Great London bike rides

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  • After dark | Retail therapy | Riverside City | Ten bridges | Battersea power  East to west

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    Rags-to-riches ride

    Go up in the world on two wheels, from the grit of London Fields to the boho chic of Portobello

    Distance: 9 miles. Route: From London Fields through Hackney, De Beauvoir Town, Canonbury, Highbury, Islington, Camden, Maida Vale, Portobello.Difficulty: Medium – a couple of sweaty climbs as you reach the foothills of Mount Camden.Highlights: London Zoo and the Notting Hill section of the canal.I start in London Fields, weaving Blue Steel (my fancy bike) through groups of media types drinking rosé. Cruising past the lido (1), I head up Middleton Road to De Beauvoir Town, where the imposing period terraces border a nice little square. After a spot of competitive behaviour on Southgate Road from a ‘serious cyclist’ in a hat reminiscent of Marvin the Martian’s, I join St Paul’s Road, which has enough of an incline to make me regret my super-padded helmet. Taking a left into Canonbury Park (2), I’m shocked to discover that some Londoners have gardens the size of my street. This is like Bel Air! It is also infested with perfect families cycling tediously slowly. The toddler in front of me has a more expensive bike than I do: I huffily overtake. From here, it’s over Upper Street through leafy Barnsbury (3) and down to the Camden cycle lanes. Whizzing round Regent’s Park (4), I have the honour of almost flattening Julian Clary’s yappy little dog. I come out on to St John’s Wood Road and shoulder through swarms of stripy-blazered old boys loitering outside Lord’s (5) and reach the first real downhill stretch of the journey, to Maida Vale. I scoot round swish Sutherland Avenue, which gets top marks for the smoothest Tarmac in London, and stop at posh Gordon Ramsay pub The Warrington for a half-pint of Organic Honey Dew beer and some prawns. Refreshed, I wheeze up the road and along the foliage-shaded canal to Portobello (6), where I park Blue Steel up against a couple of socialites. Katie Dailey

    See a Google map of this route
    After dark | Retail therapy | Riverside City | Ten bridges | Battersea power  East to west Advertisement

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After dark | Retail therapy | Riverside City | Ten bridges | Battersea power  East to west 9 miles. From London Fields through Hackney, De Beauvoir Town, Canonbury, Highbury, Islington, Camden, Maida Vale, Portobello. Medium – a couple of sweaty climbs as you reach the foothills of Mount Camden. London Zoo and the Notting Hill section of the canal.I start in London Fields, weaving Blue Steel (my fancy bike) through groups of media types drinking rosé. Cruising past (1), I head up Middleton Road to De Beauvoir Town, where the imposing period terraces border a nice little square. After a spot of competitive behaviour on Southgate Road from a ‘serious cyclist’ in a hat reminiscent of Marvin the Martian’s, I join St Paul’s Road, which has enough of an incline to make me regret my super-padded helmet. Taking a left into (2), I’m shocked to discover that some Londoners have gardens the size of my street. This is like Bel Air! It is also infested with perfect families cycling tediously slowly. The toddler in front of me has a more expensive bike than I do: I huffily overtake. From here, it’s over Upper Street through leafy (3) and down to the Camden cycle lanes. Whizzing round (4), I have the honour of almost flattening Julian Clary’s yappy little dog. I come out on to St John’s Wood Road and shoulder through swarms of stripy-blazered old boys loitering outside (5) and reach the first real downhill stretch of the journey, to Maida Vale. I scoot round swish Sutherland Avenue, which gets top marks for the smoothest Tarmac in London, and stop at posh Gordon Ramsay pub The Warrington for a half-pint of Organic Honey Dew beer and some prawns. Refreshed, I wheeze up the road and along the foliage-shaded canal to (6), where I park Blue Steel up against a couple of socialites. See a Google map of this route After dark | Retail therapy | Riverside City | Ten bridges | Battersea power  East to west

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