A mass virtual cycling event for children will coincide with the Ford RideLondon events which kicks off in Essex later this year.

The newly announced Ford RideLondon-Essex 100-mile Challenge in Schools, championed by former Olympic gold-medallist Chris Boardman, aims to inspire school pupils to take part in the globally recognized cycling event.

The initiative encourages schools and education settings to get pupils cycling a total of 100 miles between May 20 and May 24, the start date of the Ford RideLondon-Essex weekend.

The challenge can take place collectively as a school community or at home.

National Active Travel Commissioner, Chris Boardman, explained the initiative's potential to inspire young cyclists.

He said: "It's so important that we show our kids how much freedom and independence cycling can bring and, by inspiring our children to get out on their bikes, we can enable more families to make healthier and greener travel choices."

Hugh Brasher, the event director at London Marathon Events, added: "This initiative means those who aren’t old enough to ride one of our iconic challenge rides can still complete the distance, while doing something so beneficial for their mental and physical health and helping to reduce carbon emissions at the same time."

During the challenge, cyclists can follow an interactive map to learn facts about popular sights and locations.

As a bonus, successful schools will be awarded a certificate, a downloadable badge, and an entry into a draw to win active travel prizes.

Fifteen minutes of activity equates to one mile travelled, with 100 miles the target. For example, if 30 pupils in a class complete 15 minutes of exercise, this equates to 30 miles completed in total towards the target of 100. 


The challenge aims to supplement the Daily Mile, a physical activity programme which Essex schools have participated in for several years.

Stage one of the Ford RideLondon Classique starts on May 24 in Saffron Walden, before finishing in Colchester.

Sunday 26 May welcomes tens of thousands of riders who will be taking part in one of the three challenge rides – the Ford RideLondon 100, 60, 30-mile rides.