21 June 2010
Short ride on the longest day: Solstice on Primrose Hill
Summer solstice is celebrated by London's cyclists with a night ride to the top of Primrose Hill.
Turnout this morning was a lot smaller than last year (which was a more convenient Saturday night / Sunday morning). Nevertheless, something like fifty to seventy turned up at 4.15am or so to miss the sunrise and then pile through central London for a bleary coffee at the Bankside Leon.
Because missing the sunrise - which is always obscured by (a) clouds and (b) buildings on the horizon, even if you walk down the hill for a better vantage point - is a regular part of the fun.
As is sitting around surveying the cloudy panorama with a damp bottom. Or failing to identify landmark towers on the skyline. Or saying 'well, the BBC weather website said it'd be OK, but weather dot co dot uk said cloudy with drizzle'.
Or making a podcast about it all, which the amiable Lucy was doing for the Guardian bike blog (right).
Or, indeed, being followed and watched for ten minutes by police officers in a slow-moving patrol car - the experience I had as the first solitary arrival on the hill at 4am, a little while ahead of the main bunch.
Ah, the Cycling Solstice is all so British.