Monday, 22 November 2010

The best cycling streets in London: Part 5

I've been hesitating about adding Pentonville Road to my list of best cycling streets, mainly because it is butt-ugly. Pleasing aesthetics are really a key criteria for this list- one of main reasons for not being underground  or peering out of a steamy bus window is so you can take in London's glorious architecture and natural beauty. However, there are other criteria, for example a lack of traffic, and a long, steepish incline to freewheel down, both of which this road has in spades. All except the top third is closed to general traffic, and despite it looking like a major route, very few buses and taxis seem to run down it. Almost every time I ride it the wide, long hill is all mine, and I love every minute of it. The other day I came out of Penton Street and turned right onto it on a bright, frosty morning, peeling off from the mass of neon bikers heading straight-on into the city. The sensation of sun and wind on my face as Trusty and I picked up speed reminded me strongly of skiing. I don't think I'll get to the slopes this year, so joyfully bombing through the cold air, making the most of the speed before hitting the snarling junctions around King's Cross,will have to do for now. Just goes to show, looks aren't everything.


  1. The road I enjoy most on my morning journey is Barnsbury Rd. Riding down this tree lined road , with the park on the right means a couple of minutes of calm before crossing Pentonville Road and entering the city.

    BTW , I'm probably part of the neon mass (high vis, but no lyrca or tights!) going on straight from Penton St.

  2. Please do a post on the beautiful song/lament "Ballad of a Stolen Bicycle" by Tristram ( It includes the worlds:

    "Someone stole my bicycle,
    Why did they do it?
    It was my favourite form of transport
    and I'd grown to love it."

    ASH. x

  3. @SM- great road, so peaceful. I spent this afternoon in the Albion pub by the open fire- have you ever been in or just passed it? Well worth a pit stop

    @ASH- I will have a listen, thank you! Have you seen Happy Go Lucky? Her bike gets stolen in the first scene and it's the saddest bit of the film.

  4. I do go passed everyday, will pop in there sometime. I want to check out some of these cycle cafes too. There's one called MiCycle on Barnsbury St. Ever been there?