A throwback to one of the biggest events in the urban biking scenes of London. And it is calling.
Took me about a year and a half to finally reflect onto the London’s Calling shebang 2015. Which also was my first-time attendance hence, unfortunately, I can not correlate to any precedent years, nevertheless, this is how it went and enjoyable it was. And to cut myself some slack it didn’t take place in 2016 hence, I will take a credit for writing for whichever was the last one. Thank you very much.
London’s Calling is a truly rad event organised by London Courier Emergency Fund (LCEF) for pushbike couriers to measure their true pedalling ability and celebrate the street style culture on two wheels (sometimes three if you ride cargo). In the last couple of years, an interest in couriering has surged and London’s Calling started enjoying attendance from non-vocational riders and wanna-be messengers.
Stretched across three days, London’s Calling traditionally falls onto the last bank holiday of the summer. Though when 2015’s date has perilously clashed with Glasgow’s WISE courier championships (Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England). Menacingly, London’s Calling stood on the verge of cancellation. But under a great demand the event went ahead and the competition has landed onto the second week of September.
There is a structure to the three days: usually starting on Friday evening with an alleycat race. It’s an averagely long ride that warms you up for the excitement of the three-day long adventure. The points count towards your main alleycat on Saturday which also determines the ultimate winner. At the end of the first day you are guaranteed a long and fun party which gradually takes you into the next day. Needless to say that fixed gear bike is predominating amongst the couriers and some choose to hop on their heavy goods vehicles like bullets and cargos to boost the fun even more.
Saturday hosts the main race and a number of competitions throughout the day. The difference between the main race and the Friday night’s alleycat is that alpha race is much more challenging: logistically and fitness-wise. The race is longer and requires a decent level of endurance. Riders can expect to be given quizzical tasks or even multiple jobs, imitating real courier routine. The scores for the main alleycat are at steak and define the ultimate winners of London’s Calling in men and female categories.
You can also amuse yourself in bungee racing, picnicking and an afterparty with prize giveaways all at an undisclosed location.
As the afterparty unwinds your Saturday inadvertently rolls onto Sundays. By then the vibe is all but consumed which allows for a last chilled day. Some shorter competitions are still going ahead, and if not intoxicated to the roots of your hair you can give it a shot in sprints, skids, track standing or rollers’ aka Rollapaluza challenge.
For those who race an entry fee of £25 secures you into all of the competitions across the three days. Albeit a dear admission, you get a bag of goodies (LCEF t-shirt, a wristband and other tidbits) and your breakfast meal sorted for the following morning. And even if that is too much to cash in – think of it as a good-deed tax as all proceeds go to LCEF.
Quite naturally all the racing and partying lights up some appetite and London’s Calling has a fix for that too. Mouthwatering and unpretentious refreshments on offer: freshly made goulash or a bacon&egg sandwich for cheaper than your average Pret and of course coffee.
Now, that I sold it to you…watch the story go.. and find out who the winner was of the main race.
The bikes were being laid to commence the race. The checkpoint crews headed out to their designated positions.
Instructions been given and riders made their last preparations.
Boys and girls, all in the same game. Who is going to whisk the night away?
Saturday’s brunch at Mint Sprint Park.
Many enjoyed the greens and worked hard on flattening the lawns with their bottoms.
The Bristolian guests too were after the golds of London.
There was a fair amount of preparation going on and some of us had to swiftly attend to the broken spokes.
Brooke Philips of team Pedlas Pursuit giving a cheeky eyes and looking forward to her imminent victory.
Whilst her brother Will Philips rendering mechanical services.
Ted Rucola’s head in the clouds.
Pedlas Pursuit’s briefing into the race.
Whilst Jordan warming up steadily…
The first manifests inserted into spokes.
Organizser sharing their duties
First lady of the night … BROKE PHILIPS!
And the winner is….JORDAN ! Clap, clap, clap…