London Freewheel to return with a vengeance

Britain's biggest ever mass ride is on again for 2008

After tens of thousands of cyclists descended on the centre of London last September for a car-free ride, plans have been announced to make the Freewheel an annual event.

Some 38,000 riders registered for the London Hovis Freewheel in September 2007, and many more turned up on the day.

Now London mayor Ken Livingstone has announced that the Freewheel will return on September 21, 2008, and every year for the foreseeable future.

An email sent to riders who took part in last year's ride was sketchy on the plans, but promised more information soon.

It read: "We’re still finalising the details, but have been listening to your feedback and we are aiming to make this year even bigger and better than 2007."

On the day of last year's Freewheel London Green Party leader Jenny Jones, who helped organise the event, told BikeRadar.com: "I thought the lycra brigade wouldn't come and families probably wouldn't come and in fact every body came. And I think people are now going to be asking when next year's Freewheel will happen. It's just going to be a date in the diary."

The first Hovis Freewheel, the brainchild of London Assembly transport officers, brought together cyclists from all over the capital, and riders also travelled from outside London to be there.

Participants rode a 14km route past Buckingham Palace, along the Embankment and through the normally busy Blackwall Tunnel, ringing bike bells they'd been given when they registered and revelling in having the freedom of the city .

This year's event is likely to feature a similar route, with volunteer stewards and entry and exit points. 

Last year there were also a series of stands in St James' Park and displays by BMXers. Sponsors Hovis provided free sandwiches and the London Cycling Campaign handed out sweets to riders from a bike trailer.

To register for this year's Freewheel click here.

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