Call to Londoners to rack up the miles, whether on their own two wheels or using a Boris Bike

Mayor of London Boris Johnson is urging the capital’s residents to get on their bikes – or, if they don’t have their own, to hire one through the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme – with the launch of the London Cycle Challenge 2011, which takes place between 18 June and 15 July.

Under the initiative, workplaces and schools can create their own teams to compete for a variety of cycling-related prizes, with categories including small, medium and large organisations and a separate schools competition.

Online registration is now open for anyone who works, lives or studies in the city, with the Transport for London website allowing participants to keep track of the miles they rack up on their bike. The website also features a leader board, and there is also a dedicated Facebook page as well as a promotional film outlining how the challenge works.

Speaking about the London Cycle Challenge, Mr Johnson said: “Bragging rights are at stake for teams of cyclists all over the capital but the Cycle Challenge is also a great way for new cyclists to join forces and give it a go. Summer is the perfect time of year for people to step up the amount of time they spend on two wheels and the Cycle Challenge is an ideal motivation to do so.”

Ben Plowden, Director of Better Routes and Places at TfL, added: “Last year more than 10,000 Londoners cycled more than 17,000,000miles during the Challenge.

“If you want to get involved, but are not a regular cyclist, there is plenty of support available including TfL supported cycle training and a series of cycle guides which will help get you started and find your way around London.”

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.