• Camdenist
  • Posts
  • On yer bike! Races & rides (even naked ones) take over London

On yer bike! Races & rides (even naked ones) take over London

Plus all your regular music, stage & events recommendations for the next 7 days

Sponsored by

Micromobility scenes at King’s Cross recently

The rapidly-changing face of how we move about town is fascinating to behold, even if it’s far from a smooth ride.

As the dockless bike hire revolution (and it really is one) continues to mature, no sooner has the problem of poor parking and hacked ‘clicking’ Lime bikes seemingly been solved, but the very success of these new modes of micromobility are creating huge piles of the things, currently amassing at the entrances to parks on sunny days or outside big sporting and other events.

Still, it’s no doubt great that there’s so much new cycling being enabled in the city, and we’re right behind a culture shift that repurposes loads more curbside street parking to official e-bike bays (especially having spent time circling around trying to find an approved space in which to leave a bike in a hurry…always a hurry).

I’m going to make an observationally informed guess that quite a high percentage of Camdenist readers already partake in two-wheeled travel on the regular - we already know the hero stat that only 40% of Camden residents even own a car now.

And despite the fist shaking of whoever bombastically declares themselves ‘on the side of the motorist’ (whatever that means), the proliferation of dedicated cycle lanes and traffic calming is, amazingly, transforming the mean streets of London into something closer to a bike utopia like Amsterdam (see below).

So, whether you’re a long-term lycra-clad evangelist, a casual e-bike hopper-on’er, or indeed a cycling-curious novice, it is becoming a doddle to enjoy the multiple benefits of riding in and around this borough.

Here are some upcoming ideas for getting on yer proverbial bike.

🚵‍♀️ London Clean Air Cycle Ride - coming June 29th

Hardly taking time for a breather after the success of their inaugural Earthfest weekend at King’s Cross in April, the borough’s independent air quality champions, Camden Clean Air, are now busy inviting everyone to join them on their next project: the London Clean Air Cycle Ride.

For 2024, the popular event has expanded beyond its usual two-wheeled jaunt around Camden, to encompass some lovely bits of Westminster and Islington, too - starting and finishing at Granary Square.

🚲 Throughout June, TfL is offering unlimited 30-minute rides on Santander bikes for free as part of the launch what they are tagging TfL Cycle Sundays. Their website comes complete with suggested routes and lots of local bicycle-related discounts.

🏁 The King's Cross estate is also playing host to the new London Cycle Festival next weekend (Fri 21st-Sun 23rd June), on a specially constructed track that whizzes through Coal Drops Yard and surrounds. The three days, which are free for spectators, pack in the Brompton World Championships and the VIA Criterium, presented by local bike emporium VIA Atelier, and will see men’s and women’s elite races, youth racing and fixed wheel.

😲 Last weekend’s World Naked Bike ride saw record-breaking numbers of disrobed riders descend upon the streets of London to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists on our streets, protest against the global dependency on oil, and celebrate body freedom. Some guys I spoke to on Saturday - who’d inadvertently witnessed a stream of all-too wobbly and pink enthusiasts crossing Westminster Bridge - may have been thoroughly flummoxed by it all, but expect more loud and proud cyclist action soon, especially while imaginary battle lines with motorists feature in actual political manifestos…

🛣️ You’ll often hear people say that London’s ancient, unplanned street layouts and narrow roads don’t lend themselves to the kind of bicycle dominance of a city like Amsterdam, however as this fascinating story reveals, the Dutch capital was fully enthral to the motor car in the post war period. It was only a protest at the staggering road death toll, (peaking at 3,300 in 1971, including 400 children), that turned things around, and many of Amsterdam’s streets are much more narrow than our own.


Please show your support for Camdenist - simply by always clicking our advertiser’s links, like this one 👍

These stories are presented thanks to beehiiv, an all-in-one newsletter suite built by the early Morning Brew team.

Fully equipped with built-in growth and monetization tools, no code website and newsletter builder, and best-in-class analytics that actually move the needle.

The top newsletters in the world are built on beehiiv, and yours can be too. It's the most affordable option in the market, and you can try it for free — no credit card required.


