|More velodromes = healthier kids+sporting success|
This is exactly what British cycling needs - facilities for young cyclists and which will encourage more young people to give the sport a go. The British fell in love with cycling even before the French did, but the French realised that a love affair needs work if it's to survive the test of time and so they made sure they spent money, built velodromes and established well-financed training programs. In Britain, the government provided a few urban cycle tracks and left them to decay, perhaps paying a bloke with a broom to go and sweep the broken glass out of the way every once in a while. In France, cyclists are the heroes of the road and are paid respect. In Britain, with the bike widely considered to be what unsuccessful people who couldn't afford cars used in order to get about, cyclists got no respect from drivers and road riding was, much of the time, hellish. Still is, in fact, and it's this combination of perceived low status and unpleasantness that causes most young people to pass the bike on to a younger sibling (or chuck it in the river) and forget about cycling forever just as soon as they can take their driving test and buy a horrible old Vauxhall Nova. Give young cyclists opportunity to learn the techniques and hone their skills and we'll be guaranteed generation after generation of competitive cyclists ready to go out into the world and win races.
British cycling is in a healthier state right now than it has been for many decades - in fact, it's healthier than ever. Every project designed to promote it helps, even small-scale local initiatives. A three-quarter of a million pound velodrome does a world of good.
Bournemouth Cycling Centre is located at Slades Farm just off the A347 in the middle of the town and holds regular open sessions for experienced cyclists aged 14 years or over. See Bournemouth CC's webpage for more information.