Cyclists easily beat other commuters in a challenge to launch the bike week, writes Christian Wolmar.

The group, led by Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow and which included myself, saw off a mad dog in Hawley Road, Camden, to complete the 3.5-mile route from Camden Lock to St Paul's Cathedral in 14 minutes.

One haplesscyclist, who had rescued his bike after it had spent years in a basement, still finished before any of the other challengers - despite a broken chain and flat tyre.

Asked if cycling was dangerous, Snow, who uses his bike for all work assignments - including Wednesday's interview with John Major at Downing Street, said: 'You just have to treat all other road users as if they were idiots. I know exactly how long any central London journey will take me.'

Next fastest was the chap allocated a taxi who, thanks to The Knowledge, managed it in 25 minutes at a cost of pounds 8.30. The bus (35 min) and tube users (36 min) beat the car driver (39 min), who had difficulty finding a place to park.

Last was the walker at 52 min.

(Photograph omitted)