The Big Ride minute-by-minute live blog
From 10.30am on Saturday 28 April 2012, freelance journalist Laura Laker will be blogging exclusively for the London Cycling Campaign, live from the Big Ride.
Please email her your thoughts on the ride, photos and videos, and ideas to make London's streets more safe and fun for cyclists:
or tweet/instagram #theBigRide
13.45pm: I'm now signing off and heading in search of some lunch. It's been a fun afternoon chasing the Big Ride, and trying to stay dry. Thanks to all who came along and who followed my progress today. This is Laura signing off.
13.35pm: Passing under the baloon arch on the Victoria embankment I've finally reached the end of what has been the largest cycle protest ride the UK has seen. A great success for the London Cycling Campaign today, and a clear message to the mayoral candidates, all of whom have signed up to LCC's three mayoral demands, that Londoners love cycling.
13.10pm: By donning my trusty boots and waterproof trousers I'm adding to the general festival feeling here in Piccadilly Circus (I'm thinking Glastonbury Festival circa 2007 aka the rivers of mud year). Thank heavens for warm feet. Another cereal bar down, and I'm off towards Trafalgar Square.
13.00pm: It's official: 10,000 people have turned out for today's Big Ride! This is testament to the growing feeling among Londoners that we want cycling taken seriously by our next mayor. Though we're serious, there's a lot of smiling faces. There is also a Lord of the Rings-style trumpeting coming from somewhere, which is doing a good job out here, too. Tally Ho!
12.30pm: I can see cyclists from Hyde Park Corner to The Ritz, it's an incredible sight (the mention of hotels is purely coincidental by the way, it's not that I'd rather be indoors). It's amazing out here, the numbers of cyclists are simply astonishing. And if it couldn't get any better, someone just handed me a kazoo. I'm fast being left behind so will get out of this bus stop and hop back on my bike now.
12.13pm: Arrived at the tail end of the ride on Park Lane. I'm outside the Dorchester Hotel and the three wide lanes of traffic are wall to wall with cyclists as far as I can see, and further, right up to Hyde Park Corner. The air rings to the sound of soul music , cow bells and bicycle bells. Londoners really are out in numbers today, despite the drizzle. Oh, and someoone's playing Convoy on a stereo. Kudos to them.
12.05: Just leaving with the last of the pack leaving from Hyde Park; had a cereal bar and ready for more cycling. Some great photos on our Facebook page in the meantime (http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/121498807978958/).
11.59am: Just seen Petor from London Bike Kitchen hop off his tall bike (it's taller than him), while a guy with red leggings, a well-loved blonde mullet wig and red face glitter is standing on a bench taking photos
11.53am: Arrived at Hyde Park now, where the hundreds of LBK bandits and Hackney Cyclists have joined hundreds more. Lots of kids here, which is great to see, and people with music trailers playing anything from Primal Scream to some 80s rock I'm not sure I know.
11.32am: I am going to rejoin the ride now and will log in again in Hyde Park for the start of the main event!
11.30am: After a speedy pedal over to London Bike Kitchen I arrived just in time to slipstream a trail of cyclists wearing bandit masks. We met up with Hackney Cyclists at Old Street and have made it to Central London! After a few technical difficulties my laptop is getting used to the rain (I hope) and seems to be enjoying the ride as much as everyone else.
10.30am: After 100 days of campaigning the Big Ride is go! I've arrived just in time to join the Hackney led ride from Hackney Town Hall. There's a spot of drizzle but a good turnout. Am cycling to London Bike Kitchen now, will check in again in a few minutes