The RideLondon 100, the sportive ride that forms part of the capital’s Olympic legacy event that will have its inaugural edition next August, has received more than 25,000 registrations on its website since being launched last month. Organisers say that once the total reaches 75,000, registration will be closed ahead of a ballot.
In all, around 20,000 riders will take part in the RideLondon 100, which will be held alongside an elite men’s pro race, the Ride London Classic, both following much of the route of this year’s Olympic road race. That does mean, however, that upwards of 50,000 aspiring entrants could be disappointed.
There is another potential route to enter for those who miss out in the ballot, however, which is to sign up for a place reserved for one of the partner charities, which also involves the rider committing to raise a certain amount for the cause concerned.
The entry system is similar to that adopted by the London Marathon, and it’s no coincidence that the organisers of that event are involved in putting on RideLondon as part of a joint venture with SweetSpot, the company behind the Tour of Britain and Halfords Tour Series.
Hugh Brasher from London & Surrey Cycling Partnership, the joint venture company organising the event, said: “After the incredible achievements of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes, particularly the cyclists, we feel that they have naturally generated massive enthusiasm and inspiration for people to participate in this great weekend of cycling.
“We expected a high demand, but even we were surprised by such a fantastic reaction to the opening of the entry ballot, and we feel this is a great start to one of our primary goals to make this the world’s largest charity fundraising cycle event.
“Furthermore, the current figures show that over half the registrants have never previously ridden in a cycling sportive, so we are especially pleased that this event seems to have struck a chord with new participants to this type of challenge.”
Besides the RideLondon 100 and the RideLondon Classic, the other events included in the programme of the weekend, scheduled for the 3rd and 4th of August 2013, are the RideLondon Freecycle, covering an eight-mile closed circuit in the centre of the capital and suitable for novices, occasional riders and families, plus the RideLondon Grand Prix, which will include junior, handcycle and elite women’s races.
The weekend’s events will be broadcast by the BBC and current plans are that each ride will finish on The Mall, subject to appropriate consents being secured, with final route details being announced later this year. Full details, including details of how to register, can be found on the RideLondon website.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, commented: “Londoners are cycling in record numbers and helped by a raft of improvements there are now more than half a million journeys made by bike every day.
“The inspirational performances of British road and track cyclists this summer have done even more to encourage people to get on their bike, as the fantastic demand for RideLondon is showing.
“This cycling festival will have something for everyone, the lycra-clad professionals, the daily commuter, and families on a fun day out.
“What's more, RideLondon is a living legacy of our glorious summer by utilising our wonderful Olympic Park.”
When RideLondon was announced last month, the mayor’s use of the word “legacy” attracted criticism from some quarters, with Sustrans saying that a true cycling legacy from London 2012 would be giving “more people to chance to use their bike as a regular form of transport.”
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.