Velonotte - an overnight ride grand tour of early Victorian London

London Cycling Campaign Office Volunteer Elaine Yeung writes about her experience of this year’s Velonotte ride that took place in June as part of the London Festival of Architecture Fringe. Named as the Velonotte Albertina, the ride covered Kensington, Chelsea, Camden and Westminster accompanied with music and narrative to the urban evolution in the times of Prince Albert. The route is produced by Sergey Nikitin, historian & founder of the Velonotte with co-production by Adam Thompson of Hackney Bicycle Film Society.

On a drizzly Saturday night in June, I met with a few of the Radiant Riders (an off shoot group of the Shoreditch Sisters W.I.) to go on this year's Velonotte, a Grand Tour of Early Victorian London. Last year, the inaugural Velonotte covered areas in East London whilst tours have taken place in various other international cities since 2007. This time round, the 20 mile tour explored early Victorian architecture, history and notable figures.

As we made our way along the Mall which was closed to traffic to the starting point by Buckingham Palace, I was excited for my first overnight ride. But only a few hundred meters from the Palace, one of the girls' pedals dropped off. We discovered that the thread on both the pedal and crank had worn away too much and we were left with 2 options. 1) Cycle the route with one pedal. A bit tricky as the bike has a back pedal braking system not to mention the safety and one sided effort aspect. 2) Hire a Boris bike. This reiterated the importance of ride preparation, ensuring your bike is road worthy to avoid unnecessary incidents. As you may have guessed, the second option was chosen and along with about 5 or 6 other Boris bikes, we cycled into the night under a full moon.

People tuned into the 5 hour long broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM via smartphones, old phones with in built radio, pocket radios, some even had mini speakers attached to their bikes. One of the facts that I managed to remember was that Paul McCartney composed the song Yesterday in Wimpole Street. At times I found it hard to follow the broadcast with the background traffic noise. The marshals did a great job in stopping traffic at junctions to keep the group together at a steady 7mph.

At 1:20am, I had my first dreaded yawn. I started to wonder whether I will manage to entire ride at this rate. After a stop in Paddington, we cycled along the canal towards Kensal Green cemetery.


The weather wasn't entirely on our side, there were bursts of showers which was refreshing to begin with but after a while, it was decided that we would go to the stop point earlier to shelter and dry off. The hour long break at the Doodle bar near the Royal College of Art in Battersea consisted of queues to the bathroom and coffee bar. Despite being a daily drinker of the red eye, a cappuccino at 4am gave me a boost of energy and buzz I thought I was immune to.

As we made our way to Exhibition Road, the streets began to fill with sunlight, giving a warm orange glow of a new day.

Our final stop was the Royal Albert Hall just as the broadcast came to a close at 5am and after some obligatory group photos, we did a few victory laps before heading to Hyde Park for some bubbly and caviar! We also spotted the first swimmer getting into the Serpentine at 6:50am!

Route: Buckingham Palace - Charing Cross Station - Senate House, Bloomsbury - Wimpole Street - Orsett Terrace, Paddington - Kensal Green Cemetery - Earls Court - Doodle bar, Battersea - Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington - Royal Albert Hall - Earl's Court


On my way back, I discovered why the Mall had been closed to traffic. Not only were they filming the Top Gear presenters driving the new Jaguar F-Type around the Palace, the Mall has been transformed into an open air hall of fame as vehicles lined the street. Luckily at this time of the morning, the walkways were empty apart from the BBC crew and a handful of tourists.




7am and 30 miles later, I was finally back home. I was still buzzing from the night's events especially as my heart was still pumping from a go on the tall bike, my mind wasn't ready for bed. Thanks to all involved and took part in Velonotte, I had a great night, saw and learned about a few new places, met some wonderful people. I felt jet lagged for the few days that followed but it was totally worth it. Looking forward to next year!


More photos and videos can be seen on Elaine's Flickr and you can follow her on twitter @solospeeding



  • By zilky at 10:39am 11 January 2015

I have delighted in your website all that much as it has numerous amusing points that is truly profitable, a debt of gratitude is in order regarding offering.

Sparky Hub
  • By zilky at 8:08pm 3 February 2015

This web journal is one of them.I figure I'm gonna invest eventually attempting to choose which one to use on one of my online journals!

free obama phone application
  • By zilky at 2:53pm 4 February 2015

This is a to a great degree elegantly composed article.  A debt of gratitude is in order regarding the post.

plomberie cesar monteiro
  • By zilky at 3:10pm 15 February 2015

Much thanks to you for offering this important data to us. I have bookmarked this site and will make sure to check for redesigns.

My web resource
  • By alex12 at 5:30pm 19 February 2015

This reiterated the importance of ride preparation, ensuring your bike is road worthy to avoid unnecessary incidents.Visit This Link

  • By zilky at 1:26pm 25 February 2015

 There is a great deal of data here that can help any business begin with an effective interpersonal interaction battle!

plombier villeneuve le roi
  • By zilky at 2:59pm 27 February 2015

It appears to be excessively confused and greatly wide for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I'll attempt to get the hang of it!

social media job description
  • By alex12 at 8:39am 2 March 2015

You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years.Vegas SEO conference

  • By zilky at 11:27am 8 March 2015

Your post is a magnificent sample of why I hold returning to peruse your brilliant quality substance.

parachute pants for men
  • By alex12 at 11:35am 8 March 2015

The germans can get away with it occasionally, but for the most part, rock/pop needs to have english.More information

  • By alex12 at 1:55pm 15 March 2015

I realy like this video please must watch this latest video song ...thanks for videos

However, the facts on the ground do not support this educated

That is very interesting Smile I love reading and I Cipto Junaedy always searching for informative information like this Jadwal MotoGP 2015. This is exactly what I was looking for Cara Upload Video ke Youtube.  Really this system so amazing. Cipto Junaedy  so happy to browsing this BBM Untuk Android Versi Terbaru. Simply fill out a quick and easy application, and you'll be on your way to getting your new Cara Membuat Email  and Cara Instal Windows 7 avoiding Thanks for sharing this great article . Don't forget for reading the articles about Agen Judi Poker Online dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya. And I encourage you to bookmark the following page if Agen Judi Poker Dan Domino Uang Asli Online Terpercaya Indonesia considered important ... Regards

Post a reply

Sign in to post a reply.