London Sky Ride is Britain's biggest ever bike event

Johnson, Hoy and Brook joined by tens of thousands

by Mark Appleton   September 5, 2010  

Sir Chris Hoy, Kelly Brook, Mayor Boris Johnson and friends enjoy a traffic-free Mall.jpg

Eighty five thousand people took part in Sunday’s Mayor of London Sky Ride, joining Boris Johnson and a host of celebrities to ride the capital’s traffic-free streets.

Organisers claim it was the biggest mass participation cycling event ever held in the United Kingdom and along with the Mayor, riders had a chance to rub shoulders with actress Kelly Brook, Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy, and riders from Team Sky including Serge Pauwels, CJ Sutton, Morris Possoni, Davide Vigano and Edvald Boasson Hagen.

The extended 15km route took in many of the capital's most iconic landmarks, weaving around sights including the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace via the City of London and St Paul¹s Cathedral.

This year for the first time the route also took riders through Parliament Square passing Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

Boris Johnson said: “The sight of hordes of cyclists pedalling their way along traffic free roads past some of London¹s most glorious landmarks, and in the midst of a truly carnival atmosphere brought joy to my heart. We are bringing a cycle revolution to the streets of the capital and I am sure that today we persuaded thousands more Londoners that pedal power is the way to go.”

Four-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy said: "Seeing the Capital's
streets traffic-free with so many people enjoying a day out cycling together
is a great experience for everybody. This was my third year at the London event and every year so far has topped the last.

"I'm hoping that everyone who took part will continue to cycle and enjoy all
the fun and benefits it brings."
 

4 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Great idea, but possibly a victim of its own success? I probably did more walking and stopping than cycling.
On a more cycnical note, the ability of some of the cyclists suggests that they may become casualty statistics before too long!

posted by SimpleSimon [110 posts]
6th September 2010 - 12:49

1 Like

I went from 12:30 to 14:00 and it was very very busy. The section around The Mall was worst. They just couldn't cope with the number of people. Next year they should consider some kind of temporary bridge over the road if they are going to have events taking place both sides of the roads. My only other problem was trying to get food in St James park - the queues were either stupidly long or they had ran out of food to sell.

However, still a great ride and fun to ride around the capital.

posted by mbailey [4 posts]
6th September 2010 - 17:27

1 Like

One of the nicest parts was cycling through Brompton Cemetery en route to the start, if only cycle paths were finished to that standard and roads were as quiet.

The Skyride itself was very busy with congestion 'waves' and there were many sights to see, I spoke to a number of people including a very pleasant young lady on a Boris bike, she looked intelligent and I asked her what she thought of them. She said they were heavy, but it was a solution to bike theft. She said she lived in London, and she'd had four bikes stolen in as many years, ranging from £100 stolen outside work within the vision of a CCTV camera, to £1000, stolen the only time she left it outside overnight. It was taken from behind a 7 foot security fence and was locked to an immovable object with £400 of locks [that's what she said, no I didn't press her on this] The Police were useless.

I couldn't be bothered with the St James' Park queuing experience, having queued to get in, I found it was heaving, so I queued to get out and went home, having become separated from everyone I came with.

A great day, overshadowed rather on my way home by an idiot who overtook me when cycling along Hampton Court road, between Kingston and Hampton Court. I was about ten metres from queuing traffic. He screeched past me at maximum revs, he then swerved hard left in-front of me because he'd just noticed that the road was full of cars, which were plainly visible only metres ahead. I shouted at him: 'that was bloody clever'.
Naturally, I left the idiot behind in the traffic.

Image shows a Dutch Bakfiets [box-bike] with three budding cyclists.

DSCF8676 2010 London Skyride.jpg

posted by Recumbenteer [146 posts]
6th September 2010 - 19:45

2 Likes

Reading David Hembrow's Blog
http://hembrow.blogspot.com/2010/08/most-expensive-bikes-in-world.html
It appears that Boris Bikes are among the most expensive in the world.

The scheme apparently cost £140 million / 6000 bikes = £23000 per bike.
Yes of course that includes the infrastructure - the docking stands, keys and a lot of publicity and it excludes the fees for bike rental. But £23k each?

At retail prices, not asking for any discount at all, London could have bought and given away 250 Pashleys every day, for a year, plus an additional 160 Bromptons every day for a year plus an additional 100 Bakfietsen every day for a whole year.

In total that would make another 190000 bikes on London's streets over the year of the giveaway. Nice ones, too, from good manufacturers.

Mmmm. Boris' scheme does sound a tad expensive.

posted by Recumbenteer [146 posts]
15th September 2010 - 15:25

1 Like