Taking in Trafalgar Square, Victoria Embankment, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London, the Skyride saw roads closed to traffic from 10am to 4pm. Cycling stars Chris Hoy, Jamie Staff, Ross Edgar and Shanaze Reade joined the mass of participants, as did the Mayor and celeb Kelly Brook.
London Mayor Boris Johnson, who reportedly cycled along the route for most of the day, commented: “So what is it like to ride the streets of the London with thousands of other riders? In a word, awesome… The memory of riding Victoria Embankment surrounded by riders from all four points of cycling’s compass is one that I’ll never forget. At one point, on Northumberland Avenue, I witnessed cycling gridlock. But unlike it’s motoring equivalent, it was a happy, sociable gridlock.”
Johnson’s praise for the Skyride also focused on the way that it attracted cyclists from all disciplines: “There were many, many reasons to love Skyride London. But perhaps the best was the way it brought the many cycling tribes together. There were Mums and Dads with their children in trailers. There were London’s cooler-than-cool fixie community, weaving amid the two-wheeled crowds on their custom fixed wheel bikes. There were hardcore roadies in full club kit mixing it with mountain bikers. There were couples elegantly gliding through the cycle-traffic on classic Dutch roadsters. There were guys on cargo bikes with huge PA systems, blasting out tunes. There were clowns on tall bikes, men in top hats on penny farthings, there was even a gorilla on a bike (don’t worry, he was wearing a helmet).
“As a vehicle for showing the world the potential cycling has in terms of health, travel, fun, fitness and social cohesion, Skyride is a tough act to beat. Skyride London has once again given Londoners an eye to a utopian future – a rare glimpse of what their city could be like if more of us chose to use two wheels. As one rider said to me on the Mall – ‘I wish it was like this all the time’. Amen to that…”