Olympic gold medallist and keen London cyclist James Cracknell joined Boris Johnson, mayor of London, as he set out plans for a summer of cycling, designed to boost the numbers of people travelling by bike.

The pair, launching the event earlier this week, highlighted the popular Freewheel event, which attracted 50,000 people last year to cycle past London’s sights along a car-free route, saying it will be made bigger and better as well as including outer London with events held in Hounslow.

The mayor’s office also released new figures showing a ‘bicycle boom’ is underway with an estimated 545,000 daily bicycle journeys now made in London, up 9% in the year since the Mr Johnson was elected.

Speaking at the launch, the mayor said he was determined to reach beyond dedicated commuter cyclists and encourage more Londoners to join in.

Mr Johnson said: “Cycling is on the up in London, but there is still much to do if we want to really revolutionise the way that Londoners get about.

“That’s why we are making record investments in cycling, developing the cycle highways and cycle hire schemes, and are unveiling a summer schedule stuffed full of biking events, competitions, and campaigns designed to boost cycling across London’s boroughs.

“Through this, Londoners of all ages and abilities can take part and experience the joys of travelling in one of the most handy, healthy, and environmental-friendly ways possible, and we can achieve our aim of making London a city where two wheeled, pedal-powered transportation is the norm, and not the exception.”

Dates for this summer include:

June 1 to 30, The London Workplace Cycle Challenge – get your place of work to compete with other organisations across London to see who can get the most people cycling during June.

June 15 to 30, Secondary School London Cycle Challenge – students aged between 11-14 will compete against other schools to see who can get the most people cycling, and will also compete against other year groups within their own school.

Sunday, August 9, Freewheel-style event in Hounslow, with cyclists invited to join a fun cycle around some of the boroughs wonderful green spaces.

Saturday, September 19, Tour of Britain cycle race final -watch the country’s biggest professional cycling event and Britain’s biggest live sporting event played out on the streets of London.

Sunday, September 20, the hugely popular Freewheel will be built upon this year, with a bigger better event taking in St Pauls and the City area and more of London’s iconic sights.

Luke Walsh

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