10 London cycling events you shouldn’t miss out on

skyride-gorilla Skyride

Part of central London is closed off as 65,000 cyclists decent on the capital. The effect is like an endless sea of cyclists wearing fluorescent jackets. The event is very well publicised and incredibly popular. It is free to attend. I wrote about the 2009 Skyride and I expect the 2010 event will also be held around September time.


Two fixed gears bikes are placed on rollers and you race each other to 500 metres. After an adrenaline pumped 20-30 seconds you may emerge victorious. Even if you don’t you’ll be instantly addicted. I’ve previously written about my Rollapaluza experience.

Critical Mass

Critical Mass meets every last Friday of the month beneath Waterloo Bridge. After listening to some music, chatting and having a few beers the group sets off around London. The event is open for anyone to attend and doesn’t tend to be organised by any particular group or person. There is a website with some background info.

Dunwich Dynamo

This is a challenging ride through the night from Hackney to Dunwich covering a distance of around 120 miles. It is completely free to attend and you just show up on the day. The cycling event provides a good chance to meet fellow like-minded individuals. It tends to be held in July. Here is an awesome FAQ and here is what I thought of the ride.

Tweed Runtweed-run

This event sells out extremely quickly so you need to get in there early. Dressing up in the finest Tweed you join 400 fellow cyclists and set off around the streets of London on a short cycle. See the official Tweed website for full details.

London Naked Bike Ride

This London cycling event involves plenty of nakedness and body paints. It is usually held in June. The congregation sets off on a short ride around 6 miles long around central London. A detailed FAQ is available here.

London to Paris

One of London’s biggest charity cycling events. It covers 325 miles and is organised by a number of charities. You can usually choose to complete it in either 3 or 4 days. There is also a 24 hour challenge for the more hardcore cyclists. Of course London to Paris isn’t the only option. There are also other rides such as the London to Brighton which is extremely popular.

Bike Polo

You can either spectate or if you are good enough take part in Bike Polo events. You can find out details on the bike polo page.

Bicycle Film Festival

The London Bicycle Film festival is held in October. It is a celebration of cycling featuring events and short cycling films. The events are open to anyone and tickets usually go on a sale a few weeks before.


300 cyclists set off around London in this unique cycling event. It starts off at Crystal Palace and covers 100km around London. After visiting famous London sights the ride ends with a well deserved breakfast. The money raised from the event goes to charity. You tend to have to register early as it sells out.

See also:

Images by: smsm1 and m.j.s

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22 Responses to 10 London cycling events you shouldn’t miss out on

  1. tim 21/04/2010 at 10:02 am #

    cm is last friday of the month not every friday

    • Andreas 21/04/2010 at 10:30 am #

      Thanks Tim, good spot. Corrected it.

  2. lee 21/04/2010 at 10:12 am #

    Have you got a link to the Nightrider event ? Sounds fantastic.

  3. lee 21/04/2010 at 10:17 am #

    Answering my own questions..

    Night Rider :

    A registration fee of £25 is required to sign up and the minimum sponsorship target of £175 is required. Or participants can pay £80 and raise as much sponsorship as possible for the charity of their choice.


    And BALLS it’s sold out !


    • Andreas 21/04/2010 at 10:31 am #

      Maybe I should band together with few more people and put together a ride on like this if there is interest?

      • lee 21/04/2010 at 10:37 am #

        Start off doing your night ride form your book. We had a great time doing it a few weeks back 🙂

        • Andreas 21/04/2010 at 11:16 am #

          Pleased to hear it 🙂 Thought the nightride was an inspired choice! If I say so myself..

  4. Pete 21/04/2010 at 10:19 am #

    I did London to Paris last year and I would thoroughly recommend it to anybody, rolling through the French countryside was amazing

  5. Adam S 21/04/2010 at 10:24 am #

    I did the Skyride last year and it was kind of fun BUT don’t expect to be able to go faster than about 5mph around most of the course due to the numbers. I can’t quite see the point of it personally as it doesn’t really promote what cycling in London is actually about, but thousands of others seem to think it’s fun.

    It was a bit more like a leisurely stroll than a bike ride but still nice to have to contend with cyclists rather than cars for a change.

    • lee 21/04/2010 at 10:38 am #

      Agreed, if you want to ride the route at any speed get in early as after noon it’s mobbed, but a fun day.

  6. Filippo Negroni 21/04/2010 at 12:11 pm #

    I think the whole point of some events, even the ones which I would probably cycle on my folding bike, are that when hundreds (thousands?) of cyclists take on the road, the outcome is happiness, social interaction and fun, not stress and pollution.
    Compare that with the scene you see every day: thousands (millions) of cars taking over the roads every day all over the country!
    Cars and bicycles are both vehicles: but bicycles are not like cars or any other motor vehicle by any means, and the sooner the ‘others’ understand this, the better for everyone! 🙂

  7. Karl McCracken (twitter: @KarlOnSea) 21/04/2010 at 7:44 pm #

    Are you doing the Dynamo this year? Von Smallhaussen and I will be there again, on our JCB-yellow tandem, bedecked with 60 fairy lights . . .

    • Andreas 22/04/2010 at 9:38 am #

      I don’t see any reason to miss out on the fun. I’m there 🙂

      • Linda Mizun 01/05/2010 at 12:13 pm #

        Hey guys, let me invite you to the 2010 London – LUxembourg -Athens ride to fight childhood obesity. Good fun good cause join. You can ride from London to ashford, Lille, Calais , Luxembourg which is an organized ride affordable and goes through beautiful landscapes. Also you can join the whole trip until Athens. 🙂 Are you in?

  8. Cafewanda 22/04/2010 at 8:38 pm #

    I took part in the Midsummer bike ride organised by Southwark Cyclists last June. That was a night ride which I really enjoyed and would love to do again. Andreas, if you did organise a night ride I’d join it. None of my friends cycle so I’m looking to join organised rides this summer.

    • Andreas 22/04/2010 at 9:33 pm #

      Sounds good, next time I meet up with Amy who is a bit of a pro at organising events like this I’ll talk about it with her

      • Cycling Plus Neil 30/04/2010 at 3:56 pm #

        can we come?

      • Linda Mizun 01/05/2010 at 12:14 pm #

        Hey Andreas, let me invite you to the 2010 London – LUxembourg -Athens ride to fight childhood obesity. Good fun good cause join. You can ride from London to ashford, Lille, Calais , Luxembourg which is an organized ride affordable and goes through beautiful landscapes. Also you can join the whole trip until Athens. 🙂 Are you in?

  9. Wulfhound 26/07/2010 at 12:22 pm #

    no mention of Ride of the Falling Leaves or King of the Downs? great events for more hardcore types

    • Claire 03/10/2011 at 11:42 pm #

      Do you know if those rides have websites Wulfhound?!

  10. Claire 03/10/2011 at 11:41 pm #

    London to Paris is great and not as tough as you’d imagine – if you can do London to Brighton with no pain the next day you can definitely do it no problems, but actually it’s 235 not 325 miles!

  11. James Mullarkey 31/01/2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Don’t forget the bone shaking cobbles and the lung-bursting hills of the London Classic! http://www.thelondonclassic.org/ Entry is free but donations to Evelina Children’s Hospital is encouraged as all cash raised goes to them

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