Our two ride leaders, Mollie and Sam, were accompanied by six football fans who signed up to join us, some were regular riders to football, and others had never even thought of cycling until they had seen the Spurs Travel Guide. We made ten in total.
Our ride leaders had planned a ride along the Cycle Superhighway 1 (CS1), which runs to the west side of the Kingsland Road/ Tottenham High Road. Any junctions that could prove difficult with a large group of riders were identified prior to the ride. The CS1 takes cyclists on quiet streets adjacent to the A10, but the bad weather coupled with it being a Sunday afternoon, made for very peaceful roads.
The journey was around seven miles overall, and we finished it within an hour. Despite a good shower at the start, everyone seemed to have a really good time and there was lots of talk about the upcoming game and what was turning into quite an exciting game at The London Stadium between West Ham and Manchester United. This social side of the ride was not something we expected to be so important and enriching to the experience, conversation moved from football to everyday chat. By the end of the ride, participants had shared stories of football and cycling, and some even exchanged telephone numbers.
Cycling together created an atmosphere that is lacking on busy and overcrowded public transport, a chance to meet fellow football fans in a calmer and more communal activity. It also allowed us to talk about the places and sites we went past, inclduing All Hallows Church, whose Bible Class teacher in the 1880s, John Ripsher, was the first president of Hotspur Football Club, later to become Spus.
Each person who rode with us saved about 1.7kg of Carbon, the rough equivalent of boiling your kettle 47 times. That's a lot of cups of tea they can claim back. We also reduced our impact on the local community by not taking public transport or driving. Riding a bike releases no polluting toxins into the air and a parked cycle take up a tiny ammount of space compared to a parked car. Even though it was only a small number of us, it all makes a difference.
And imagine the impact if it was even more.
The weather had cleared by the time we arrived, we were greeted by a portion of chips from Tottenham Food Van and some participants popped off to the local pub, they had earned it afterall. We got great feedback from all invovled, with one person saying the ride was far more enjoyable than the game, he was a Spurs fan though. But no matter the result, football and cycling are activities we can all share and enjoy together. All our team certainly did, and we can't wait to host our next ride.
You can see some pictures from the day below, all taken by Hamish Laing, as well as the information we provided to our participants prior to the ride