The Mayor of London’s annual Skyride mass cycle-in took place yesterday, with a 15-kilometre route taking in The Mall, Trafalgar Square, Victoria Embankment, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Square Mile and Tower Hill closed to motorised transport. In excess of 50,000 cyclists of all ages, abilities and states of physical and mental health took part in this thoroughly enjoyable event.
Feeder routes into central London from the suburbs were organised by London Cycling Campaign local groups, and I acted as a leader for the Greenwich ride. When it left Cutty Sark Gardens by the River Thames, our ride comprised around 500 velopedists in a convoy that stretched all of half a kilometre down the road. This presented a challenge for the marshals, who, in order to keep the group together, had to block traffic at junctions, and smile sweetly at grumpy motorists.
For my troubles I was allowed entry to the
VIP area Marshal’s tent in St James’ Park, and there presented with a free lunch and tube of anti-wrinkle cream.
Apart from an inane and highly-amplified continuity announcer who deserved locking up in the Tower behind her, Skyride was enormous fun, and it was great to see individuals and families out in such large numbers on their bikes. For those not used to regular cycling, I hope their experience of the event was a positive one, and encourages them out onto the roads of this fine city.