25th May 2021 — Sofa to Saddle with SWA!

Sofa to Saddle with SWA!

The sun’s out, the summer is here and with the city re-opening again, now is the time more than ever to hop on your bike and get exploring on two wheels. As part of this year’s London Festival of Architecture 2021, SWA have created a self-guided cycle tour map to take you around some of our most iconic and much-loved projects at completely your own pace.

This weekend why not bike over to Space Studios in E9, Brickfield Studios in E3, or visit the Elephant & Castle area with a cluster of past projects — Siobhan Davies Dance Studios, Muro Court, Wardroper House and Bermondsey Cycle Store. For hardcore cyclists out there, why not push yourself with a trip to Kingston to see the newly completed SWA cycle hub and bridge? Click here for more information on this exciting project.

You can find the cycle map here to download. You can also download a mobile-friendly guide about the projects which are included on each stop.

Image of SWA's LFA Cycle Tour Map
SWA Team on Cycling

As you can probably tell we’re big fans of cycling here at SWA, so if you’re looking for inspiration on some of our other favourite cycling spots look no further. Our team have shared some of their favourite cycling memories and routes, as well as given you the perfect cycle snack recipe to help you on your journey…

Image of Cremorne Riverside Centre (Photography by James Brittain)

“Having been tempted out on my bike for the last SWA cycle tour, it was a pleasure to reach Cremorne Riverside Centre at the end of our ride along the Chelsea Embankment. The raised deck between the two Cor-Ten pavilions provides a sheltered spot and the perfect place to gather and appreciate the River views, and if we’d been more prepared… set off for a breezy Kayak!”

Eleanor Brough, Associate

“My favourite way of cycling or commuting anywhere is by using the TFL Quietway paths. They are a great way of commuting on cycle friendly routes and have enabled me to discover new pockets of London away from my usual bus or train journey. Moving recently to South London, I was keen to avoid the Old Kent Road and find a route that was a little less traffic heavy, this is when I discovered the Q1 cycleway taking me from nearby Greenwich to Southwark.

The route takes you from industrial areas near New cross, behind Mill Wall Stadium, to the residential areas of Bermondsey – it’s a bit of a quirky route but I love the way that its enabled me to see a new side of the area I live in and its pretty much car free!”

Rachel Pickford, Architect

“Growing up in Toulouse, I had the luxury of regularly cycling the Canal du Midi around the south of France. If you find yourself in the area, there are many fantastic routes to take you from Bordeaux to Narbonne, passing through beautiful old towns and villages where you can enjoy excellent french food and wine. Another fantastic and more local route is London to Paris, taking the ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe and using the Avenue Verte, a disused train route to make your way to Paris.”

Josh Molnar, Architect

Josh enjoying SWA's LFA Cycle Tour back in 2019!

“Cycling has been my preferred form of transport for over 40 years! It’s healthy, cheap and you don’t need to worry about the last tube home. You can be completely independent or ride with friends. I love cycling in London. Over the course of my cycling ‘career’ the number of cars on the road has increased hugely, but so have the number of cyclists, so car driver awareness is better now, and so is the infrastructure. Lockdown really cemented the right of cycles to share the road.

My current favourite ride takes you up through east Finchley to Totteridge Manor, then to High Barnet and Hadley Wood. Once you are past Whetstone you are in the green belt, surrounded by fields, farms, golf courses and country parks. There are climbs every so often, and swooping downhills to enjoy. The return route is via Winchmore Hill and Alexandra Palace (a.k.a Ally Pally), with views over London and plenty of cafés. In three hours you can really lose yourself, and come home feeling in a great frame of mind.”

Sarah Wigglesworth, Director

A selection of images from a visit to Siobhan Davies Dance Studios as part of our LFA Cycle Tour in 2019
Now it's snack time...

We all know that a long (or leisurely) cycle ride calls for some great snacks. Our Operation’s Manager Cat, is a big fan of anything nutty or chocolatey for that little boost of energy. A tried and tested favourite of hers is this energy ball recipe below, they end up looking like Ferrero Rocher truffles – almost too good to eat!

Ingredients:

• 2 cups of hazelnuts
• 12 dates
• 1/2 cup cacao butter
• 3 tbsp cacao powder
• 1 tbsp date syrup
• Add some roasted chopped hazelnuts onto the top for decoration

Method:

1. Get your oven pre heated to 150 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Toast the hazelnuts on the lined baking tray in the oven for 15-20minutes.

3. Once the hazelnuts are golden, remove them from the oven and allow to cool.

4. Once cooled rub the hazelnuts between kitchen towel to remove the skin.

5. Melt the cacao butter and then take off from the heat. Place to one side for the moment.

6. Pop the hazelnuts into a blender until and buzz smooth.

7. Add the cacao powder and blend. Slowly add in the melted cacao butter and date syrup, then blend again.

8. Now that the mixture is suitably sticky, let’s get messy! Roll the mix into balls and add any decorations on top.

9. Store in the fridge and wrap up in some beeswax food wrap for safe storage when you’re off on your journey. Enjoy!