Explore Victorian London By Bike, At Night

Another week, another nocturnal London event. Joining The MoonWalk, Shine, Maggie’s Night Hike, Moonriders and Nightrider is Velonotte, a cycling-and-history mash-up from Russian urban activist, Sergey Nikitin.

Taking place on 22/23 June, this is Velonotte’s second London event. For 2013, the team are focusing on Victorian London, in particular the developments made during Prince Albert’s consortship, an era of unprecedented urban change and now rich in history.

Velonotte cyclists will start from Buckingham Palace, and tune in to Resonance FM where there’ll be a live stream of Victoriana-themed info during the night. London historians Andrew Saint (English Heritage Foundation) and Jerry White (Birbeck University), will be leading the broadcast. Velonotte Albertina will take in various locations around Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster, with accompanying information on the development of the Tube, the 1851 Exhibition, the birth of public museums, plus poetry and politics, shopping and cemeteries.

In the middle of the journey, at Kensal Green Cemetery, cyclists will be treated to a new song based on GK Chesterton’s classic Rolling English Road which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, written by Bruno Belbosco. And it all finishes with a secret performance, details of which will be released in the early hours of the morning after the ride.

If you’re thinking of heading along, Victorian fancy dress is encouraged. There’s even a list of characters on their website to inspire you. Apparently, there are already lots of Oliver Twists signed up; organisers are keen to see a few more Joseph Bazalgettes, please.

Velonotte is a series of “city voyages” started in Moscow in 2007. It’s coming back to London this month following similar events in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Rome, New York and Istanbul. More than 6000 cyclists took part in the St Petersburg Velonotte last year; you can watch a video of that event here.

To find out more, and register for the event, visit velonotte.com

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