The Social Network
I’ve spent this winter in London, a place I’ve never had any love for. Millions of people all seemingly angry and in a hurry, all too busy and too important. I grew up in Surrey and have always felt the need to escape both for better weather and better roads. Everywhere I travel the people always seem nicer, more welcoming and accommodating, you get sworn at a hell of a lot less on the continent.
I’ve got some great friends in Italy, France and Spain. The last few months I’ve been viewing their Instagram feeds with some jealousy, sunshine, mountains, the coast all I’ve had is crap weather and the Surrey Hills.
However, what I have discovered recently is that London in blessed with some incredible groups of cyclists. People who just want to ride and chat, some fast, some a more sociable pace, some new to cycling and others keen to help and show them around. There’s a real community. Loads of small groups of mates, loose collectives, unofficial clubs. I’ve met a few in Regents Park and done a few laps, same in Richmond Park, ridden places I don’t really like but had a blast thanks to the company, people form all walks just out sharing the road and a coffee. Industries like property, media, advertising all hanging out on their bikes “working” . Coffee shop rides, my friends at G!RO in Esher, 10,000 km cc, Blacktop CC, Dirty Weekend and even the Rapha RCC rides.
I’m still looking forward to escaping on a regular basis but the London cycling scene isn’t so bad after all. I’ve even met some really cool people who don’t ride…….weird.
Thanks to everyone who’s shared the road, coffee or pint.