We Ride London First Awareness Ride

We did it!

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On April 6th we held our first awareness ride for We Ride London!  The weather was kind to us but being a weekday we didn’t know what turnout to expect and as we arrived at 12:45 we already had more than we’d expected and in the end over 100 of our fellow London riders took to the streets to raise awareness of our cause and apply pressure to regional and national policy makers! Our format was a simple one: ride with respect and courtesy, obeying the laws of the road and not filtering to have the maximum impact.

Our planned route took us from Regents Park, down Regents Street with a stop at the BBC before heading down Regents Street to Piccadilly, around Trafalgar Square past Whitehall, a loop of Parliament Square before dipping south of the river before coming back along Kingsway, Theobolds Road, through the City, across Tower Bridge and then to City Hall. On the day the black cabs were protesting and so Whitehall and Parliament Square were closed off but we still managed to filter through the jams and continue on our route, arriving at City Hall at 3:30PM as planned where some of the We Ride London team including Charley Boorman handed over a letter to Sadiq Khan.

Although there have been no immediate changes (we didn’t expect there to be), we know the letter was received and read as there have been subsequent follow-ups from TfL around our objectives. 

Although we had some advice from the organisers of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, we’ve also learnt a lot about organising and running a ride through London. Week day rides are best for applying pressure but weekend rides are more inclusive so we will run both. We also don’t need the ride to be quite so long so will organise shorter but higher profile rides.

We were grateful for Charley Boorman & Matthew Wright for joining the ride and helping to increase the profile of the objectives We Ride London are campaigining for.

As someone who has ridden motorbikes in the capital for more than 30 years I felt I had to join We Ride London demo to flag up the growing concerns of our two-wheeled community.  After getting pulled for riding on the hard shoulder (after the gearbox oil seal went on my 65 year old motorbike) last year I had the good fortune to attend a driver awareness course lasting nearly four hours - four hours in which motorcycles and motorcyclists never got a mention.
— Matthew Wright, Channel 5's The Wright Stuff
Motorcycling in London is part of the solution for reducing congestion and pollution as much as cycling but policy makers continue to ignore the positive benefit motorcyclists bring to our capital. Most people who ride in the capital do so because it’s cheaper and quicker than other forms of transport and have journeys that aren’t practical on a bicycle. Motorcycles take up less road space, are proven through TfL’s own studies to contribute to less than 1% of the overall pollution in London and are more versatile that bicycles. Other capitals around the world recognise and embrace this, why not London?
— Charley Boorman, Long Way Round & Long Way Down with Ewan McGregor

Keep an eye on the Facebook Events page and this website for the next series of rides and meetings starting in June. We Ride London will also be at the Bike Shed London show in May if you fancy popping in to say hi.

We Ride London is an unaffiliated and inclusive campaign acting as the main lobby & pressure group for grass roots riders of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in London.

We’re campaigning for: 

  1. Protection of lane widths to allow safe filtering
  2. Exclusion from congestion and pollution charging
  3. Universal use of bus lanes as pioneered by TfL
  4. Adequate secure motorcycle parking
  5. More action against bike theft and bike-jacking

We won’t stop until our campaign objectives have been addressed and will continue to campaign and ride. In the last 6 months since we’ve launched over 2,200 of you have chosen to support us. We are pleased for the support of companies and other groups but are truly independent. There is no membership fee for We Ride London. It’s not a club. It’s a collective of likeminded individuals who want to achieve the same outcome: a brighter future for riders in London. 

Insurance premiums are soaring in our capital and this, along with the other schemes We Ride London is campaigning against are driving motorcycles and scooters out of London which is only making congestion on the roads and public transport worse while significantly impacting grass roots workers who can't afford to commute by other means and small businesses who depend on their custom.

So whether you are a daily rider of a 20-year-old scooter, a 40-year-old classic, a be-chromed V-twin or the latest sports bike, join us before motorcycles and scooters are banished from London forever. 

#WeRideLondon