🔥 Fire pits in the park

Taste of London in Regent’s Park

🍔 Regent’s Park seems to be a perennial influencer’s paradise (you can’t move for them posing in eveningwear in the Rose Garden right now), and this week the foodies also are gravitating to the Park, eager to shove loaded sandwiches towards phones at the return of Taste of London (runs until Sunday). Expect demos from hunky tattooed chefs cooking over fire, and a heavily Jamie Oliver influenced marketing vernacular, that’s big on the ‘banging deliciousness’ of everything.

🍶 Today through to Sunday is one of only two occasions per year when Bloomsbury's Cockpit has an open studios where the public are welcomed in to meet the artists and makers in residence. You’ll fund homeware, fashion, jewellery and more from loads of locally-based talent.

🎻 The Fitzrovia Arts Festival is currently underway offering bountiful free events from classical concerts to guided walks, workshops, the inevitability of a dog show, and a particular focus on the neighbourhood’s bee population.


👨‍🍳 Social impact restaurant coming to the former Odette’s

Our comrades on the local media frontline, Kentishtowner, alerted us this week to a swift answer to our burning question about the future of historic Primrose Hill institution Odette’s.

The famous name is indeed heading off with its current owner, no doubt destined for a pop-up reappearance somewhere like Wilderness festival at an unspecified point in the future.

In its place will be a brand new venture, Home Kitchen Diner, bringing together a twice Michelin-starred chef with a rolling cohort of talented but homeless apprentices, offering them a career path that’s all too often frustratingly difficult to secure without a fixed address, while simultaneously training up the quality staff that the hospitality industry desperately needs.

It sounds really great news, and a local destination dining experience in waiting. Meanwhile, you can still donate to the crowdfunder which can earn you all kinds of VIP privileges when the place opens later this year.

🍸 B-Corp cocktail-in-a-can brand MOTH are pulling a boat up at the Granary Square steps in King’s Cross on the afternoons of Wed 19th and Thurs 20th to dish out 1,000 free margaritas.

🏠 Wild house party-themed venues are certainly having a moment, with not one but two such joints opening in Soho in as many weeks. Rapper Stormzy snatched the headlines with his meticulously retro-styled The House Party venture blowing up the socials last weekend with it’s opening on Poland St. Then there’s the latest branch of the original flatshare-turned-bar/restaurant phenomenon, The Little Violet Door, that’s packing them in down at Kingly Court. Just try not to spill red wine on the shag pile carpet.

🚉 It’s all change for the chains at St Pancras, as the promised new branches of Breakfast Club and Shake Shack have both now opened - useful upmarket reliable additions to the local grand concourse F&B offering. Meanwhile, the biggest branch of Benugo, formerly the very lovely (but bust) pre-train picnic pitstop Sourced Market, is preparing to be totally swallowed up by row upon row of the new fingerprint and face scan kiosks that are the latest Brexit gift bestowed upon Eurostar travelers. At least they’ve promised the queues ‘won’t be a shitshow’, so let’s see how that goes later this year…

📺 This week’s Camden video

If you’ve got event a touch of the railway/tube nerd about you (and let’s face it, we’ve all been drawn to its geeky, quirky delights occasionally, right?), then you’ll love this short YouTube clip about why on earth tube stop ‘King’s Cross St Pancras’ is one station and not too, as per the main lines above.

Support local campaigning culture journalism from £1.50 per week. Subscribe to Premium
Camdenist in partnership with

🌳 Al fresco summer stages and uproarious dark basements

Shakespeare in the Squares (credit: James Millar)

🌳 Taking full advantage of its verdant setting deep in the trees at Regent’s Park, a new adaptation of The Secret Garden opens for a summer run at the Open Air Theatre tomorrow, with the beloved classic about the magic of nature and the nature of magic. Until 20th July.

🎭 Talking of outdoor theatre, book now for the return of Shakespeare In The Squares (pictured above), which will be bringing a one-off performance of All’s Well That Ends Well to the picturesque urban setting of Camden Square on the evening of Sat 29th June.

🖼️ Art For Arts Sake is a theatrical extravaganza looking at the issues surrounding homelessness through art, drama, dance, spoken word, song, standup and music, set in various iconic locations across Camden. Tues 18th & Wed 19th at Camden People’s Theatre.

🏳️‍🌈 Where's the Punchline is back at The Water Rats on Wed 19th June with another of their explosive nights of improvised comedy, this time celebrating all things Pride (and Prejudice). The theme is classic literature, and how much you know, or don't know about it.

