The annual event is staged during Bike Week, 12-20th June and is not always picked up as much as the bike world would like by the mainstream media. With Dr Kim Howells - a GT-riding roadie - taking part this year the event is more news-worthy. But where's an evil Tory bigot, a recumbent tandem, a split skirt and some hospital closures when you need them?

Minister for Transport to lead parliamentary bike ride

Virginia Bottomley, Conservative MP for South West Surrey and perhaps most famous for having a name that can be anagrammed into ‘I’m an evil Tory bigot’, was splashed all over the newspapers in 1995’s Bike Week.

Press photographers sat her on a Ryan recumbent tandem and she dutifully displayed a fine set of legs within her skirt, hence the newspaper splashes. The pic was positive, but her smiling face was juxtaposed against news of Tory hospital closures.

It’s unlikely Dr Kim Howells will excite photo desk editors quite as much as Mrs Bottomley but it’s good to see him – and perhaps Minister for Sport Richard Caborn MP – getting into the mood during Bike Week.

More than 50 MPs and members of the House of Lords will take part in the ride on June 16th.

The Parliamentary Bike Ride is organised by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group. Other guests on the annual ride include the Special Olympics GB Cycling Team and National Cycling Strategy Board members, maybe even Chris Boardman.

MPs, Peers and guests will be waved off from Tate Modern on Bankside, London SE1 by London Cycling Campaign group members who are converging for a ‘Cycling Commuters Breakfast’ in the Level 2 Cafe.

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