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2024 FreeCycle Participants




Central London becomes cycling haven as the roads are closed for the Ford RideLondon FreeCycle

Central London was packed with bikes on Sunday as thousands of people seized the unique chance to pedal along traffic-free streets, enjoying the capital’s famous landmarks and soaking up the festival atmosphere at Ford RideLondon FreeCycle. 

It was a day to remember for the riders of all backgrounds, ages and abilities who made the most of empty roads to glide past iconic locations including St Paul’s Cathedral, Somerset House, Buckingham Palace, and The Mall. 

The event included two Festival Zones, at Aldwych and St Paul’s, along with the RideLondon HUB at Trafalgar Square – back by popular demand – where riders stopped off to enjoy food and drink, as well as bike activities all designed to inspire people to pedal towards more active lives. 

Stuart Owen, 52, from Enfield, brought his three children to the event for the first time. Twins Benji and Charlie, aged eight, and Jonny, 11, were excited to stop off at the Festival Zone at St Paul’s and take part in some of the activities on offer.  
Stuart said: “It’s brilliant, we are enjoying it so far. It’s organised really well and the kids are having a great time. 
“The kids like cycling and we saw a poster for it so decided to come along.”  
On the opportunity to explore central London by bike, Stuart added: “They’ve never seen the sights like this, it’s brilliant.” 

Ryan Maycroft came from Gloucester with his three-year-old and one-year-old for their second FreeCycle. 

 “Their grandad, my father-in-law, cycles the Ford RideLondon-Essex 100, so we came to watch him and saw this was on,” he said. 

 “It’s brilliant! It has picked up this year, there is more going on, which is great. I saw someone with a Harley push bike! There is plenty to see and do.” 
Tristan West, from Surrey, was back at Ford RideLondon FreeCycle for a third year with his parents, Linda and Neil.  
The eight-year-old said: “I enjoy the cycling and my favourite bit is going down all the hills, because then you can go really fast! I also enjoyed the mango smoothie bike [at the St Paul’s Festival Zone].” 

Jacquline Alcindor praised the event for encouraging more diversity within cycling, something which she says has been a challenge. “As a black female Caribbean in London, it’s an opportunity to show that black people can be on the road.” 

London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman said: “It has been a fantastic day in the capital watching thousands of people take part in the Ford RideLondon FreeCycle today.  

“To see so many people out on their bicycles taking part has been a hugely inspiring spectacle. I’ve seen families, groups of friends and individuals of all ages enjoying the freedom of traffic-free roads and exploring the city on what has been a beautiful, sunny day. I hope many more people will be inspired to get on a bike and join us next year.” 

Many of the participants cycled into the centre from various London boroughs on a Led Ride, guided by volunteers from the London Cycling Campaign, as part of Ford’s Park the Car campaign, which encourages drivers to leave their car at home for short journeys and to cycle instead. 

Thanks to social enterprise Bikeworks, this year at FreeCycle disabled participants were able to book a one-hour ride on a side-by-side cycle with a Cycle Connect pilot to guide them along the traffic-free route. 

Charlie Willis, 33, said: “The benefit is making it much more visible and shows that adjustments for disabled people are useful. What a lovely thing to see people on adapted bikes in the centre of London!" 

FreeCycle takes place on the final day of Ford RideLondon, the world’s greatest cycling festival, which also includes three mass participation rides in London and Essex as well as the Ford RideLondon Classique, a three-day pro women’s race featuring the best female riders in the world.