Thousands flock to enjoy RideLondon FreeCycle
Tens of thousands of people flocked to RideLondon FreeCycle today, as the event returned to the capital for the first time since 2019.
Cyclists of all ages, abilities and backgrounds got on their bikes to explore an accessible eight-mile traffic-free loop, taking in some of London’s most famous sights and stopping off at four free Festival Zones to enjoy activities and entertainment for all.
A carnival atmosphere was guaranteed at this completely free event, thanks to circus stilt bikes, penny farthings and music bikes banging out tunes along the route, while bands, choirs and DJs added to the festival feel, as participants rang their bells in time with the music.
Free Led Rides, in partnership with London Cycling Campaign and supported by Ford, brought cyclists safely to the RideLondon FreeCycle route from the 32 London boroughs.
It is the sense of security gained from being able to cycle on traffic-free streets that attracts so many families to the event, as rider Mian Wei said: ‘We come every year that the event is held! Normally it feels very busy everywhere in the city and just walking down the street can feel dangerous – but today you can freely cycle and feel safe as well. It’s very good!’
For the first time in the event’s history, the route crossed to the south of the Thames to give riders the chance to cycle through the buzzing Southbank area – a treat relished by Simon Short and wife Lynda, who took part along with daughters Alexandra, 15, and Isabelle, 12: “We did the whole lot, including Westminster Bridge and the Southbank – we’d been there recently for a concert so thought we’d have some lunch by the river, which was lovely. It was nice to see the restored Big Ben too.”
“The event was really good, really well organised and friendly. We’ve got two happy teenagers (well one teenager and one near-teenager!).