Cyclists took over the streets of London yesterday in the largest ever mass-participation cycling event to be held in the Capital.
Estimates place the number of cyclists flooding the Capital’s streets for the Mayor of London’s Skyride in excess of 65,000.
Large parts of the city were completely closed to traffic for most of the day, something that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago and proof that London really is in love with the bicycle.
Since its inception in 2007 as the London Freewheel, the event’s popularity has increased exponentially with this year’s estimated figures well up on last year’s 50,000.
The route that started on The Mall, headed into the City before running along the Embankment encompassed some of London’s most iconic landmarks, including Buckingham Palace and St. Paul’s Cathedral. 15km in length, it was flat enough to prove manageable for cyclists of all abilities.
“With over 65,000 Londoners of all ages, sizes, shapes, and cycling ability taking part, today has been what we think is the largest bike ride of its kind ever to be held in London,” commented London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson.
“It is a fitting conclusion to a fantastic summer of cycling, in which more and more people have discovered that ours is a fantastic city in which to go by two wheels.
“This is of course just part of our work to boost cycling. We are investing record amounts, and over the coming months Londoners will be hearing more about our plans to make London one of the most cycle friendly cities in the world.”
Boris Johnson was joined on the ride by Sir Chris Hoy, Shanaze Reade, Jamie Staff, Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar.
“This was my second year at the London event and it’s clear that we have topped last year’s fantastic celebration of cycling,” said Hoy. “It was great to see so many people out on their bikes enjoying the opportunity to be on traffic free roads.
“The best part of these events is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or a more experienced rider, they have something for all ages and abilities. I’m hoping that everyone that took part today will continue to stay on their bikes and enjoy all the fun and benefits it can bring.”
Above: Gethin Jones, Kelly Brook, Boris Johnson and Sir Chris Hoy on The Mall
The ride attracted riders of all ages and abilities
Two-wheeled take-over: London’s normally congested streets were flooded with cyclists