Over 300 join LCC rides at Hounslow Skyride

photo Around 10,000 cyclists attended the celebration of traffic-free cycling in Hounslow

Over 300 Londoners joined five LCC led rides to the first of this year’s Mayor of London Skyride in Hounslow on Sunday 9 August 2009.

The Hounslow Skyride saw 11,000 cyclists descend on the outer London borough to enjoy cycling in traffic-free streets.

The 6-mile route went through Osterley and Syon Parks, and surrounding roads were closed to motor vehicles.

Families, novice and experienced riders alike turned out in droves on the sunny Sunday to make the most of the event.

The LCC led rides helped cyclists who were nervous about negotiating London roads to reach the route in safety.

The five led rides set off from Ravenscourt Park, Barra Hall Park, Bushy Park, Ealing and Feltham and were well attended with between 60 and 80 people on each ride.

Rosie Tharp, LCC community cycling officer, led the Ravenscourt Park ride, and was really pleased so many families and beginner cyclists turned up on the day:

“Some people came along on their own and were a bit nervous about riding, but there was a real social element to the day and they soon found people to talk to and had a great time.”

The route itself went by lakes, through off-road tracks, by the river and alongside fields with horses and cows.

Tom Cleverley who lives in South London was glad he made the effort to come along, “It didn’t take too long to get here by bike, and I’ve really enjoyed being out in the park all day, discovering a part of London I haven't been to before. Who'd have guessed Hounslow is so beautiful!”

Kim, who came on her trusted bike and companion “Muriel” (a beautiful vintage Pashley) liked being able to ride with others and meet new people.

She said, "I cycle all the time from my home in Notting Hill out to Hampstead and even over to Greenwich: but my friends are all boring and won’t come riding with me so it's great to meet people who are interested in the same thing”.

"I'm excited to hear about the social rides that take place most weeks [organised by local LCC groups]. I've been looking for a cycling club to join, but hadn’t found anything I liked."

The LCC stall was busy all day and bikes adorned with LCC flags were highly visible at the event. It was an excellent day for raising the profile of LCC and recruiting new members.

There was lots of interest in our e-newsletter and hundreds of people signed LCC petitions in support of current campaigns.

Many LCC volunteers helped out on the stall or marshalled on the rides, and without their efforts the day would not have been as successful as it was so big thanks to all those that gave up their Sunday to make it such a fun day.  

LCC will be providing the event organisers with feedback and will be working closely with them to make sure that the central London Skyride on Sunday 20 September is also a huge success.

View Hounslow led rides in a larger map