More than 16,500 cyclists have been taking to the roads around London and Surrey as part of an event being billed as the UK’s largest festival of cycling.
The Prudential RideLondon weekend featured four separate events designed to appeal to riders of all ages and abilities in the mass participation event.
But the event has caused anger among some motorists who feel that the event has had too much impact on London’s congested road network.
Hundreds of roads were due to be closed across the capital for at least 12 hours with thousands of motorists being forced to make extensive detours or abandon their plans to travel.
London mayor Boris Johnson was among thousands that took part in a 100-mile road race which started at the Olympic Park and headed out to Forest Green in Surrey before heading back into the centre through southwest London.
Rugby World Cup winner Matt Dawson, two-time Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell, former Olympic champion sprint hurdler Sally Gunnell and actor Gary Kemp were among the famous faces taking part.
The event finished on The Mall shortly before 150 professional cyclists race in the inaugural Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on a similar route.
Organisers hoped the two-day festival would boost the number of active cyclists in the UK, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to London and Surrey, and raise large amounts of money for charity.
The capital’s motorists remained unimpressed however, with many taking to Facebook and Twitter to express their anger at the event’s planning.
Although the event was billed in advance, both in local media and on display signs, many felt that not enough was done to help residents and road users avoid the problems that arose from the closures.
Hilary Irving wasa among those who wrote on the LBC Facebook page: “Two Sundays in a row the people of Wapping have been cut off and unable to drive out. Not great planning.”
Silvia Denecke McGrath wrote: “Not a thought for all the people who have to work in essential services like hospitals!
“I have to commute in somehow from Bucks with most of the roads in London shut the entire weekend!
“Can’t even use the Tube as I start work so early, never mind that the metropolitan have no services this weekend.
“But no, the whole of London has to come to a standstill for a bunch of cyclists who don’t pay road tax.”
For cyclists who want to ride faster, but are reluctant to buy a pricey e-bike, the Rubbee bicycle mount may be a happy medium.
Once attached, the device converts your regular bicycle into electric bike that moves at speeds of up to 15 mph.
Rubbee includes a “motor, bioelectronics and batteries in a single unit,” with no tools or wires required for attachment. Users simply mount the device on, and then release its handle and disconnect the throttle to take it off.
Rubbee’s creators say e-bikes are not ideal because they’re heavy and expensive, and if purchased, force users to ditch their old bikes. Similarly, conversion kits are cumbersome, and installing them requires advanced skills, they add.
A giant snow dome to rival the largest indoor ski resort in the world is to be built next to the Olympic Park site in Stratford.
London’s first indoor ski centre will feature several runs of varying difficulty, snowboard ramps and an ice-skating rink.
It is believed the project, which will cost up to £200 million and is being funded by shopping centre developers Westfield, could be ready to open in 2015.
The longest run will be 300 metres — twice the length of the next biggest one in the UK — recreating Alpine skiing conditions. There will also be toboggan runs and snow-play zones where children and beginners can get used to the sub-zero temperatures.
Emergency care doctors today called for urgent road safety measures after three cyclists were killed in three weeks in London.
The three specialist medics work on London’s air ambulance and are at the forefront of often desperate attempts to save the lives of injured riders.
They rejected Boris Johnson’s claim that reaching a “critical mass” of cyclists will make the roads safer.
They added that the cycle superhighway where French student Philippine de Gerin-Ricard died at Aldgate was “far from fit for purpose” and said that many council-designed routes are “even worse”.
Two of them first called for action 18 months ago in response to the rising number of deaths and serious injuries involving HGVs.
Three of the five cyclists killed in London this year died after collisions with lorries, including the latest fatality a week ago at Holborn, Alan Neve, 54, and Dr Katharine Giles at Victoria in April.
The two other cyclist deaths were caused by car collisions. The air ambulance, which flies a surgeon and paramedic straight to crash scenes, has been called to 30 critical incidents involving cyclists this year.
Froome won the 100th Tour de France title, finishing more than four minutes ahead of his closest rival in the overall standings.
The 28-year-old, who learned to ride on dirt tracks in Kenya, crossed the finish line in Paris arm-in-arm with his Team Sky colleagues to become the second Briton to win the title in consecutive years.
Froome set off for the French capital in the leader’s yellow jersey for the final stage of the Tour after more than 80 hours and 2,000 miles in the saddle.
He had to wait until he reached the Champs-Elysees to be crowned champion, but tradition dictates the leader is not threatened on the final day of Le Tour.
After winning the title, Froome thanked his family, friends and teammates.
He said: “I’d like to dedicate this win to my late mother. Without her encouragement to follow my dreams I would probably be watching this at home on TV.
Wearing the yellow jersey, Froome crosses the line with teammates
“This is a beautiful country, with the finest annual sporting event in the world … and this is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time.”
Speaking after the finishing line, he said: “It brought tears to my eyes just coming over the line with the guys like that.
“This really was an amazing way to finish off a fitting 100th edition of the Tour de France.”
Britain’s Mark Cavendish failed to make it five in a row on the Champs-Elysees after finishing in third place in a sprint finish.
Shares in Halfords surged by more than 11% on Wednesday after bike sales helped power the retailer to a better than expected trading performance.
The upbeat update came just two months after new chief executive Matt Davies unveiled a £100 million package aimed at turning around a business which has been severely impacted by the trend towards online shopping.
The company — which is using collateral from a slashing of the dividend to fund the restructure — saw pre-tax profits after exceptional items fall by almost a quarter in 2013, down 24.5% from £94.1m in 2012 to £71m.
However, the company yesterday revealed an improved trading performance in the first quarter of the 2014 financial year.