Winter Cycles, London

After an early start yesterday morning I was able to leave work at a reasonable hour.  To make the most of the evening I decided to take a longer, different route home.

When I walked out of the office there was a cold, wet sleet falling from the sky but by the time I'd unlocked my bike and was on my way the rain had stopped, the sky was beginning to clear and the crisp coldness of a winter London night had returned.

Riding the segregated cycle path alongside Tavistock Place there was something in the air, something I couldn't quite put my finger on, that made the ride home one of the most calming and pleasurable I've had in a long time.  Despite the cold there were still lots of cyclists out and about and the junctions were filled with bicycles.  The traffic seemed unusually quiet too and as a consequence the predominent sound was the clicks and whirrs of bicycle wheels, chains and gears.

Unusually for me I didn't have my camera with me which takes HD video, but I did have my old and battered Nokia N95.  The resulting grainy, coarse images somehow seem to add to the texture of my attempts to capture the evening's ambience and the following video is the result.  Enjoy, and keep cycling through winter!


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13 comments:

Anonymous said...

could only watch 1 minute of the video because of the music, gave me a headache

ibikelondon said...

Sorry to hear that. I've noticed it's uploaded very loudly - no idea why it's done this or how to change it. Best advice I can give is to turn the volume down!

All the best,

Mark

Pete said...

Cycling in winter is invigorating.

I am amazed how many people are still out cycling compared to this time last year. It feels like the cycling culture in London if not the UK is finally gaining some decent momentum

Anonymous said...

Mark!! I'm in your video!! I'm the guy on the far side of the road in the blue jacket at 02.18 I wasnt on the cycletrack cos I was taking a left turn off the road further up the way. Fame at last! Andrew

WestfieldWanderer said...

Awesome video. One could almost convince oneself that there might just be the start of the beginning of a thought of a possibility of a suggestion that there could be something resembling a cycling culture emerging in London...

And they were stopping at the red. Must show this to my petrolhead little brother, 'cos he insists that it never happens.

WestfieldWanderer said...

Voicething by Goldfrapp. Yes?

ibikelondon said...

That's the tune, from their last album Head First.

Not only are they stopping at red (well, most of them anyway) but they are stopping at their own designated bike-shaped red traffic lights.

Just a tiny glimpse (tiny!) of the possibilities that are out there...

Paul M said...

Was it just me, or was the frame-per-second speed going up and down?

To me, cold and dry are the ideal conditions for cycling - you don't get wet on the outside or the inside of your clothes, and it is quite possible to cycle in a suit to a meeting, without making yourself too aromatic to be sat next to!

ciaran-mooney said...

I work in Bloomsbury and that cycle lane is brilliant. It must have at least 5x more cycle traffic on it that any other part of London. It's a shame that they did a good job there and seemingly nowhere else.

If they could start linking up the adjoining roads with cycle-lanes to it then we're on our way to having some decent infrastructure.

ibikelondon said...

Hi Ciaran,

I agree. A lot of people who know lots of things about the technicality of bike infrastructure complainn about some of it's less sublime moments (the 'switch over' at the eastern end of the lane being one of those!) however I think in spite of that it's always worth noting how popular it is with cyclists - this popularity should e noted and more should indeed be built to connect up with it. If they can do it there I don't see why not anywhere else in London either. Build it and they will come as they say!

Thanks for stopping by!

estuarycyclist said...

Excellent video Mark. You're an inspiration. Keep up the the good work. Loved the music btw.....

anythinkingperson said...

Hi, Mark,

'. . .there was something in the air, something I couldn't quite put my finger on, that made the ride home one of the most calming and pleasurable I've had in a long time.'

You are talking about something *so* important here - something about the karma of city that noisy and transgressive motorized traffic usually deprives us of.

Keep it up. ;D

ibikelondon said...

I've just tried to count how many cyclists are actually in this video and was astonished to reach 51!