Last Friday, the lovely people at Laka insurance ran their annual Halloween gravel ride from our studio in Shoreditch. It was great to see Milltag HQ full riders with every kind of bike from hybrid to mountain.
In the spirit of Halloween, this wasn’t your average gravel ride to Epping Forest. The route would see everyone take on some of London’s finest mixed surface riding in the pitch black.
Naturally, bright lights were a must. By the time everyone had heard the pre-ride briefing and lined up outside the studio, Ravey Street was lit up with more strobes than the heyday of the Hacienda. More than 30 people rolled out to the sound of the Adam’s Family theme tune as well as cheers and support of the crowds gathered outside the local pub. It was a raucous and exciting start to a great ride.
Riding on Epping’s muddy bridleway in the day time is at times an attention demanding slip and slide. Take away your field of vision and it becomes a truly exhilarating experience. One minute you’re trying to dodge a tree root, next you’re controlling a small powerslide as you hit a mud patch and then a deer bounds in front of you. As your field of vision diminishes to a few feet around you, your focus intensifies and your senses heighten. Twinned with the silence of the forest at that time of night and it’s a rare moment of mindfulness in London.
Regular stops to make sure everyone was ok or to attend to the inevitable odd mechanical created a giant pool of light in the inky night. It also provided a chance for some great photos, a key component of any bike ride.
A huge thanks to everyone involved in running the ride: Laka, Hiplok, Muc Off, Stance, Tribe and Brewdog, who hosted us at the end of the ride at their pub in Shoreditch.
You can read more on Laka’s own blog here
We had a lovely time and we’ll be running more rides and events from out studio, especially through our riding group www.ravey.cc.