WITH 1,500 events nationwide, National Bike Week (June 17-25) kicks off during the second week of the football World Cup with the message ?have fun, get fit and feel free?.

Central theme is Bike-2-Work every day of the week, including the annual parliamentary bike ride which this year starts from near St Pancras railway station and their inadequate cycle parking lot.

London will be hosting many events all over the capital and there is something happening every day of the week all across the country.

The delicious irony of National Bike Week is that the biggest single event of the week in Britain, if not in Europe, is not a registered Bike Week event at all. This is the annual British Heart Foundation London to Brighton on June 18, when 27,000 registered riders set off on their ride to the seaside.

Once upon a time riders returned on special trains, but not any more, not since the railways were privatised. Southern Trains and Thameslink south of London, in the spirit of non-cooperation, have declined to put on special services and to rub salt into wounds, they will not be allowing bikes on any of their trains on the day.

Any cyclist, whether they are London to Brighton riders or not, will be barred from even setting foot on the station concourse. Unless they have a folding bike which they will be made to fold up and carry onto the premises.

Last year there were unpleasant scenes at Brighton station where specially employed security men prevented cyclists entering the station.

Coaches and lorries and lots of bubble wrap for bikes (not riders!) are being provided for the evacuation.

Since the first London- Brighton in 1980, 650,000 riders have raised over 35 million for heart research. The ride is the charity?s biggest fund raiser.

www.bikeweek.org.uk for more information.