    — Bill    28 September 2007, 14:29    #
  5. I only managed to race there four times before it was bulldozed. Clarys was the first corner, right? If so I made a right mess of it a few times, the final one involving me finding the grass and spokes breaking. Boy I loved the races there, it was a proper challenge and had proper history – Merckx had won there in a crit back in 76, the picture was on the wall in the clubhouse. My mate’s mum caught the bouquet when he threw it. Nowhere will ever quite match it unless they put the same layout back. And even then it won’t be quite the same.

    Alex    28 September 2007, 16:21    #
  6. I went there to see Gerry Knetemann and Jan Raas (both reigning world champs) when I was a kid, then got to race criteriums, cross and mtb there when I was older….it’s a tragedy it had has not been replaced, I am pro-olympics but where can 2012 hopefuls train?….and where’s the legacy???

    Winston    29 September 2007, 09:32    #
  7. i thought merckx (then in the twilight of his career) didn’t win at when he raced at eastway, sid barras did. anyway, a wonderful circuit, and a great loss. apparently the hog hill handover has been put back to april 2008… but if the newts can’t be caught and relocated, it could mean another year’s wait. you couldn’t make it up….

    captain spandex    2 October 2007, 22:04    #
  8. Yeah, I think Merckx raced there, but I don’t think he actually won there.

    — Bill    3 October 2007, 07:48    #
  9. I think it was Dietrich Thurau who won that race, Barras second, Merckx third

    Deeply sad to hear Eastway is gone. Got the first points on my license there and like many others left skin there too, on the start finish straight of all places. A kid jumped in front of me and somehow pulled his front wheel round and brought the whole break down with him. The worst was persuading the guy at the tube station to let me on the train with a mangled bike!

    — rob    2 April 2008, 12:44    #
  10. I even liked the black soot that used to stick to ones shins and face due to the poorly applied top layer of asphalt, this gave the racing an epic quality especially in the wet.
    Nothing was ever done to attract the general public to come as spectators. It was all too easy for the olympians to have the circuit bulldozed away. It went without a fight, much in the same way that Paddington track did shortly after its 100th birthday.
    In my view road racing and cycle sport in general held an elitist stance and its exclusivity was a put off to outsiders for too long.
    People watching the 2012 hurdling and long jumping will have no doubt never heard of Eastway cycle circuit.

    — Kevin McCoy    26 November 2009, 13:33    #
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