News & Media

Double Olympic champion Laura Trott to set the streets of London ringing

Double Olympic champion Laura Trott will set the streets of London ringing to the sound of bike bells on Saturday morning when she officially starts a world-record attempt to kick-start the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle, the first of five events in the Mayor of London’s multi-award winning Prudential RideLondon festival of cycling this weekend.

Trott, who last month added a Glasgow Commonwealth Games title to her two London 2012 Olympic track cycling golds, will chime a special Prudential RideLondon bell at 09:00 in Guildhall Yard to signal the start of a half-hour musical extravaganza involving hundreds of early-rising bell-ringing cyclists as they attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the biggest ever bike bell ensemble.

The current figure of 503 bell-ringers was set in Germany in 2003, and more than 600 finger-ready cyclists are expected at Guildhall Yard where they will join cycling celebrities such as Trott and Olympic downhill skier Chemmy Alcott, plus the specially commissioned Prudential RideLondon Bike Bell Orchestra performing the world premiere of a new arrangement of the Westminster Chimes, based on the well-known melody played by the bells of Big Ben every quarter of an hour.

“This is a wonderful way to start the day,” said Event Director Hugh Brasher. “After Big Ben chimes 09:00 on Saturday, our orchestra of 600-plus will play the Westminster Chimes to officially open this year’s Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle. London will never have heard anything like it before.”

The orchestra will be conducted by Guildhall School of Music’s Dominic Wheeler, working with bike bells for the first time in his distinguished career, while the attempt will be officially adjudicated by Guinness World Record’s Jack Brockbank.

“This is a fantastic way to open London’s festival of cycling,” said Brockbank. “We hope as many cyclists as possible come out, to get heard and break a record that’s stood for more than 10 years.”

The record attempt will open the action at Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle, which gives riders of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities the chance to enjoy a 10-mile traffic-free route on closed roads through central London, passing some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks, such as Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of the London.

Some 50,000 cyclists are expected to take part in the family-friendly seven-hour event, the first stage of the world’s biggest festival of cycling set to take over London this weekend. They will be able to cycle the route at any pace and go around as many times as they like, stopping en route to enjoy a huge range of bike-based entertainment and activities.

Among the ‘must-see’ highlights of this year’s Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle are:

• five official Festival Zones, with Guildhall Yard and Leadenhall Market joining last year’s sites Green Park, Tower Hill and St Paul’s Churchyard

• a network of new Explore Routes through the City of London where cyclists can discover the hidden nooks and crannies of the oldest part of the British capital

• the Guinness World Records Street Trials Battle at Green Park involving stunt cyclist Andrei Burton and six of the world’s best trials riders in a jaw-dropping display of bike skills and an audacious attack on no fewer than nine official world stunt records

• the Cycle Superhero Zone at Green Park, where cyclists can get into the freewheeling FreeCycle spirit by building their own jet pack, donning a temporary tattoo, or creating their own balloon headwear

• the Bling Your Bike Garage where the ‘bling bike mechanics’ can trick out the cyclists’ wheels and customise their tabards with paint, glitter, ribbons and bells

• the world’s first pop-up cycling track at St Paul’s Churchyard where cyclists can watch the pros racing on the street Velodrome and have a go themselves

• Extreme Unicyclists, the world’s only stunt unicycle team performing awesome tricks at Guildhall Yard, while Puncture Kit, a bicycle drummer, entertains the crowd

• the Handlebards performing Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors at Leadenhall Market where participants can watch saddle-makers, bike-frame builders and a pedal-powered printing press

• a cycle food court, plus a pedal-powered juice bar, pedal-powered garden party and a pedal-powered Scalextric game.

The London Cycling Campaign are providing official led rides to and from all London boroughs so that individuals and groups can cycle safely from their homes to the centre of London and back at the end of the day.