The West London and Surrey cycling community is thriving. You only needs to venture into Richmond Park early on a Friday morning to discover that half of the cyclists in London are there - whether that be for casual chat laps followed by a coffee, or something a little more punchy. Whatever your objective is with cycling, there’s so much going on in the community that you can always get involved in.
To help you get the most out of the local cycling community, we’ve put together a few top tips and suggestions.
One of the best ways to meet other cyclists and to become quickly immersed in the community is to join a local cycling club. We’re lucky that there are lots of clubs in the area to choose from that all have their different passions and offerings, so there’s definitely something for every rider.
If you’re new to the sport and looking for a welcoming amateur cycling club where the focus is on socialising and having fun, Surrey Cycling Club is a great option.
If you’re a female cyclist and would rather stick to women-only rides, then Bella Velo is the perfect answer. It’s a wonderful group of female cyclists who love riding and supporting one another.
Perhaps though you’re looking for something a little more serious and want to try your hand with racing? Kingston Wheelers is a friendly local club that offer a range of social rides but also a specialise in helping people take their first steps in to competitive cycling.
Can you ever say you’ve done a West London or Surrey ride if you haven’t passed through the famous Richmond Park. The clockwise and anti-clockwise full laps are ideal for those that want a ride that offers a little bit of everything - hills, descents and flat roads. To mix things up though, we would suggest that you explore the lesser ridden inner paths to get away from the light traffic on the main laps… or perhaps the Tamsin Trail (perfect for gravel cycling).
Did you know? Richmond Park is the one of the largest urban green spaces in the world… and is home to hundreds of deer.
For those longer weekend rides, there’s two main options for you. Either you head into the Surrey Hills for an undulating, slightly more testing route or alternatively, avoid the hills and ride towards Windsor and Henley-on-Thames.
The Surrey Hills is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, offering some of south east England’s most beautiful and accessible countryside, with iconic beauty spots that you can easily ride to. You may have heard of Box Hill or Leith Hill - two of the most famous climbs in the UK and that riders certainly feel a sense of accomplishment once at the top. Within these climbs, there are some fantastic views and lanes to explore… although we would note that these do get a little mucky during the winter months.
Did you know? Box Hill is the most ridden segment in the world on Strava.
Another popular route would be to venture out to historic Windsor and its royal connections. If you opt for this route, we would suggest stopping at the Cinnamon Cafe to get the famous Cinnamon Bun to complete the official ‘Bun Run’. Although if you are keen to ride for a little longer, we’d definitely recommend heading towards the Chiltern Hills and Henley-on-Thames, best known for the annual international rowing regatta, Henley Royal Regatta, in the summer. One great thing about heading to Windsor (and the Cinnamon Cafe) is that if you’re riding solo from London, you’ll always be able to meet other riders that are heading back the same way.
Whichever and ride you choose, you’ll no doubt be taken away by the beautiful surroundings. Enjoy the ride! 🚲