It’s that time of year when depending on your point of view, you either mark your calendar as a time to leave central London well alone (see also the Marathon, Carnival etc) or if you’re more towards my inclination, join in a massive jamboree of city cycling fun - It’s the RideLondon FreeCycle!

While roadies in Lycra (and less fit folks too) do up to 100 miles out into the Essex countryside for the RideLondon Essex, the FreeCycle event on Sunday, May 26 closes off a swathe of central London to motor traffic to enable a huge variety of people – including loads of families, to have a once a year cycle around London safely.

And - little plug here - you don’t need to hold your bike and your kids’ on the tube or walk them in if you don’t feel comfortable away from the closed roads cycling – every year, London Cycling Campaign and our borough groups safely lead over 1,000 people to the event and back via our ‘feeder rides’.

Trained marshals and ride leaders from our local groups (they also do cycle rides pretty much every other month of the year!), lead family-friendly rides into central London on specially worked out routes to reach the seven-mile route of closed roads in the middle of town.

There you can join throngs seeing some of London’s famous landmarks, from St Paul’s Cathedral and Somerset House to Buckingham Palace and The Mall.

You can do as many loops as you like, and you’ll have the chance to hop off at stands, food stalls or just to enjoy a picnic or the ambience. The event includes two Festival Zones at Aldwych and St Paul’s along with a RideLondon Hub at Trafalgar Square, where riders can stop for mechanical help, food, drink and fun.

LCC groups in Camden, Islington and Haringey will be leading feeder rides to the event.

You can join one from Swiss Cottage Library, Harringay Ladder (for the spelling blame Jay Foreman on YouTube), Freightliners City Farm or three other locations. Register for the FreeCycle event on the RideLondon website and you’ll get an option to sign up for a feeder ride:

It's a perfect way to enjoy a day of cycling if you’re just starting out or want to see the sights by bike without encountering cars and vans non-stop, or maybe if you’ve a young one ready for a longer day out.

Rides are led at a slow and comfortable pace and marshals will navigate the group into Central London, then back at the end of the day (often more slowly, more tiredly but with bigger grins).

If you’re more experienced at cycling and want to help people get to the event, you can join our marshal team. We will be holding training sessions so you can learn the proper skills to help marshal a ride - (if you've already had training, email from the link).

Either way, hope to see you there, I’ll be the one in the cycle jersey!

  • Jakub Mamczak is senior campaigns officer at London Cycling Campaign