I'm most excited about the finale of the Tour of Britain, our nation's humble but ever improving attempt to emulate le Tour. Usually the eight-stage ToB is a pasty imitation of the French version, contended by riders no one has ever heard of (yet), but there are a few reasons why this year's is going to be good. One, the mighty Columbia HTC is entering a team. Their squad hasn't yet been announced, but I'd love to see Mark Cavendish zoom past Big Ben and do one of his daft victory celebrations when crossing the line at Whitehall on September 19. Bradley Wiggins, the fastest mod on two wheels, will also be in attendance, it was confirmed this week.
But the best thing about this year's Tour is that a thousand ordinary people are being given the chance to ride an 18km section of the final stage on closed roads just before the professionals zip into town – rather like a baby version of the Etape du Tour. I've just had a look at the route and it's a corker. It passes through many of London's most famous sites – the Tower of London, Somerset House, Tower Bridge. It costs £50 to enter, with all proceeds going to the Prostate Cancer Charity.
The following day, September 20, is the Mayor of London's Sky Ride (formerly the Freewheel), in which thousands of cyclists are invited to tour a traffic-free route around the capital. Skyrides are not limited to London – they took place in Manchester, Glasgow and Hounslow earlier this month, and there's another in Leicester on August 30. It is rare in car-mad Britain for roads to be closed just for cyclists, so make the most of the occasion.
Let's just hope there's not a repeat of what happened the last time a high-profile bike event shut roads: when the Etape Caledonia took over rural Perthshire for a few hours in May, someone sprinkled carpet tacks all over the route.