As a result of the UK’s cycling success in the London 2012 Olympics, one of the legacies that the event left behind was that of getting people back on their bikes. Almost exactly a year after the closing ceremony of the games the Prudential Ride London event is taking place. This is a two day cycling festival designed and organised by the office of the Mayor of London. It has been designed to be an annual event and of world class proportions.
Ride London takes place on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th of August. Though the event is the brainchild of the Mayor’s Office, the event itself will be managed and co-ordinated by London and Surrey Cycling Partnership. Other organisations involved include Transport for London (TFL) and The Royal Parks as there are a lot of requirements that need to be set in place to allow the event to take place across the different London boroughs. This is designed to be a flagship event, part of the cycling programme designed by the TFL and the office of the Mayor to get Londoners off of four wheels and onto two. Boris Bikes (cycle hire) and new cycles routes are also part of this scheme.
All of these different cycling incentives are designed to get more people cycling, and cycling safely more regularly. Authorities are estimating across the weekend that spectator numbers will be in the tens of thousands, many of which they believe, will take up cycling themselves after the event. Very rarely are so many of London’s roads closed at once, but what this does is make the event accessible to all, offering a free family riding experience in the centre of one of the busiest cities in the world. Plus, spectators will also be able to watch some of the world’s top professional cyclists racing against each other in the ‘Prudential Ride London – Surrey Classic’ and the ‘Prudential Ride London Grand Prix’.
Following the ethos of the London Marathon where everyone can take part, not just the professionals, there is an event designed to incorporate riders with all levels of ability. The Ride London – Surrey 100 is a challenge that covers one hundred miles around the city, covering the same roads, closed off to traffic as ridden by the professional riders. Highlights from the event are set to be broadcast to an international audience.
A Different Kind of Festival
It is hoped that the event will also bring economic benefits to the city, not only in the amount of money raised for a number of good causes but also by the number of people arriving into the city for the event. The eight mile loop of closed roads through the city will allow participants to take in some of the city’s most iconic landmarks as they ride. Along the route there will also be a number of activities, all along a cycling theme where they can rest and recoup a while. There will also be an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest single file parade of cycles.