At 1pm tomorrow, Wednesday 25 July, under the Olympic Countdown Clock in Trafalgar Square, I will welcome to London a group of Chinese cyclists called Olympics on my Ride. If you are a cyclist or cycling supporter, I hope you’ll join me.
Olympics on my Ride is an informal group of young (and one not-so-young) Chinese cyclists who have made the journey from Rome to London this summer. They have come to bestow a blessing on our city as the Olympic and Paralympic Games prepare for the final step in its move from Beijing 2008 to London 2012. They also hope their impressive feat will promote cycling as a low-carbon and healthy way to get around.
I will be joined by cycling groups like the London Cycling Campaign and the Cycling Tour Club when I welcome Olympics on my Ride to London. If you’d like to participate as well, come at least ten minutes early and make your way to the Olympic Countdown Clock. At 1pm, the Chinese cyclists will arrive and enjoy a friendly British welcome. We will all put together our strength to unfurl a 10m banner of the symbol of the dragon; it will be held up by two groups from different sides of the world who share a passion for cycling. Following the blessing, the Chinese cyclists will get on their bikes and ride across London to the Olympic Park. You are welcome to join them but please note that unless you have accreditation or a ticket you will not be able to enter the park itself.
I expect the coming together of these two groups of cyclists from different continuents to be a poignant moment. While public transport becomes the norm in the west, private vehicles are gaining dominance in the east. As Deputy Mayor of London, I helped to usher in the fastest modal shift from cars to buses, bikes, and feet in history, and hopes a similar reversal of trends will soon happen in China. The emergence of groups like Olympics on my Ride offers hope that it will.
If you have any questions please email Alex Csicsek at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have difficulty finding us in Trafalgar Square, call Alex on 07868418675.