England's 2003 world cup winning-captain aims to set new record at August's Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle...

Martin Johnson, captain of England’s world cup-winning rugby team in 2003, will be using the occasion of the inaugural Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle event this August to attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the most bicycles in a line. The current record, set in Davis, California, stands at 916.

It’s unlikely there will be a shortage of volunteers to help Johnson in his recird attempt – up to 50,000 cyclists are expected to attend the event, launched by Mayor of London Boris Johnson last year as part of London’s Olympic Legacy.

The route takes in iconic London landmarks including St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London, and all of those taking part will be invited to participate in the world record attempt.

It takes place on Saturday 3 August as part of a weekend-long event which the following day will see pro riders tackle the Prudential RideLondon Classic, with thousands of amateurs taking to the same route for the Prudential RideLondon Surrey 100.

Launching the bid outside St Paul’s Cathedral, Johnson, a keen cyclist – that’s him riding the Revolution Series at Manchester Velodrome in the picture above – said “This world-record attempt is a brilliant way to put cycling in the spotlight and I’d encourage everyone – no matter what their age or ability – to have fun and help to make history on two wheels by signing up today.”

The Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle takes place on an eight mile route in the centre of London on Saturday 3 August. You can find more information here.


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.