City cycling clinic

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  • Why do cyclists have to look so nerdy?

    What exactly is sensible cycling attire? Trouser clips and a nylon mac? A kindergarten-coloured helmet and high-vis jacket? Pedal through Shoreditch on a Saturday night and you’ll see that the queens of the road around this part of town view the whole issue rather differently. Riding off for an evening out dressed up to the nines with high heels to match may seem ridiculous (and dangerous) to cycling purists but it’s actually underpinned by practicality. It’s not love of fresh air, care for the environment or even keeping fit that governs them: it’s being too cash-strapped to fork out for a taxi in the face of lamentable transport links when heading north or east. On five-inch peep toes, the totter to and from tube station or bus is a sole-burning nightmare. On a bike: problem solved! Head north on Hoxton Street round the Hyde Road roundabout, cross New North Road, duck through Arlington Square and round the elegant back streets on to Upper Street. Your feet will barely touch the ground. Now designers of every ilk are seeing sense, too. The Wheels & Heels show on Columbia Road during London Fashion Week showed sweat-proof merino wool tops, stylish headgear and reflective ankle cuffs. At last, it seems, we’re leaving bad cycling fashion standing.

    Route rating

    Miles 1.6 (Hoxton Street to Upper Street) Average cycle time 15 minutes Calories burned 70 Current trends referenced 4

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