omen and ethnic minorities are being encouraged to take up spaces on London’s largest cycle event as the route for the race’s debut in Essex is unveiled.
The organisers said they were committing to increasing diversity of those taking part and offering entries for the RideLondon-Essex 100, 60 and 30 races to cycling groups such as the Black Unity Bike Ride collectives, Cycle Sisters and Brothers on Bikes.
Statistics show on average men in England made just over twice as many trips on bikes than females in 2020 while 74 per cent of people in urban ethnically diverse groups are currently not cycling.
Event Director Hugh Brasher said: “Statistics on cycling participation and our own data from the previous seven RideLondon editions clearly show that women and under-served communities are in a minority when it comes to getting on a bike. We want to change that and for RideLondon to reflect the extraordinary diversity of this wonderful, multi-cultural city.”
To mark 100 days until the event, the route it will take though Essex for the first time was unveiled on Friday.
The longest 100 mile race will start on Victoria Embankment, head into Ongar, Essex via Epping Forest before taking in the villages of Fyfield, Leden Roding and Writtle before heading back to central London for a finish at Tower Bridge.
The RideLondon-Essex 60 follows the same route as the 100-mile challenge for the first 32 miles before it reaches Ongar and then turns back towards central London and the Tower Bridge finish.
The mass participation RideLondon 30 for those just getting into cycling, like the 100 and 60, will start on Victoria Embankment and head north east through London before reaching Woodford and turning back and returning for the Tower Bridge finish.
All the races will run on May 29 and will coincide with the Freecycle event when central London streets are closed to traffic for a festival of cycling.
Entries open for the RideLondon-Essex 60 and 30 races on Friday afternoon. General entries are closed but charity entries are still available for the 100 race.
Prudential RideLondon 2019 – in pictures
RideLondon is returning for the first time since 2019 after the pandemic led to the cancellation in 2020 and 2021.
Will Norman, London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner, said: “I am delighted to see the return of RideLondon with an exciting new format and new routes. From the dramatic finish of the 100-mile race at the iconic Tower Bridge, to the FreeCycle event perfect for families, there’s something for everyone. Cycling has seen a huge boom during the pandemic, but we know that some people are still under-represented, so it’s really important that women and those from ethnically diverse groups are being encouraged to take part. I can’t wait for the event in May and urge all Londoners, whatever their age or background, to get involved.”
Samra Said, Chairperson of Cycle Sisters, said: “We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to safely enjoy cycling as a means of exercise, personal growth and forming social connections.
“Cycle Sisters was set up to address the under-representation of Muslim women in cycling and through our Muslim women’s cycle groups, with volunteer Ride Leaders acting as role models, we’ve created a space where hundreds of women across London have discovered the joy of cycling. We’re delighted to have been supported by RideLondon this year which will enable more of our members to participate and experience the excitement and challenge of this iconic event.”
In total, 25,000 riders are expected to participate in the RideLondon-Essex 100, RideLondon-Essex 60 and RideLondon 30 events on traffic-free roads.
In addition to the mass participation events, RideLondon will also feature the RideLondon Classique, a three-day UCI Women’s World Tour stage race, taking place from Friday 27 May to Sunday 29 May, which will feature the best women’s cyclists in the world.
The first two stages will take place in Essex before the final stage is held on a circuit in central London on Sunday 29 May. Full details will be announced in the coming months.