Feline free! Sigrid the cat rides up front as cyclist explores London streets [Video]


A cyclist and his cat have become an online hit after filming their adventures exploring London – with the fluffy feline riding in the front basket. 

After Travis Nelson, 45, from San Francisco, was made redundant from his job as a software engineer last year, he began to take his four-year-old Norwegian forest cat, Sigrid, on bike rides around London.

Now, the pair get out to see the sights around three times a week, and attract plenty of attention from passersby and online. 

Mr Nelson posts videos of their excursions on Instagram where he and Sigrid have more than over 43,000 followers. 

A clip shared on November 28 shows them riding around central London, negotiating the traffic – including a double-decker bus, as it gets dark.

Sigrid sits calmly in the front basket, wearing a festive red jumper and securely held in place by a harness. 

At one stage she meows, as though complaining because they are stationary.

Mr Nelson captioned the clip: ‘Early nights means more night rides! Can’t wait for all the Christmas displays.’

As well as showcasing their travels through London’s Hampstead Heath, Hyde Park, Oxford Street, Camden Market, Covent Garden and more, Mr Nelson has shared footage of them going to protests and parties together. 

The 45-year-old told MailOnline that his followers have been wanting to consume more of Sigrid through merchandise or donating treats through online wishlists.

Travis Nelson, 45, from San Francisco, was made redundant from his job as a software engineer last year, he began to take his four-year-old Norwegian forest cat, Sigrid, on bike rides

Travis Nelson, 45, from San Francisco, was made redundant from his job as a software engineer last year, he began to take his four-year-old Norwegian forest cat, Sigrid, on bike rides

He said: ‘I have had a lot of requests for merchandise, but of course I was made redundant about a year ago so laying out money for an artist is a bit tricky.  

‘Another thing I get asked for a lot is a wishlist for Sigrid for treats and clothes and whatnot.

‘Unfortunately I need to keep my address private. 

‘I’ve gotten a startling number of threats of violence – some people really hate cyclists… or cats, and PO Boxes are quite expensive.

Mr Nelson captioned this picture: 'Yes, she rides my shoulder when we're not on the bike'

Mr Nelson captioned this picture: ‘Yes, she rides my shoulder when we’re not on the bike’

‘At the end of the day my only real purpose is having fun so I’ve kind of put these things on the back burner, but I’ll probably tackle them eventually if we continue getting more popular.

‘I’ve been really happy about reactions in our local neighborhood.

‘Our local pub, The Sir Richard Steele in Belsize, knows us well and we’re often down there for pub quiz.

‘Sigi has a favorite chair, and a favorite plant to chew on, and she is well known at Chamomile Cafe where we pop in for coffee some mornings.’

He told Ham&High: ‘Everyone is always quite surprised and happy to see Sigrid on the bike and it’s just a non-stop trail of people waving, smiling and shouting “Hey, there’s a cat”. 

‘It sounds a little strange but it’s as if you’re spreading joy.’

He added: ‘Sigrid likes it a lot. She always seems to love going outside. She’ll stand at the door and whine.’

Sigrid the adventurous cat sometimes wears goggles during her rides, and with the personalisation on the wheels of the bike, fans of the Instagram page can spot the pair

Sigrid the adventurous cat sometimes wears goggles during her rides, and with the personalisation on the wheels of the bike, fans of the Instagram page can spot the pair

Sometimes Sigrid has goggles on during the rides, and in one clip on their Instagram page @skintension, a fellow bike rider refers to all the equipment Travis has on his bike as well as: ‘There is so much going on here.

‘Fixed gear, track crank, 80mil wheels and a tri-spoke, and a cat. And goggles. Awesome.’ 

Sigrid, who is deaf, is lead trained and sometimes ventures out for a walk with her owner.

Their bike is personalised with ‘Travis and Sigrid’ on the wheels, which helps fans spot the pair out in public.

Sigrid's owner Travis said: 'Our local pub, The Sir Richard Steele in Belsize, knows us well and we're often down there for pub quiz'

Sigrid’s owner Travis said: ‘Our local pub, The Sir Richard Steele in Belsize, knows us well and we’re often down there for pub quiz’

On Remembrance Day, Travis and Sigrid ran into 'lots of soldiers' when cycling through London

On Remembrance Day, Travis and Sigrid ran into ‘lots of soldiers’ when cycling through London

Mr Nelson, who lives with his wife in north London’s Belsize Park, said he can spend up to four hours a day putting the footage together to share on social media and manage his page. 

When he reaches a park, he usually lets Sigrid out of the basket to be put on the lead to chase after pigeons, or her favourite, squirrels.

But really Sigrid calls the shots – when the fluffy feline wants to jump out of the basket, she makes it clear to her owner by letting out a few meow’s.

On one of the videos, a user commented: ‘I could watch this all day. If someone asked me what the best thing about Instagram is the answer would be stuff like this.’

Mr Nelson, who lives in Belsize park with his wife, says that trips with deaf cat Sigrid has helped build a routine since he has been out of work

Mr Nelson, who lives in Belsize park with his wife, says that trips with deaf cat Sigrid has helped build a routine since he has been out of work

Another said: ‘It’s so special the amount of joy she must bring to people in little ways each day…

‘I feel like it’s an emotion that is hard to capture, so it’s an absolute delight to see it through the videos you share of her interacting with the world.

One user added: ‘I want to come to London just to see you two out and about.’ 



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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