🥘 For laughs this Thursday (20th), Soho Central Comedy operates in the basement of Spanish joint Jamon Jamon, so you get a decent paella and sangria included with your ticket, with the show always featuring three top standups and a crowd-roasting host.

Stage highlights come to you each week in partnership with the TownSpot app: your ultimate guide to local events. Join over 1,000 locals discovering the joy of nearby happenings, combating loneliness, and feeling more at home than ever, with the support of Camden Council and Matthew James Estate Agents. Download TownSpot today.


🎶Shake a tail-feather with this lot this week

Keanu and his the Dogstar trio play The Forum this week

🧙 Roaring straight out of Philadelphia, metal band Witching will be ‘raining down their genre-obliterating blackened-death-sludge-chaos on Camden Town’ at The Black Heart this Sunday 16th June, so they tell us.

🎸 Uruguay’s No Te Va Gustar (NTVG) has become one of the most popular rock bands in Spanish in Latin America over the last 25 years, with a rock sound, fuses genres such as reggae, folk, murga and ska based on the influences of each of its members, who will be at the Electric Ballroom on Wednesday 19th.

🎥 Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves’ band Dogstar are back with their first album for 23 years, Somewhere Between The Power Lines & Palm Trees. They were due to play the Electric Ballroom, but things obviously grew so tickets are now valid for the bigger 02 Forum Kentish Town just up the road this Wednesday 19th.

🥁 You can't help but be blown away by the percussive onslaught of traditional Japanese Taiko drumming, and Holborn’s Peacock Theatre is the place to go to see the huge athleticism and centuries old rhythmic tradition as YAMATO bring their global tour to town, until 22nd June.

The 11th edition of The Last Word Festival kicked off at Chalk Farm’s Roundhouse last week, running through to 30th June, where you can experience the power of spoken word, hear engaging conversations, soul-stirring music, thought-provoking films, all from an impressive lineup of the UK’s most essential voices.

📈 We’re now 6,481 subscribers

and counting…

🏅 155 new signups in the last month
🤝 Camden’s most engaged, fastest-growing readership


QUESTION: Are cinemas as worthy of supporting as theatres, nightlife and pubs?

Yes! Without people going out to the big screen the movie industry will suffer irreparably
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 59%

No! Sitting in the dark watching Hollywood flicks isn't supporting the people making real local culture
🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ 12%

Maybe! When the deluge of AI content makes online unwatchable, the cinema may bounce back fine
🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️ 29%

So nobody would admit to their phone distracting them from consuming traditional media(!) but we’re glad to see the optimism about new publishing models like this one. Certainly helps us get through the regular moments of doubt - onwards! 🙏 

Some of your comments:

“I would probably go to a cinema that banned food, didn't charge a bomb for tickets and actually gave people leg room, but I'm yet to find such a place. I think cinemas have their place, but I'm yet to see a film or show that one couldn't enjoy as much in a decent home cinema set up as in their local cinema. ”

“What a joy to spend a couple of hours focused on the narrative of the film - and without interruption - provided others aren’t chatting away or crunching sweet wrappers, thoughtlessly. ”

“Cinemas are a great experience now ”

  • 15% off adult or child tickets to London Clean Air Bike Ride on 29th June. Simply use the code CAMDENIST at checkout (pre-applied via this ticket link)

  • 60 mins of free Forest bike rides: Download or open the Forest app, then enter promo code CAMDENIST60 to ride for free right away. Minutes can be used for multiple trips for up to 3 months, on top of Forest’s standard 10 mins free each day too!

  • 🍻 Get a free City Stack pack with £100 of independent pub food and drink deals when you become an annual premium member of Camdenist. Upgrade now for less than £1.50 per week.


Got an editorial idea you’d like us to consider for a future newsletter? Just fill in the online form:


NEW! Boost your event, business or special offer to nearly 6k weekly readers & 1,000s more on social.

Your feedback, suggestions and requests are always welcome. Reach out to us: [email protected] 

The weekly Camdenist newsletter runs on Beehiiv, which we think is the best platform available for running this kind of email community. Find out more and try Beehiiv free with no credit card required. If you then sign up, we’ll get a referral fee, and we’ll support your own newsletter to our readers by way of thanks 🙂