We’ve been previewing the forthcoming HTC Smithfield Nocturne coming up this Saturday 19th June where the top pros will battling it out on the achingly fashionable streets around London’s Smithfield market. There will be further updates, no doubt, as the week progresses.

What might be even more impressive for many family cyclists, though, is that prior to the headline race at 9pm the circuit will be opened up in a free-for-all between 3pm and 4.30pm so that all riders can have a go at the 1km lap in safety.

There will be music, food and entertainment all afternoon and evening including Rollapaluza Roller Racing, the Red Bull Stand Off Competition and the Danish Cycling Federation’s Children’s Bicycle Workshops so there should be plenty to amuse the family if you cycle into town.

The circuit ride is being hosted in association with the London Festival of Architecture Sky Rides and all participants will receive a high visibility pink bib, specially designed by the London Festival of Architecture.

The Saturday festivities, though, are just the beginning of two weeks of cycling events held in conjunction with the London Festival of Architecture and the Sky Rides Series. There will be a series of architectural bike tours led by leading authorities in their areas of which the following are just a selection. Unlike the Saturday afternoon family ride which is free, the cost is £5 and you need to book on the LFA website.

London Festival of Architecture Sky Rides


Fun ride around 1km HTC Smithfield Nocturne race circuit Sat 19th June 3pm – 4.30pm

Family cyclists get to ride safely and traffic-free the 1km circuit of the HTC Smithfield Nocturne this coming Saturday afternoon

The Best of France in London, Sat 26th June 2pm

Famed culture critic Stephen Bayley hosts a tour of all things French in London, taking in the best of French food, architecture and art. Stephen will be leading riders from the striking Michelin Building to Westminster Abbey to see the influence of Reims, Amiens and Chartres, exploring French furniture and art at the Wallace Collection and Jean Cocteau’s murals in the Notre Dame de France in Leicester Place, discovering the Hugenot Church in Soho and finishing with champagne at the new Jean Nouvel creation ‘One New Change’.

17th Century Cycling & Sketching Tour, Sat 26th June 10am

Historian Benedict O’Looney takes riders on an artistic tour of London’s finest 17th Century baroque architecture. Starting in Bloomsbury, moving through The City and along the Thames, this ride is a fantastic opportunity to jump off your bike, soak up the scenery and sketch the buildings. Sketching locations include Trafalgar Square and St Pauls Cathedral.

Velo2Velo: Sun 27th June, 11am

The Velo2Velo rides links London’s two Olympic cycling venues. A chance to see the historic Herne Hill Velodrome used for the 1948 Olympics before long-awaited plans to redevelop the venue are finally put into action. The ride then heads north through quiet roads and bike trails towards the start of the Olympic High Street at Whitechapel. Here you’ll get the chance to join in LFA activities celebrating this unique part of London, before finishing at the 2012 Olympic site in Stratford for a close-up view of the Zaha Hadid’s aquatic centre, the Olympic stadium and, of course, the 2012 Velodrome designed by Hopkins architects.

Remodelling of Old Housing Estates, Mon 28th June 6pm

Top British designer Wayne Hemingway takes you on a tour of some of North London’s iconic housing estates and explores how they have been remodelled and updated in the last 100 years. Featuring additional talks from the architects responsible for the regeneration projects, the tour starts in Bloomsbury, before moving north through Islington, Camden and Kentish Town.

Played in West London, Sun 4th July 10am

Simon Inglis, author and architectural historian, will host a sporting ride through the capital exploring the architectural style and variety of sports venues around West London. From 19th Century running tracks to premiership football stadiums, from Edwardian swimming baths to exclusive members only sports clubs, this ride is must for all sports fans.