Going on rides out into the country is great fun, be it with a couple of friends or just by yourself. It’s what most road cyclists do, maybe you extend it to somewhere like Cambridge or Brighton at around 60 miles away or Leamington Spa at around 100 miles then get the train back. Trying to do any distance inside London itself is pretty much impossible with having to stop at lights every 2 minutes or getting stuck in traffic. It’s also not as nice to look at as the country side.
However, if you get the timing right, London can be great fun to cycle around in. Night time is always good, the weekends are usually a bit better too. Even better is when you combine it, so going for a ride at night time on a bank holiday weekend means the roads will be pretty much deserted and you can ride around like a lunatic without endangering anyone but yourself.
As most readers probably know, I am heavily involved with LFGSS, and quite a lot of these kind of rides are organised on there. The relatively frequent ones such as the Bridges Ride (start at the furthest East or West bridge and head to the other side of London, crossing all the bridges), Circle Line Ride (Following the route of the Circle Line), the Lights Ride (going around all the best Christmas street lights) etc. are just as fun to ride be it your first time or twelfth time. Depending on the weather the turn out can from 10 to 200. They provide some of the most memorable experiences of cycling around London, having a beer en route with your mates and making new ones.
There is also some organised longer rides into the country side like I mentioned before. The difference usually being the number of people. Cycling to Brighton with 30 people is quite different from doing it with 3. The rides are usually a bit slower, but always great fun.
Here’s a little list of some upcoming rides:
9/3/2013 – Circle Jerks – The Circle Line Ride, except with no stopping. Well there may be one to buy some beers, and the group will slow down a bit for people to catch up, but generally there will be no stopping.
24/3/2013 – LFGSS Football Stadium Ride – a tour of football grounds in London.
7/4/2013 – The London Classic – Not organised by LFGSS, and you must register on their website to take part. It’s a ride around London, about 35 miles, that attempts to copy the Classic’s such as the Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders, by seeking out hills and cobbles. Great fun, especially if the weather is as good as last year.
13/4/2012 – The HHSB Slide to Brighton 2 – A ride for lovers of track and tarck bicycles. It is a ride to Brighton that will probably take 20 hours and 13 pints. Not strickly fixed gear only, if you can wheely up Ditchling Beacon.
5/5/2013 – LFGSS Track Day VII: The Seventh Circle of Hell – Hasn’t happened in a couple of years now, so hopefully will happen this time. LFGSS has Herne Hill Velodrome for the day. Expect 2 rider categories, Keirin’s, Devil’s, Sprint’s and all that good stuff. A track induction is required, but no more experience than that.
5/5/2013 – Mayday(ish) Ride to Brighton – Hate track cycling? Ride to Brighton instead!
23/6/2013 – N/E/S Whatever Big City Circle – an 85km loop around London (except South London because it doesn’t count), regular refreshment stops, cycling for enjoyment not speed. Will probably show you places you’ve never been through before.
I think that’s enough for now. More will be organised and some may not happen, but it’s nice to keep ahead of things. If you’re worried about joining one, just do it. Everyone is welcome and all are encouraged. If you have an questions just post in the appropriate thread and you will get answers. Get involved!