I've only just caught up with this thread and given that I've been living in Hawthorn for the last couple of months with the velodrome on my doorstep I got all inspired reading your comments. I just went and did half an hour of circles. Probably not the best idea in the dark but I got carried away.
That's awesome fun! Relaxing in a mind-numbing kind of a way. I used to ride there growing up in the area years ago, when the surface was pretty average from memory, but I hadn't been there in ages. My commute doesn't go past it and I'd put it out of my head as "a track cycling kind of thing".
But they're great for trying out bike set-ups, new gear and the like without the distraction of riding in the road.
Sorry for going on like an idiot, yeah welcome to the 21st century and everything, but it's cool when you discover a new aspect to your cycling life (especially when it's been right under your freaking nose!).
Thanks all for talking up the velodromes. Go you velodrome pimps!