Friday 21st June 2019 3:45am

Starting from - Bar Italia, 22 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 4RF

This Cyclists in Southwark (@dogbellcrew) ride is open for anyone to join

  • 11.7 miles
  • All bike types
  • 3 hr

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London
W1D 4RP

"A fellow rider told me a story about an earlier Midsummer Madness, about how a nosey policeman started asking questions about why so many cyclists were gathered at London Bridge at 2.30am.

Suspecting a paranoid copper would cause trouble for the group, Barry announced the party as “the Primrose Hill Cycling Club”. The policeman radioed back to base that these were nice, middle-class riders, and they’d be no harm at all…" (see https://853london.com/2011/06/22/midsummer-madness-cycling-to-primrose-hill-for-the-sunrise/)

It was reading these words that got me onto cycling. I live near Primrose Hill and they made me ask: why not take them for their word and set up a Primrose Hill Cycling Club for them? It could be a very active and exciting club. The rest is history.

Friday 21 June 2019 is the longest day of the year, and since time immemorial people of all faiths and none have marked the occasion of the summer solstice by rising to greet the dawn. London cyclists do this in their own special way, by riding through the night from Bar Italia in Westminster to watch the sunrise from a vantage point in Camden, following a tradition established by the late Barry Mason and continued by Francis Sedgemore. We meet for coffee at Bar Italia at 3am and then set off promptly at 03.45 to ride through the night to Camden. This ride follows a familiar route up to Primrose Hill, but will then continue on to Parliament Hill, which has much better unobstructed views to the east for watching the sun rise at 04.44.

Previous years have seen hundreds of London cyclists foregoing their beauty sleep, giddy with excitement at the prospect of experiencing the rise of the midsummer sun. Overcast skies and rain are no deterrent, for the Summer Solstice ride is a community happening, fun whatever the weather. Following the sunrise, will cycle back to the 24 hour cafe Bar Polo, where we will have breakfast at 06.30am.

Ride Leader: Nigel Bee (tel 07415 315 690 email nigel.bee@cyclistsinsouthwark.org.uk).

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