Cycle Fridays finish but two voluntary rides continue for commuters

LCC would love to run the successful bike convoys again

by Kevin Emery   October 12, 2009  

Cycle Fridays - Beginner cyclist Maha celebrates her first time riding to work

Cycle Fridays have proved such a success that two voluntary guided rides will continue to run from Wimbledon and Greenwich to central London once a week - even though the official Cycle Friday rides have ended.

The rides will takes place tomorrow (Tuesday) at 8am from South Wimbledon to London Bridge, telephone Charles on 07590 077445 for details, and then on Wednesday at 7.45am from Cutty Sark to London Bridge.

The LCC’s Cycle Fridays started on August 14 and went on for eight weeks every Friday, with the aim of encouraging hundreds of new cyclists from the suburbs into central London using safe routes. Open to all cycling levels, the scheme mainly targeted novice cyclists who were keen to cycle to work but were too nervous to tackle London’s streets.

The LCC, in partnership with Transport for London, led 60 rides into central London and provided qualified and experienced marshals to guide each ride, and there were eight rides per week from various parts of London.

LCC communications officer Mike Cavenett said: “The Cycle Fridays were very successful and we had 430 cyclists take part. We had some great feedback from people on the rides.

"One said they had bought a bike especially for the Cycle Fridays and were now commuting three times a week, which is great because that was the aim. We also had more experienced riders joining because they were interested to see the routes we had planned. We’d love to do it again.”

The Cycle Friday idea came from the guided “BikeTube” rides which were put on during the tube strike in June, with LCC capitalising on the disruption in commuter behaviour to run 10 rides over two days to encourage novices to try cycle commuting.

Mr Cavenett added: “The Bike Tube rides were very successful and had a lot of publicity and the Cycle Fridays grew from there. It was something that hadn’t been done in London before.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson even joined novice cyclists on one Cycle Friday ride and said: "They're a terrific opportunity to give people who are tempted to cycle but maybe nervous of London’s roads, the opportunity to build their confidence."