The Vulpine Fêtes have been a roaring success, so in line with the big ambitions of the up and coming cycle clothing company, what better than a Cyclogames series of cycling competitions in a vast warehouse in Hackney, along with DJs, Christmas shopping and celebs?
The Oval Space in Hackney by the Regents Canal is enormous, giving you a sense of the event’s scale. It could definitely be described as 'building on' last year’s cosy Christmas fête in Balham.
According to Vulpine’s founder Nick Hussey:
As you walk in through the main entrance you’ll be greeted by art and the three cycling charities we’ve chosen to support in this free event. Next, walk upstairs, past bars serving mulled wine, cider and the usual. Plus high-quality hearty winter food at fair prices.
Then you enter the main space. You’ll see hundreds of lights dangling above a central selection of great young British cycling brands and artists. Along the length of the venue are the competitions. On stage (this is a club and gig venue) will be Rollapaluza, more competitions and famous DJs.
Talented and famous cyclists will be judging the competitions. Some require you to entire online before the event, but most you can just turn up for. Simply pay a small amount (to charity) and you stand to win some serious prizes!
There’ll be a friendly vibe inclusive or all cyclists, free bike parking, great booze and food and loads going on.
DJs offering their talents include The Maccabees, Nemone Metaxes. The celeb cycling judges are Matt Stephens off t’telly, actor Michael Smiley and Ned Boulting, not to mention the world famous Expert On The Cyclings Kenny Van Vlaminck.
Road.cc got in touch with Nick to ask what the thinking was behind extending the event so dramatically.
Nick said: “This is an natural next move from the Vulpine Cycling Fetes. I wanted to add more excitement and spectator events, not just stalls.
"It's also a cheeky alternative to those major sporting events that are very inaccessible, heavily regulated and corporate. I wanted something that literally everyone can get involved with.
“Also, I got to know a few personalities and I know that their presence only adds to the sense of fun and helps drive the charity donations, so I wanted to build in anyone who was free and up for it. They're all lovely people and it's very kind they're helping out, judging and DJing.”
Looking back at the last 18 months in Vulpine’s history Nick said: “The first fete was in June last year and it was rammed throughout. There seems to be a real fervour for something a bit more exciting, frankly, than warehouse consumer fairs.
“The fetes are always busy with a fantastic vibe. I had to find a much bigger venue that is interesting and friendly but can fit a larger audience and all the events. It wasn't easy! We pay for all the setting up so that everything else goes to the charities.”
But what about the rest of the country? Road.ccers have repeatedly told us they’d love to be able to go to events outside London.
Nick told us: “So we've done 3 fetes, 2 in London and one in Manchester. The Manc event nearly killed me! The thing to remember is the events are big but we are not.
“There's no deliberate London bias, it just the path of least resistance for me. Its many times harder to create an event in a different city. BUT I'm northern and I want to do more elsewhere.
“I have some help now and we have plans in 2014 around the Tour, Womens Tour of Britain with Matrix Vulpine and beyond. But I'm not telling!”
For more information about the event, including entry and directions, click here.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.