They came and they conquered, in hats and helmets, high vis and low. Last Saturday August 2, over 3000 people joined London Cycling Campaign led rides to make their way together into the Prudential RideLondon Free Cycle 2015.
Record numbers of children and families came from boroughs across London, discovering the renewed sense of cycling confidence and reassurance that being part of a large, organised ride brings.
Led by experienced marshals, the rides were designed to take the stress out of participating in the RideLondon Free Cycle, a wonderful family event that each year sees its central London route closed to traffic and opened to cyclists.
As ever, it was LCC volunteers that made this logistical triumph possible, 250 of whom gave up their time to lead and marshal each ride, preparing routes through quiet streets in advance and ensuring that everyone’s pace was accommodated.
For many it was their first ever experience of cycling into Central London - an endeavour that can often seem daunting to less experienced or younger riders – and there was an air of excitement as crowds began to gather at the meeting points.
In total, over 26,000 miles were cycled by children and adults, meaning our led ride participants cycled a distance equivalent to riding LEJOG 30 times or just over a full circumference of the Earth (24,901 miles).
The boroughs of Greenwich and Ealing were particularly well represented, with totals of 200 and 171 respectively swelling their ranks, while the residents of Poplar HARCA made one of our four community projects possible.
With grants from the Community Cycling Fund for London, Poplar HARCA purchased 32 second-hand bicycles (which were distributed to five of their main neighbourhood centres) so it was great to see them getting involved in our rides.
If you've been bitten by the group cycling bug at RideLondon FreeCycle, check out more LCC-organised events here. If you have any questions about our Freecycle led rides 2015, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.