Model Kelly Brook and Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy helped the mayor kick off yesterday’s (September 5) jaunt from Buckingham Palace around the capital.

Mr Johnson said: “The sight of hordes of cyclists pedalling their way along traffic free roads past some of London¹s most glorious landmarks, and in the midst of a truly carnival atmosphere brought joy to my heart.

“We are bringing a cycle revolution to the streets of the capital and I am sure that today we persuaded thousands more Londoners that pedal power is the way to go.”

A 15km stretch of London roads was closed with cyclists passing by some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

The event is part of bike-loving Mayor Johnson’s ‘Year of Cycling’, which includes schemes such as the installation of landmark cycle ‘superhighways’ and cycle hire projects.

Miss Brook said: “I love cycling and it is such a fantastic way to keep fit, the best part about these events is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or a more experienced rider, they have something for all ages and abilities.”

The free event was the biggest mass participation cycling ever held in the UK, according to organisers, topping last year’s total of 65,000.

People of all ages and abilities took part, including riders from Team Sky, Britain’s new professional road cycling team.

Sir Chris Hoy, a four-time Olympic champion, said: “Seeing the capital’s streets traffic-free with so many people enjoying a day out cycling together is a great experience for everybody.

“I’m hoping that everyone who took part will continue to cycle and enjoy all the fun and benefits it brings.”

David Gibbs

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