Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London and undoubtedly the best known cycling Conservative now that our new prime minister appears to have given up cycling to work is encouraging Londoners to get their friends, family and colleagues riding by signing up to the London Cycle Challenge this June.
This year’s challenge, part of a London Cycling Revolution spearheaded by the Mayor, is open to everyone who lives, works or studies in London and is a fun way to get cycling or to start cycling more often. Groups of friends, families or work colleagues can get together to create a team and during June challenge each other - and other teams - to see who can cycle the most miles.
To take part you simply need to join or create a team on the London Cycle Challenge website and log all the journeys you cycle during June.
It seems to us this would be a great way for someone who is already a bit of a cyclist to encourage their family members, neighbours or workmates to get cycling and one of the best bits is that Londoners qualify for a free two-hour personal training session. You need to call 020 7231 6005 or email bookings [at] cycletraining.co.uk and mention ‘London Cycle Challenge’.
There is also a competitive element to the London Cycle Challenge - team members will be awarded points for the miles they cycle, with extra points awarded for clocking up those first few miles. There's a video below featuring some of the people who have entered teams in previous years.
There are great prizes to be won for the winning teams, including leisure vouchers which can be used at restaurants, health and leisure venues or other attractions of your choice. Spot prizes will also be given out everyday of the challenge.
There is also plenty of cycle support available to help you gain the skills and confidence to enjoy cycling in London, including TfL supported training, cycle maps and led rides.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London is a wonderful city to cycle in, and summer is the perfect time to start. If you need a little encouragement, the London Cycle Challenge is a fun way to try the cleanest, greenest, and most convenient way of traversing the Capital.
“Last year more than 5,000 Londoners cycled more than 950,000 miles as part of the challenge, which is apparently the equivalent of travelling to the moon and back twice. This is London’s Year of Cycling, and so this time we've made the challenge even bigger - opening it up beyond just schools and workplaces, so that anybody can put a team together and take part.”
Ben Plowden, Director of Better Routes and Places at TfL, added: “The London Cycle Challenge is a great way to introduce people to travelling by bike, with friends, family and workmates supporting - and competing against - each other.
“Help is on hand for people who aren’t already cycling. Free TfL-funded cycle training, available through London’s borough councils, teaches people how to cycle safely and confidently in the Capital, while our free cycle maps help you plan the best route.”