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Monday, 5 August 2019

FreeCycle RideLondon 2019

Cycling round London on a Batribike Perdu on Saturday was such a brilliant experience.

Usually when I mention RideLondon people think of the 100 mile ride which happened on Sunday. However, the Saturday before the main event, an 8 mile route around the sights of London is closed to all traffic - except bicycles.

Only bikes allowed! Approaching Buckingham Palace
It is open to anyone who wants to ride, you can book beforehand and get a number, or just turn up on the day and join in.
Even the smallest riders are welcome

All cycling life is there, from tiny children with stabilisers, road riders in lycra, MTB's, fat bikes, city bikes, folding bikes, people on weird and wonderful bikes - I saw clowns on stilt bikes, a man riding a bike made from the head of a bedstead, a push-me-pull-you tandem where the rider on the second seat was going backwards all the time! Santander hire bikes and of course electric bikes. Everyone was welcome, everyone was friendly.

The Batribike Perdu at St Katherine Docks
Ralph and I arrived at St Katherine Dock early, it's a great place to start and I love the relaxed feel here, you can't imagine you are a stones throw from Tower Bridge and Central London.

The Royal Barge
We got on the Cycle Superhighway and rode along to join the FreeCycle route near Mansion House.

On the Cycle Superhighway, separate from other road users and its own traffic lights
Our first circuit was lovely, getting there early was definitely a good idea. There was plenty to see, passing all the iconic landmarks, Buckingham Palace, Admiralty Arch, Nelsons Column, The Bank of England, Lincoln Inns Field, the Palace of Westminster and so many more.

St Pauls Cathedral reflected in a block of offices
Crowds at Horse Guards

The Batribike Alpha heading down to The Bank of England
The second circuit was all about the people, there were thousands cycling the route, and in some places we slowed to a walk. There was a carnival atmosphere and everyone was happy to be there, waving their RideLondon flags and ringing their bicycle bells.

Flag fixed to the handlebars, and ready to ride up The Mall
If you get the chance to go next year, I can thoroughly recommend it.


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