This summer while visiting France we spent two days in Lyon. After a few question about the existence of a velodrome to an old man met at the restaurant we jumped on a tram chasing the clues he gave us. We then got to Tete d’Or park, a luxuriant park in the northern part of Lyon. After a few rounds across the zoo, I hate zoo, the greenhouses, I like greenhouses, and other amenities we eventually found the velodrome.
welcome to the Georges Preveral velodrome! we than spent half an hour arguing with a girl who didn’t want to let us in because of some mysterious events going on at that time. After a refreshing “granita” at the kiosk nearby we came back hoping the evil franch girl was disappeared, and she was! The guardian was happy to let us in and we were happy too. Yes everyone was happy!
This velodrome was first built in 1894 for the Universal Expo with the intent to show on the track the latest models of bicycles produced. It was than renovated in 1934 reaching is final setting and appearance, as attested by 30’s styled statues on the top of the turns. This concrete track, 333.333 m long with turns reaching a maximum of 43°, hosted back in 1989 the world championship (see this nice set of pictures about it on flickr).
now is still in use, when we were there there was a tandem for blind persons training and apparently the velodrome is mostly active for the preparation of these para-athletes. I would have loved to have my bike with me or even to borrow one but the tandem was the only thing on two wheels there and so I just set down in the fresh air of the park watching those two guys turning around constantly. It was so relaxing I almost fell asleep.