Saturday 6th of October, 10am. The official opening day of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
I arrived bright and early around 9am with the excitement of a little kid.
This would be my first time back on an indoor velodrome since 2012 Commonwealth Games hosted by Delhi. One thing I never really appreciated until today was just how light and airy this track is compared to every other track I've ridden.
There must have been in excess of 100 riders, ranging from youth to veteran, from 12 to 50 years of age.
One little kid rocked up aged 8 who kept shouting to his grandmother “Look at me I’m just like Chris Hoy” as he ripped around the concrete track centre, on a borrowed bike, in his jeans and jumper (looks like the London Olympics tag line of “inspiring a generation” has worked).
If only I’d been given one pound for every smile I saw, as each rider came off the track.
I was pleasantly surprised at the ability of what I thought were relative “newbies”.
It really is a testament to the hard work that has been done by Scottish Cycling and Scottish clubs over the past 5 years with limited facilities. All the hard working volunteers really have stepped up, this could not be more evident than what I was seeing today at face value.
The track centre was totally buzzing. Everywhere I looked I could see coaches wielding stop watches and whistles; mums and dads looking on with a combination of fear and pride as their kids took to the steep banking.
One thing that stood out was the huge interest from the general public. People who were in the a-joining National Indoor Sports Arena (Nisa) had came in for a look appeared mesmerised by what they saw. The stands were also a wash with football fans looking to kill a bit of time before the big match kick off in Parkhead Stadium across the road. I quickly realised that this was not just a cycling facility but an arena that is fully inclusive to everyone from elite cyclists to people who have only ever heard about the velodrome since the Olympics.
The Doors were officially opened and so were the eyes of the Scottish public.