More than 50,000 people are expected to take part in the 2023 event on Sunday 28 May
Ford RideLondon, the world’s greatest festival of cycling, will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sunday 28 May with the 2023 edition of the country’s most successful Olympic legacy event.
Created by the Mayor of London and first held in 2013, a year after the 2012 London Olympic Games, Ford RideLondon is now the biggest celebration of the bicycle in any major city on the planet.
It provides more than 50,000 people each year the opportunity to take part in one of four mass participation bike rides on traffic-free roads in London and, since 2022, Essex. These rides have inspired more than 150,000 people to start cycling and raised more than £83 million for charity since 2013.
Since its first edition, RideLondon has both championed and showcased how the bicycle can be a healthy and sustainable mode of transport with the activity becoming ever more popular in London.
As well as Ford RideLondon celebrating its 10th anniversary, the London Marathon Foundation (the parent charity of London Marathon Events – the organiser of Ford RideLondon) is celebrating reaching an incredible funding milestone of £100 million awarded to inspire activity since 1981.
This includes funding of more than £10 million for cycling activities – from developing large venues like the Lee Valley VeloPark (2010), to supporting smaller community cycling schemes across London in partnership with TfL’s Walking and Cycling Grants London programme (since 2020), and projects making cycling more accessible like Bikeworks’ new Inclusive Cycling Centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (2022) – so more people can lead active and healthy lives through cycling.
The 2023 Ford RideLondon on Sunday 28 May begins at 06:00 when the first of more than 20,000 riders taking part in either the Ford RideLondon-Essex 100, 60 or 30-mile inspiration rides get underway on Victoria Embankment. The riders will head north-east out of London and into the beautiful, rolling countryside of Essex before returning to London for a stunning finish at Tower Bridge. All three of these events are sold out.
Meanwhile, as thousands of riders are out on the roads of east London and Essex, eight miles of central London roads will be open to all when Ford RideLondon FreeCycle takes place between 10:00 and 15:00. FreeCycle is an opportunity for riders of all ages and abilities to explore some of London’s most famous landmarks on traffic-free roads. Sights to see this year include Buckingham Palace and Admiralty Arch as the route includes The Mall for the first time since 2019.
New for 2023 is the Ford RideLondon HUB in Trafalgar Square, part of the FreeCycle route, where people can watch bike demonstrations, street entertainers and live coverage of the Ford RideLondon Classique, as well as learn more about active travel and Ford’s Park the Car initiative which encourages people to walk or cycle rather than drive short journeys wherever possible.
Santander Cycles can be hired across the route of FreeCycle. Simply download the Santander Cycles App to find the nearest docking station and bike availability. There will be two additional Cycle Hire Hubs with staff on site to help you hire a bike these can be found at Craven Street and Westminster Pier. For more information, click here.
You can register for FreeCycle now or just join the ride on the day and do as much or as little of the route as you like. Landmarks on the FreeCycle route include:
- Admiralty Arch
- Bank of England
- Buckingham Palace
- Guildhall Yard
- Holborn Viaduct
- Somerset House
- St Paul's Cathedral
- The Mall
- Trafalgar Square
To see the full FreeCycle route, click here.
The Ford RideLondon festival concludes with the final stage of the RideLondon Classique, a professional race for the world’s best female riders. Following two days of racing in Essex, the final stage takes place on a multi-lap circuit in central London that starts and finishes on The Mall. Among the star-studded names taking part is Great Britain’s former world champion Lizzie Deignan. The race will start at 15:45 and finish at approximately 17:45. The multi-lap circuit gives spectators the chance to see the world's best riders on multiple occasions from one location. To view the route, click here.
Spectators are encouraged to come out and enjoy the day and everyone who lives, works or is visiting London on Sunday 28 May is urged to plan ahead, as there will be some disruption caused by the road closures which are necessary to ensure the safety of all participants.
Organisers have spent the past months engaging directly with communities and businesses on the route to ensure any disruption is minimised as much as possible, with community access plans created for specific locations. These plans can be accessed here.
Hugh Brasher, Ford RideLondon Event Director, said: “There has been enormous change, in so many ways since the first RideLondon in 2013, but one constant has been the growth of cycling. More and more people are discovering the wonderful benefits of cycling, from improving personal health and fitness to being a sustainable mode of transport that can help make environmental change.
“The 2023 Ford RideLondon will be another celebration of the bicycle, a special day when London is full of bikes on traffic-free roads and when air pollution levels will drop. Anyone can still be a part of it by coming to join Ford RideLondon FreeCycle which is bigger than ever this year thanks to the new Trafalgar Square activation zone which will promote active travel and offer fans an amazing spot to watch the final stage of the Ford RideLondon Classique.”
London Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, said: “The world’s greatest festival of cycling, RideLondon is one of the highlights of the year for Londoners and I’m delighted that this year’s event will mark its tenth anniversary.
“We want to make sure that the boom in walking and cycling we have seen continues and it’s really important that we increase participation in cycling from more diverse groups. So, if you are considering cycling for the first time why not get involved in RideLondon’s FreeCycle and take advantage of the opportunity to cycle around miles of central London on traffic-free streets.
“At RideLondon there is something for everyone to enjoy – from new cyclists who want to gain confidence, to more experienced riders looking for a chance to push themselves, plus the chance to cheer on the professionals.”
Councillor Lee Scott, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Sustainable Transport said: “We are really looking forward to seeing Ford RideLondon-Essex back in the county on Sunday 28 May. Thanks to last year’s event, Essex has benefitted from £1M of funding for activities that inspire people to be more physically active. It is fantastic to see that more than 200 initiatives, sessions and programmes have already been delivered as a direct result of Ford RideLondon-Essex.”
Lisa Brankin, Managing Director of Ford of Britain and Ireland, said: “We are proud to be the headline sponsors for Ford RideLondon, and are really looking forward to seeing as many people as possible engaging with cycling and active travel across London and Essex. At Ford, we are serious about reducing carbon emissions and preserving our planet for the future, and RideLondon allows us to connect with a wider audience and share the countless benefits of cycling and walking. We have many employees and friends of Ford taking part and wish all entrants a safe and enjoyable ride.”
Full details of the road closures can be found here.