We at Regent’s Park Cyclists thought it’d be a great idea to introduce you to a few people that ride around Regent’s Park. We’ll kick off the proceedings with a local writer Saul Wordsworth.
Hi Saul, tell us about yourself.
Hi there, my name is Saul Wordsworth, I’m 42 year old journalist, author and club rider based in North London.
What does riding round the park mean to you?
To me Regent’s Park means meeting outside Muswell Bike Shop on a Saturday morning at 6.45am, hurtling through Hampstead and entering the park around seven.There’s almost no traffic at this time and few other riders. From there we cycle in formation for seven laps, before peeling off at Parkway. In age we range from 28 to 57.
I know for a fact this is the highpoint of most of our weeks. Without it the Muswell Hill Peloton shall be at a collective loss. There is no equivalent. The Velopark in East London would be the closest approximation, but it’s too far and doesn’t open early enough to accommodate those who want to get their exercise in before family time.
What do you enjoy most about it?
Everything: the privilege of being able to cycle around such a glorious and historic park; the roads themselves; the sheer freedom and enjoyment the outer circle offers. In a city that struggles to provide the reassurance of safety for cyclists the park is a vital and reliable resource. One could even view it as a dependable friend.
How has Regent’s Park been beneficial for your cycling?
Riding the outer circle has made me a better cyclist. Fitter, stronger – and healthier. When I cycle the four miles down to the park I know that once there I will have a clear run and not be bothered by traffic, especially early in the morning. I can join up with other groups, bump into those I know and generally anticipate an enjoyable, trouble-free workout. The alternative – heading north into Hertfordshire – is much more of a chore and involves a far greater degree of vehicle-based jeopardy. It lacks the rhythm, consistency and reassuring monotony of the park which so many of us value.
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