Folding bike race sees hundreds ride past Buckingham Palace
Hundreds of cyclists wearing business suits and fancy dress have taken part in a folding bike race by Buckingham Palace.
The race began with a Le Mans-style start, with competitors having to run over to their folded bikes before assembling them and pedalling away.
The Brompton World Championships course required riders to do eight short laps around St James’ Park in central London, travelling along The Mall and passing the Queen’s official residence.
The vast majority of riders opted for shorts, a shirt and tie and a jacket, although one woman did the race dressed as the Queen.
Competitors were not allowed to wear lycra.
Alicia Butler, a 42-year-old web developer from Hemel Hempstead who did the race dressed as Mary Poppins, said the race felt “very British”.
She added: “We saw the video last year, my husband and I, and we thought we really wanted to do that.
“We have been so excited.
“We just tell everyone to buy a Brompton because they are amazing bikes.
“We don’t even use the car anymore, we cycle to the pub, we cycle to the shops.”
Riding in a costume for the race was not a problem, she said, adding: “You can get really glamorous and still ride your Brompton.”
Around 500 riders from the UK and countries around the world including Spain, Italy, Japan and the US took part.
Todd Hayden, a 56-year-old engineer, came to London from Idaho in the US to take part in his second Brompton World Championship race.
He said he had returned because of “the pageantry, the elegance and the fun”.
In the latter stages of the race, which was won by a Spaniard, one rider fell heavily after crashing with another competitor and was left needing treatment from paramedics.
Hundreds of spectators lined the streets to watch the race.