Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle to host biggest-ever paceline

The Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle on Saturday 3 August will include an attempt on an unusual world record, for the longest single parade of bikes, and double Olympic gold medal holder Laura Trott will sound the klaxon to start it off.

Over 2,800 riders have registered to take part in a bid to break the current world record of 916 bikes, which was set in Davis, California, USA in 2010.

The record attempt has been so popular that applications to join it have now closed, but the FreeCycle ride itself is still open. The first event of the RideLondon weekend, FreeCycle is expected to attract 50,000 riders to ride an eight-mile circuit that includes Green Park, St Paul’s and Tower Hill.

Laura Trott said: “I know how amazing it feels to break a world record on your bike so I’ll be cheering everyone on from the sidelines. I’m really excited to play a small part and I’ll be wishing everyone the best of luck on the day – I hope they do it!”

The record attempt will be led by Martin Johnson, captain of England’s world cup-winning rugby team in 2003.

The Freecycle ride will take over part of central London for the day and in the evening Trott will be racing in the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix race on closed roads in and around St James’s Park from 17:00. The racing program includes hand-cycle races and junior bike races too.

Sunday sees London’s first-ever closed-road sportive, the RideLondon-Surrey 100, which starts at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, then makes its way through the centre of town before heading out into the Surrey countryside on some of the route of the 2012 Olympic road race course.

The RideLondon-Surrey 100 will finish on The Mall and will be followed by the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic men’s road race, on a similar route.

If you're coming to London for the events or the free bike show at the Excel centre August 1-3, organisers recommend planning your travel around road closures and the inevitable disruption

All the details are on the Prudential RideLondon website.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.