There’s just one day to go until Hovis Freewheel, London’s biggest ever bike ride, and the city is gearing up for an influx of almost 40,000 cyclists.
The event, which will see the centre of the capital shut to traffic on Sunday, was the brainchild of Jenny Jones, London’s green transport adviser to the mayor. Registration for the Hovis Freewheel closed last week after 38,000 cyclists put their names down for the event.
Today Ms. Jones told Bikeradar.com she’s looking forward to the big day – and she’s delighted about the number of cyclists who’ll be riding through the streets of the capital.
“I’m delighted with the 38,000 response – it shows there’s been a suppressed demand for something like this,” she said.
Getting people to sign up for the Freewheel has been a major operation with a dedicated Freewheel website and a viral marketing campaign. Cycle shops in London have also teamed up with the Mayor’s Office to provide a special hire service for the event.
With six separate routes in from hubs in the city’s suburbs the city could turn into a multi-limbed version of Critical Mass as thousands of cyclists make their prescence felt. Each hub has been given a name and it’s own colours, with cut out streamers and flags available to decorate bikes with. The East End Bell’s Angels, the North London Super Cyclists and the rest are being encouraged to don fancy dress and decorate their bikes to get into the spirit of things.
The hub rides will take cyclists all the way to St James’s Park, where the first ever Freewheel Festival is taking place.
All motorised traffic will be banned from the Freewheel routes in the centre of London, which will be open exclusively to cyclists from 11am to 4pm on the day.
Organisers are asking cyclists who have not registered for the event not to turn up, as if too many bikes cram into the route there may be safety issues.
Bikeradar.com will be there on the day so check back for a full report stuffed with pictures, interviews, gossip and a special blog. Visit Hovis Freewheel.
© BikeRadar 2007