London’s cycling culture has been gaining momentum for years, with Olympic stars like Bradley Wiggins reinvigorating Britain’s interest in the sport and the Tour de France set to visit the capital, along with Cambridge and rural Yorkshire, next year.
The sixth annual IG London Nocturne, therefore, is expected to draw huge crowds of enthusiasts when it takes place this Saturday (June 8th). Established in 2007, the event sees the streets of the historic Smithfield Market closed off to traffic for a night of cycling races, novelty competitions and other festivities.
A one-kilometre circuit around the market will play host to a series of high-profile professional races, including the Elite Women’s Criterium, where British Olympic stars Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell will be battling for supremacy.
It’s not all about serious athletics, however; the IG London Nocturne’s twilight proceedings have a reputation for eccentricity and fun too. While professional cyclists are busy taking their sport to its highest expression, crowds looking for quirkier pleasures can witness novelty events like races held exclusively on penny-farthings and folding bikes. There’s even a ‘longest skid’ competition.
Completing the festival atmosphere, attendees can expect a vast array of pop-up food and drink stalls. Smithfield Market is home to a huge number of pubs and restaurants and live music has also been announced, so there’s easily an evening’s worth of diversions on offer.
“In 2013 we’re aiming for the biggest and best IG London Nocturne yet,” say organisers. Last year’s event was attended by crowds of cycling fans exceeding 10,000 in number, so expect a strong turnout and consider turning up early if you’d like a decent spot from which to view proceedings.
Those staying in Boutique Hotels London this week who’d like to get involved should head towards the Farringdon tube stop, which lies just a short distance from the course.
Races kick off at 4pm and run well into the night, with the Norglide Elite Criterium kicking off at 9:30pm for a 10:30pm finish.