Carnival atmosphere in prospect for ride in support of Love London, Go Dutch campaign days before mayoral election

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) is inviting cyclists from across the UK to join it on Saturday 28 April for what it promises will be “the UK's biggest ever bike ride in support of safe and inviting streets for cycling.” Timed to take place just five days before the London Mayoral Elections, The Big Ride supports LCC’s Love London, Go Dutch campaign.

Starting at Hyde Park, the ride will finish at Blackfriar’s Bridge, scene last year of a flashride that brought together 2,500 cyclists to call for improvements to junction design and the reversal of a decision to discontinue a temporary 20mph speed limit put in place during roadworks.

On the way, cyclists will pass by some of the capital’s most famous landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and the Houses of Parliament.

Besides seeking to highlight the serious message of the Love London, Go Dutch campaign, there will also be a fun element to the day’s proceedings with entertainment planned for Hyde Park as well as a post-ride rally at Victoria Embankment.

Speakers there will reinforce the campaign’s message to the mayoral candidates – “that's it's time for radical change in London to redesign busy roads, residential and shopping streets, and major junctions to make them safe for cycling,” as LCC puts it.

More than 8,000 people have already signed the petition, and if you haven't done so yet, you can add your name here.

Besides cyclists, walkers, skaters and rollerbladers are also very welcome to join, with LCC also reinforcing the carnival element to the day by inviting people to wear fancy dress or carry banners or flags.

“Yes, we’re riding because of the serious issue of the inadequate and often dangerous conditions for cycling in London,” it says, “but we’re also riding because we have a vision of how to make it so much better for cyclists, pedestrians and in fact everyone who lives in London.”

The Big Ride is provisionally set to depart from Hyde Park at noon, with arrival at Blackfriars anticipated for 2pm, but those timings have not been finalised yet so be sure to check on the LCC website nearer the time.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.