On your bike: Ride London set to break records as 25,000 cyclists take to the road
A record number of cyclists are expected to ride up to 100 miles as London marks the 10th anniversary of what has become the biggest city bike festival in the world.
The three-day Ride London event will culminate on Sunday with three sold-out mass rides from central London to Essex and back, finishing on Tower Bridge – with 25,000 riders due to complete the 30, 60 or 100-mile routes on closed roads.
A similar number are expected to join an eight-mile Free Cycle unticketed family bike ride on closed roads around Buckingham Palace between 10am-3pm on Sunday, or watch the Ford Ride London Classique, three days of racing starting today, Friday, that involves some of the world’s best women cyclists, including former world champion Lizzie Deignan.
Well the last time I raced down the Mall outside Buckingham Palace in London, it ended pretty well 😜 🤩#London2012 so I can’t wait to race this year’s Ford RideLondon Classique with my @TrekSegafredo teammates and hope we can go one better! #RideLondon @RideLondon pic.twitter.com/whxtWmKjQF
— Lizzie Deignan (@lizziedeignan) May 11, 2023
The final stage of the classique, on a closed circuit in central London, will start at 3.30pm on Sunday.
Trafalgar Square will host a Ford Ride London hub on each of the three days.
It is the second year that the Ride London 100 has gone into Essex. Previously in went via Surrey.
Cyclists will set off from the Victoria Embankment in waves from 6am, passing the 2012 velodrome and Epping Forest and head towards Braintree before returning home.
The event is sponsored for the first time by Ford. Some green campaigners have objected to support from a car manufacturer but event organisers say that without its support the event could not have been held.
There will be widespread road closures, including the southbound carriageway of the A12 for much of Sunday.
Hugh Brasher, Ford Ride London event director, said Sunday would be a “special day when London is full of bikes on traffic-free roads and when air pollution levels will drop”.