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Big Ben on the Ford RideLondon route




Thousands of cyclists and bike enthusiasts gear up for return of Ford RideLondon

Ford RideLondon is returning for its landmark 10th edition this weekend, with tens of thousands of riders set to take to the streets of Essex and London as part of the world’s greatest festival of cycling.

The most successful legacy event from the London 2012 Olympics, Ford RideLondon – created by the Mayor of London – has grown into the biggest celebration of the bicycle in any major city on the planet.

The mass participation events, which feature more than 40,000 participants each year on traffic-free roads across London and, since 2022, Essex, have inspired more than 150,000 people to start cycling and raised more than £85 million for charity since 2013.

Since its first edition in 2013, RideLondon has exhibited how the bicycle can be a healthy and sustainable mode of transport.

The 2024 Ford RideLondon begins with Stage One of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, the Ford RideLondon Classique, on Friday 24 May which is from Saffron Walden to Colchester in Essex. Stage Two is also in Essex, starting and finishing in Maldon on Saturday 25 before the centrepiece of the Ford RideLondon weekend takes place on Sunday 26 May with mass participation rides and the final stage of the Classique.

The day 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 depart from 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.

Among those taking part are former Olympic gold medalist Chris Boardman, who will be finishing his sportive before jumping into the BBC commentary booth to commentate on Stage Three of the Classique, Trhas Teklehaimanot Tesfay, the Ethiopian national champion, author and comedian Helen Thorn and on-air TV and radio favourite DJ Spoony.

To ensure the safety of participants and spectators, road closures are necessary. These are outlined on the Ford RideLondon website here, highlighting key information which may affect those in central London, east London and Essex.

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 and anyone can join in on the day. Sights to see this year include The Mall, Buckingham Palace and Admiralty Arch.

Returning in 2024 is the Ford RideLondon HUB at 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. You can find out more information about the Ford RideLondon HUB and the activities on offer here.

For those who may not own their own bike, that does not mean you cannot take part. 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 four additional Cycle Hire Hubs, with staff on site to help you hire or dock a bike. These will be at Craven Street, Westminster Pier, Wellington Street and St James's Square. You can read more information here.

You can register for FreeCycle now via Let's Do This 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

You can view the FreeCycle route here.

The Ford RideLondon festival concludes with the final stage of the Ford RideLondon Classique on an eight-lap circuit in central London that starts and finishes on The Mall.

Among the star-studded names taking part is Great Britain’s Lizzie Deignan, world champion Lotte Kopecky and the two most recent champions Charlotte Kool and Lorena Wiebes. The race will start at 15:30 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. You can view the route here.

You can more about the Ford RideLondon Classique here. Live coverage of Ford RideLondon Classique will be shown on BBC Sport, with Stage Three live on BBC2 from 15:00 on Sunday 26 May.

Spectators are encouraged to come out and enjoy the day and everyone who lives, works or is visiting London or Essex on Sunday 26 May is urged to plan ahead. Buses and roads will be significantly disrupted, and Tube and Rail services will be the best ways to get around. For more information on travelling around the event footprint, visit the Community Information here. For more specific London travel advice, visit TfL here.