BIKES take over central London this Sunday with the Mayor of London’s Skyride, formerly known as the London Freewheel. Sponsorship by Sky TV explains the name-change.

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Tens of thousands of cyclists are set to turn up for the event, in which some of London’s most famous roads are closed to motorised transport, giving bikes a free reign.

Those roads form a continuous route that stretches east from the front door of Buckingham Palace to the steps of the Tower of London, via the Embankment and St Paul’s Cathedral.

“Whatever your age or ability you can come and join in our free, unique, and most importantly fun, celebration of the best way of getting around,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson, himself a keen man of two wheels.

As well as the freedom of the city, cyclists will have plenty of entertainment laid on for them, including a bike stunt show, free photos of you on your bike and the presence of Olympic pedal merchants like Sir Chris Hoy and Jamie Staff.

“This will be my second year at the London event and I’ve got a feeling we’re going to top last year’s fantastic celebration of cycling,” said Hoy.