Cycling is cool – it’s official. It’s become more than just a mode of transportation, in fact, you might say fashion style. And none so much as London, where heads haven’t quite turned at the sight of two-wheelers ever since pennies rocked their way into town. Here we look at some of the factors that have making cycles in London That something to do.
CELEBRITY BIKE SHORT
More and more celebrities can be seen cycling around London, whether they are doing it for charity (Jeff Brazier), shooting a show or movie (Hugh Bonneville) or simply getting from A to B (Vivienne Westwood). Ms Westwood even designed a cycling-inspired fall-winter collection that she describes as “designed for an alternative to urban commuting”. And the stellar cycling phenomenon appears to be a global one – Chris Hemsworth, Naomi Watts, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman, Paris Hilton and Pharrell Williams are among those who have been seen in public on two wheels.
If you have seen the film Premium Rush, starring Joseph Gordon Levitt, you’ll see that our bike messenger hero goes to a cool-looking bar full of good-looking people with one thing in common – they are all cyclists. The film is set in New York, but London also has a thriving cycling scene and one of the most prominent centers for this is the Rapha Cycle Club on Clerkenwell Road. Part of a global network that stretches from San Francisco to Sydney, Rapha has shops selling its own brand of clothing and accessories as well as trendy cafes. It’s a great place to meet people, with regular rides starting from there and screens showing all the best of cycling action.
Of course your appearance isn’t the most important thing cycling can improve – there’s your health, and then there’s the environment. Let’s face it – London is getting bigger and busier and with it comes more and more vehicles. But electric cars haven’t taken off completely yet. The best way to reduce your carbon footprint and still get from A to B quickly is to cycle. And you don’t even have to invest in your own bike now, with Barclays’ Bike Rental scheme across the capital. The great thing is that the pieces of this kit look great too – a rusty old bone beater isn’t it.
Good old-fashioned exercise bikes have been a staple for staying in shape for years, but, well… spending time on a bike can be a bit boring. Far from boring is indoor cycling – or spinning as it is more commonly known. Instructor-led spin classes are available all over London, often with music blaring over the speakers as you burn around 400-500 kcal in 40 minutes. With clubs offering spinning cushion names like Boom Cycle and Good Vibes, you know you’re looking for something different.
THE WIGGO FACTOR
Beckham, Ennis-Hill, Farah, Murray – we absolutely love all of our sporting heroes here in the UK, but one person is the coolest. That man was Sir Bradley Marc Wiggins, CBE. Modern cycling legends – Tour de France winners and Olympic gold medalists – are cool. She is stylish without being a slave to trends; he is not looking for famous friends to look up to, but has won over many celebrity admirers. In recent years he has added to his medals and accolades with guitar-playing appearances at Paul Weller benefit concerts and the Fred Perry clothing collaboration that bears his name.
Don’t fall behind in the style bet – join London cycling revolution.