Davis Vilums has cycled through every street in central London, ticking them off as he goes. We wanted to ask what drives him (his bike obviously, but, you know what we mean).
What do you love about cycling around London?
Since I am a curious type of guy, I like the fact that while cycling, I can stop at any point and snap a few pictures. If the area is not that interesting, I can speed up and leave quickly!
What do you not love about it so much?
All the bicycle maintenance stuff. It's not terrible, but there are only a few things that can be worse than if I have a mood for a lovely morning ride, but I end up spending my time fixing my bike instead.
What's your commute's start and end?
I live in the lovely area of Walworth in south London and work in Fitzrovia. That gives me a chance to cross one of London's bridges every day and enjoy the best of London's sceneries.
What made you want to cycle every street in central London?
Taking the same route to work, over time becomes a little bit boring. This city is rich in history and beautiful architecture. I felt the need to see it all, at least all that I can.
What's the nicest street to cycle through?
The East-West Cycle Superhighway along the River Thames. When I started my hobby, this cycle path wasn't announced yet, but I saw it getting built. It gives me the hope that London's traffic one day could become Amsterdam-like. But if I don't need to rush anywhere, my favourite cycling path is alongside the Regent's Canal.
And the worst?
Edgware Road and Cromwell Road [in South Kensington] provide a fast route, but they are very dangerous, and I always feel that I am not welcome there.
What's the best thing you discovered by chance on your explorations?
In some areas, like Temple, Shoreditch and Bermondsey, I found some paths through buildings that weren't visible on the maps. Those were my secret jams.
I am happy that I had a chance to cycle through Cardington Street before it was closed due to Euston station expansion. And I didn't know much about Brompton Cemetery before I stumbled upon it, but it is one of the most amazing places in London.
What makes a good city cyclist?
Respect the rules, make sure that you are not endangering yourself or somebody else. Just try to avoid annoying anyone, and be polite. To start, I suggest joining annual Prudential Ride London or go and cycle on one of few fantastic cycle lines that London has — East-West - CS3, North-South - CS6 or CS5 cycle superhighways — those are the safest.
Are you now going to cycle all the streets in Greater London?
Oh, that would be too much, even if it sounds tempting. I would need to get a larger map. I have several other routes that I would like to try — like getting to work via every crossing of the River Thames in reachable distance. And it would be interesting to visit every borough in London with a bicycle.