A London-based bike tour company is tapping into the interest generated by the Olympic road races later this month by offering group rides along the same roads that the likes of Mark Cavendish and Lizzie Armitstead will be challenging for gold on.
First Light Bicycle Tours has devised three routes of 30, 48 and 60 miles, each starting and finishing close to Hampton Court Palace, to cater for visitors to London during the Games and afterwards who want to get out on a bike during their trip.
Priced at €99 for 30 miles, €125 for 48 miles and €149 for 60 miles, we suspect the target audience is more likely to be visitors from overseas who don’t mind splashing out for an escorted ride on British roads, rather than cyclists living here.
Included in those prices are the services of an experienced guide plus a coffee stop, but they don’t include food and drink, getting to and from Hampton Court Station where the ride starts, or bicycle rental – Trek road bikes or hybrids can be hired for €20 a day.
Company spokesman David Bradley said: "We wanted to offer visitors and clients a chance to ride the same route as the pros. The routes take in the best parts of the Surrey Hills, especially the views from Box Hill, which are superb.
"If you have tickets to the Box Hill section of the event, taking the guided bike tour is a great way to do a recce and find your perfect viewing spot on the Box Hill zig-zag," he added.
The rides, which take between three and five hours depending on the distance chosen, are aimed at both leisure and more experienced cyclists, and will be limited to a maximum of ten riders each.
Bookings can be made for any day between July and October other than those of the races themselves.
More details of the rides, plus the company’s other tours, training camps and other activities in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, can be found on its website.
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.