No speed limit at RideLondon after all, but participants reminded it is not a race

22mph safety car speed was sent out in error

RideLondon The Mall
(Image credit: Alamy)

There will be no speed limit automatically imposed on riders at the RideLondon-Essex 100 after all. 

The organiser has sent a reply to at least one participant, explaining that the idea of a safety car travelling at 22mph was announced "in error". 

One rider, who had contacted the organisers, forwarded his response - in which he was told: "The Event Safety Car will travel at a pace determined by the conditions and what is happening on the road."

The organiser then published a formal statement on Twitter, (opens in new tab) confirming the same.

Despite the removal of the 22mph speed limit, those taking part in the event on 29 May have been reminded that it is "not a race", instead a "mass participation ride on traffic-free roads within set road closure periods".

News of the speed limit was revealed in the event guide (opens in new tab) published by the organisers over the weekend, along with start times for those taking part. The limit could have seen riders being forced to slow down, or bunch up.

However, the confirmation that the safety car will not have a pre-determined speed throughout the day will allay fears of faster riders being held back, or bunching due to people looking for later start times in order to go faster across the course.

The message reads: "The Event Guide sent out last week stated that the Event Safety Car, at the front of the ride, would travel at 22mph. This is not the case and we apologise for the error. The Event Safety Car will travel at a pace determined by the conditions and what is happening on the road.

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"As the Event Safety Car sets off well in advance of the first wave of riders, it is unlikely that many - if any - riders will see the Event Safety Car during the event. However, if riders do see the Event Safety Car they should not overtake it under any circumstances. It is there for rider and event safety.

"We would like to remind riders that everyone in the event is required to slow and/or stop on the ride throughout the route as instructed by marshals and stewards to enable access for emergency vehicles, critical services or resident access. 

"The RideLondon-Essex 100 is not a race.It is vitally important that instructions from ride marshals and stewards are followed by riders at all times."

There was anger on social media at the proposed speed limit, with those taking part pointing out that the suggested 22mph speed limit could easily be matched or exceeded by those riding in groups on a largely flat course through Essex.

One rider taking part next weekend, Ralph Blackburn, had told Cycling Weekly that the limit could "cause more problems than it solves".

"It's a faster route this year," he said. "With fewer climbs in Essex compared to Surrey, and quicker riders could easily create a big bunch behind the speed limit car - which would get larger and larger over the course of route. For cyclists not used to riding in big groups, this could potentially cause safety issues."

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Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over my professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.