Architect and author Peter Murray is helping to organise a slow and stylish cycling event on the City of London circuit for the London Nocturne in June. Murray (pictured) is a member of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects, one of London’s 110 Livery companies. The Considerate Cyclists’ Concours d’Elegance will take place before the main circuits races on the evening of Saturday June 4th.
A Concours d'Elégance – from French meaning a “competition of elegance” – was originally a genteel gathering of 17th Century French aristocrats in upscale carriages. The term was later applied to similar gatherings of upscale motor-cars, and vintage cycle rallies have also held such events.
Murray said the Considerate Cyclists’ Concours d’Elegance would be “Lycra-free”, and it would join other events such as a Brompton race and one for high-wheel penny-farthings.
The circuit takes in St Paul’s Cathedral, goes down Cheapside and circles around the Guildhall. Considerate riders in the Concours d'Elégance will have to circumnavigate “obstacles” such as pedestrians looking down to smartphones, red lights, road works and taxis.
The Chartered Architects’ Company challenges London’s other Livery companies as well as commercial companies to take part in the Concours d’Elegance with prizes going to the most elegant entries and the most “considerate cyclists”.
“There will be no Lycra and all bikes should be hydrid, folding or classic town bikes,” said Murray.
He added: “As the numbers of people using the streets increases all road users have to treat each other with due consideration. The Corporation is focusing on walking as the most important mode of getting around the City in the day time. This can potentially bring cyclists and pedestrians into conflict. To set an example of considerate cycling the Concours d’Elegance will show a different side to cycling from the speed races of the rest of the evening.”
Last week a Senior Warden of the Worshipful Company of World Traders said on Twitter that "cyclists do not belong in towns."
The Considerate Cyclists’ Concours d’Elegance will award prizes for the most stylish rider in ceremonial or livery dress, and for those in modern attire. Entry fees of £100 per rider will go towards the Lord Mayor’s Appeal 2016 and the Hendy Murray Fund for Safer Streets.