Happy solstice!

It’s mid afternoon, and I’ve only just risen from my pit, having led a cycling circuit of of London yesterday evening, as part of National Bike Week, and then taken part in the Midsummer Madness nighttime ride to greet the solstice dawn on Primrose Hill. Midsummer Madness is a ride created by the late Barry Mason.

Solstice sunrise on Primrose Hill, London - 21 June 2011 (photo: Francis Sedgemore)
As you can see from the photo, thick cloud blocked the rising sun, but the ride and its high point on Primrose Hill was thoroughly enjoyable. A total of 58 cyclists took part, having started from Cutty Sark Gardens by Greenwich Pier, and Southwark Needle on the south end of London Bridge in Southwark. The riders finally dispersed following a greasy fry-up breakfast in a Southwark café, with many proceeding directly to work, and others off to bed.

I and other local cycling activists will be leading and taking part in further evening rides this week. Tonight we go for a short spin along the Thames Path from Greenwich to the Pilot Inn near Blair’s Folly (depart 18:30, Cutty Sark Gardens), and tomorrow there will be a tour of the parks of south east London, leaving from Southwark Needle at 18:30.

On Thursday evening there is a not-to-be-missed traversal of the Lewisham Alps (from Cutty Sark Gardens, 18:30), led by the comrades in Lewisham Cyclists. On Friday, Greenwich will be leading a mystery ride in the borough where time begins.

Update

Video from a member of Lambeth Cyclists, taken from atop Primrose Hill…

Update (2)

Darryl from Charlton was also on the Midsummer Madness ride, and has a lengthy report with a number of pictures. In related news, south east London folklore expert Transpontine looks at the Telegraph Hill solstice parade.