Olympic Truce comes to London by pedal power

From a press release distributed earlier today…

Twelve Italian cyclists will soon begin a five day pedal-powered tour from Malmedy in Belgium to central London. The aim of the Bike4Truce initiative is to promote the Olympic Truce.

The Olympic Truce is a tradition from ancient Greece dating back to the 9th century BCE, established by a treaty between three kings. During the period of the Olympic Truce, athletes, artists and their families, together with ordinary pilgrims, could travel in safety to participate in or support the Olympic Games as spectators, and then return home to their respective countries.

While the modern manifestation of the Olympic Truce cannot halt international and civil conflicts around the globe, it embodies the Olympic spirit, setting it in a context wider than that of the sporting spectacle currently underway in London, and which commands the world’s attention.

Angelo Bandini and his fellow Bike4Truce cyclists are celebrating the Olympic spirit in their own way: by riding from Malmedy, starting on Saturday 11 August 2012, and arriving in London on Thursday 16 August. For the final leg of this international cycle ride, the Italians will be led by London-based journalist and cycling advocate Dr Francis Sedgemore, an active member of the London Cycling Campaign.

Francis will pilot the cycling pilgrims from Gillingham at the mouth of the River Medway in Kent to Victoria Park Gardens by the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. The plan is to arrive at Westminster between 17:30 and 18:00 on Thursday, with the tour welcomed by London cyclists who will provide hospitality during their Italian friends’ stay in the host city of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Bike4Truce itinerary:

  • August 11: Malmedy to Polleur (53km)
  • August 12: Mon to Lille (92km)
  • August 13: Lille to Saint Omer (75km)
  • August 14: Saint Omer to Calais (51km)
  • August 15: Dover to Gillingham (104km)
  • August 16: Gillingham to London (78km)

Angelo and his friends welcome company along the road from local cyclists.