Cyclists of all backgrounds and abilities are invited to RideLondon FreeCycle
RideLondon FreeCycle is back! The incredible free event, part of the RideLondon festival of cycling, returns on Sunday 29 May 2022 with a new eight-mile route that gives riders of all ages, abilities and backgrounds a unique opportunity to cycle round central London on traffic-free roads.
The route for the 2022 edition of FreeCycle, which has been unveiled today [Thursday 17 March], passes some of London’s most famous locations, giving participants plenty to feast their eyes on as they ride. For the first time in the event’s history, the course will also travel south of the Thames, with a stretch between Westminster Bridge and Waterloo Bridge, including the Southbank.
The iconic streets and landmarks featured along the central London route include:
- Bank of England
- Guildhall Yard
- Holborn Viaduct
- London Eye *
- Piccadilly *
- Pall Mall *
- Somerset House
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Trafalgar Square
- Waterloo Bridge *
- Westminster Bridge *
- Victoria Embankment
* new for 2022
The route will also include four Festival Zones at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Waterloo Place, Guildhall Yard and St Paul’s Churchyard and Paternoster Square. Here, riders can pause to enjoy a variety of fun, free-of-charge activities designed to celebrate cycling and active travel and inspire more people from all backgrounds to get on their bikes more often.
RideLondon FreeCycle will start at 10:00 and finish at 15:00.
Supporting more cyclists
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of RideLondon, said: “RideLondon FreeCycle is a unique day. It’s wonderful and uplifting to see London’s most famous streets handed over to bicycles with riders of all ages and backgrounds on all sorts of different bikes enjoying traffic-free roads.
“We’re passionate about inspiring activity and getting more people onto bikes. For anyone new to cycling or who hasn’t cycled for a while, FreeCycle is a brilliant opportunity to give cycling a go in central London. People can cycle as far or as little as they wish on the eight-mile route. It’s a rare chance for everyone to cycle on traffic-free streets in one of the world’s busiest cities, to enjoy the Festival Zones and to see some of our most well-known landmarks along the way.”
London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, said: “RideLondon’s FreeCycle is a fantastic event that offers people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds the rare opportunity to cycle through central London on traffic-free roads. It’s a wonderful day to try cycling for the first time, check out the Festival Zones or just enjoy taking in some of the city’s most glorious landmarks. It’s important that we increase participation in cycling from more diverse groups, and I urge people to get involved and take part in this free event.”
The Festival Zone activities will focus on increasing participation among women, those from under-served communities and disability groups.
A number of charities, community groups and organisations will also be based in these Festival Zones to showcase cycling as an inclusive activity, including Wheels for Wellbeing, Bikeworks, Tomcat Special Needs Innovations and Van Raam Bikes.
Isabelle Clement, Director of Wheels for Wellbeing, said: “At Wheels for Wellbeing, we work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure disabled people get access to the joy and health benefits of cycling. Every year RideLondon is a special event which Wheels for Wellbeing and our partner Bikeworks have been delighted to be involved in, helping more disabled people to take part every year.
“At this year’s FreeCycle, we’ll be running an inclusive cycling hub at the Lincoln’s Inn Fields Festival Zone. People can come along to try out all kinds of different cycles – such as trikes, tandems and handbikes – and find general information about year-round accessible cycling opportunities.”
Join RideLondon FreeCycle
Entries to FreeCycle are open now and completely free of charge, and the first 10,000 people to register will be sent a free RideLondon FreeCycle cycling tabard. This bright, bespoke piece of outerwear is designed to help riders be clearly seen while out on their bikes in all seasons and weather, keeping them safe year-round.
To encourage cyclists from across London to join RideLondon FreeCycle, the London Cycling Campaign will also host a series of Led Rides to the event that set off from locations in each London borough, with return Led Rides taking place after the event as well. Each Led Ride will be headed by an experienced ride leader, and those interested in joining one from their London borough can register their place when booking their main RideLondon FreeCycle entry.
It is not necessary to own a bike to take part, as Transport for London’s Santander Cycles will be available to hire at docking stations across the city, with the bikes being serviced throughout the day.
The 2022 RideLondon festival
In addition to RideLondon FreeCycle, three other mass participation rides will take place as part of the festival on Sunday 29 May: the RideLondon-Essex 100, 60 and 30.
Also taking place this year is the RideLondon Classique, a three-day UCI Women’s World Tour stage race (Friday 27 May to Sunday 29 May), which will feature the best women’s cyclists in the world. The first two stages will take place in Essex before the final stage is held on a circuit in central London on Sunday 29 May between 15:45 and 18:00, enabling those who have taken part in FreeCycle to stay on and watch the race.