On Friday evenings the boys and girls go out to play at the park.
“Cycling in the city, and particularly in midtown, is anarchy without malice.”
Author unknown, from New Yorker, ‘Talk of the Town’
Freedom, independence, and a little bit of danger. I can live with that.
[ Photos all from my Instagram feed ]
When I first moved to Brighton I used to ride down to the seafront on my old bike (long since stolen) for the sole purpose of sitting on a bench and looking at the sea. Usually I’d time it with the sunset, stay there until dark, and ride home again. Futile, time wasting, pointless. But something about that simple routine made me feel alive – even after the worst of days.
Today after a short, very cold ride I stopped on the way home, just to sit and admire the sunset’s colours: where the sky meets the sea. Sat on the old, graffiti-covered bench I remember why I live here, on the edge of the earth, in this bonkers city. This is home, and there’s nothing that can change that.
Another Saturday, and another friend visiting Brighton. This time it was the rather wonderful Sabrina, who is a whizz with a camera, as well as being the only person I know who likes her latte as much as me.
We drank lots of coffee, rode through town and took some photographs. The photos are for a specific use which will soon be revealed (oooh!).
We ended up on the seafront just as the sun was setting. Beautiful, beautiful Brighton.
Last night I rode home from a friends house on the other side of Brighton. It was a far flung corner of the city that I had never been to before, so I rode some new paths. I like discovering new places that are hiding within somewhere that I think I know so well.
The ride home was at first through sleepy suburbia: passing big houses and empty schools, then through the busier centre of town that I more frequently pass through. Dodging the odd drunken stranger who staggers into the bike lane, faces in greasy cafe windows, kamikaze seagulls looking for their dinner in the road…
I love Brighton but when I ride through it at night, in the cold, all I want is to be home. It’s strange how a place takes on a whole new character in the dark. Riding through the city at night I am ”in it but not of it”; an observer. Wrapped up in layers to protect from the chilling wind, I feel separated from the streets, like a visitor here.
This morning on my way to buy coffee I walked down those same streets, and now lit, they are familiar again.
Today I was up bright and early to lend a hand setting up for the cyclocross at Stanmer Park. Nothing that begins at 5.45am ever starts well, but it was a brilliant day in the end.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP
Huh? Wha? Urghhhh….
Rain. Lots of rain. It might stop if I wait a bit.
More rain. Run out of excuses not to leave. Time to harden up.
Trains are nice and dry, aren’t they.
Sinking mud underfoot. A few kilometres of plastic tape. A few hundred plastic stakes.
A change of shoes and a cup of coffee
People with bikes! Lots of them! Oh yay!
IT’S A RACE YOU KNOW!
MY MUM CAN RIDE FASTER THAN THAT! (etc, etc.)
Muddy people. Muddy bikes.
Belgian beer. Gin.
Smiles all round.
Gavin took some excellent photos of the race today, which you can see here.
Today two wonderful friends visited from London, with their bikes.
I wanted to share these gorgeous panorama photos from Saturday’s ride. Click them to view in full, as they’re much more impressive that way!
(You can read about the ride from guest blogger George, here.)
All photos by Cameron Cooke (taken on his precious iPhone 5)
This morning a bunch of us drank some very nice coffee, ate some very nice pastries, and went on a very nice sunny ride along the coast. A great time was had by all, but arguably the most fun was had by my wonderful friend George, who will be writing a guest blog post which will feature here soon. I’ll let her tell you all about the ride in her post, and just leave you with some photos from today.
(Want to come next time?)
It’s good to be home in Brighton. I love where I live, and it’s close to lots of good places to ride a bike. Working from home can leave me in need of a change of scenery, so sometimes instead of a tea break I whizz to the bottom of my road and cycle a length of the seafront.
Tonight I put my bike lights on, cycled along the seafront path to the pier, and then back the other way to Hove. Three times. (Just ’cause I can.)
I even took Claud on the bandstand for a dance…
Simply put, I pledge to ride my bike (Claud) every day for 30 days. Some days that will mean 50 miles, and other days a trip to the shop (more often the latter, I suspect). I’m also going to attempt to organise some bike rides in the Brighton area, just for fun. Keep an eye out for these on the Events page.
In the meantime, you can follow Claud & I on Twitter.