FreeCycle 2018: London's biggest family-friendly free cycling festival.
After a scorching few weeks, the heavens opened the evening before FreeCycle, and those up early on Saturday morning might have looked outside their window with a little trepidation, however it did not deter our amazing volunteers from guiding thousands of cyclists from every borough into FreeCycle 2018. FreeCycle is a fantastic event in which families can enjoy riding through central London, taking over the roads on an 8-mile course with a majestic background of some of London’s most iconic sights, and the typically changeable British weather brightened up again for the rest of the day.
The riders from Merton had to avoid a tree that fell overnight!
We can’t thank our volunteers and supporters enough as this was an amazing feat which couldn’t have been accomplished without their help. These rides were also an amazing achievement for people unaccustomed to riding great distances. The greatest distances were from borough groups Hillingdon and Havering, whose participants cycled at least a 50 mile round trip, but it’s not only the outer boroughs that saw feats of achievement. One volunteer from Southwark said: ‘Great day out. One 7 year old with us cycled all the way in from Peckham, did a full circuit and rode back: they must have ridden around 19 miles.’
In addition to one ride from every borough (except the City of London), LCC arranged five community rides, including one from Poplar HARCA in Tower Hamlets.
After leading participants to the course, ride marshals gathered at the Green Park rest and refreshment tent before setting off to lead participants safely home again.
Green Park on Saturday was packed with bicycle lovers enjoying the atmosphere as people spilled off of the route and into the main Festival Zone. LCC’s stand in the Cycling Village with Continental UK was hugely popular and our reflective yellow ‘Stay Wider of the Rider’ slap-wraps proved a big hit with the kids, as did our petition calling on the Department for Transport to raise awareness of the issue and educate the public, so that close passing becomes socially unacceptable. You can still sign the petition, record close passes on our map, and sign up for a sticker here https://staywider.org/
Most importantly, thousands of people who don't normally cycle experienced the fun and freedom of cycling in London, hopefully inspiring them to get on their bikes again and again.
Ride London have already announced the date for FreeCycle next year: Saturday 3rd August. Keep the date free and your eyes peeled to get involved next time!
If you've been bitten by the group cycling bug at RideLondon FreeCycle, check out more LCC-organised events here.