“Less Donald Trump. More Techno music”
As the rays make way for shorter days, we do a series of Ride Reports that look to toast the good vivbes we’ve accomplished this summer. So here’s the first look – leaving behind the road-bike and opting for shorts over lycra, here’s a chilled ride as we dive in:
Towards the end of the end of July and at the height of the school holidays, what better way to enjoy time together than to take the family on a bike ride, but in London, that’s no easy thing. Enter the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle.
We talk with London Baroudeur, Nick the ‘Lux’ about what it was like taking a family of four to the event.
A very different way of seeing the Capital
Not everyone takes their family for a bike ride in London. Why did you choose the FreeCycle?
The closed environment is the real attractiion. It means I can take the family to something fun and I can enjoy it too. I’ve got two you boys and the less exposed roads means they can have the freedom to ride their bikes.
What do you hope they get from the ride?
For me, it’s getting them to have a good experience and associate that with being with family and riding two heels. I can see that they’re inspired to riding bikes and seeing other people do the same, and they get that sens of community.
They got to see people playing tricks on their bike and they’ll have a go at it too.
“You’re going the wrong way!” – “No, you’re going the wrong way!”
Who did you take with you?
I brought the wife; my baby, Leo, who’s 11 months old, and Max. We decided to make it a family and friends day too, so we brought 4 friends too. In total, there were 8 of us.
What was it like to plan?
Fortunately, I have a friend to do it all. The last time we did it, we found an ideal spot to park. It helps sharing the hard work. You can register for it online, but I don’t think you really need to. It’s more for tracking numbers; accounting for capacity and ensuring it all flows well.
What’s it like to ride the FreeCycle?
Once you got in the free-cycle area it was good and very well organised. You still get some silly people who think it’s the actual ‘adults only’ day and race through, not thinking there are new cyclists and families who’re coming out for the first time. Overall, it’s very good.
Do you think the organisers got it right?
Yes. It’s aimed at families and people who enjoy riding bikes and recreational riders too. It’s a great family day out – some people bring picnics. It’s very relaxed, getting you around the city and seeing the sights.
Did it ever get too much for the kids?
I was amazed, I thought they’d have enough after 9-10 miles. Initially, they were timid but, Max was fine. We broke up the journey with mini-breaks and the promise of ice cream at the end. It didn’t take too much effort. We attached his front wheel to ‘Follow me tandem’ lock that attaches to the back of my bike. It was a team effort.
Would you recommend the FreeCycle and will you do it again?
Yes. And I might well do it next year.
::Images by Baroudeur, Denis Yeo ::