tips for cycling in London

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Re: tips for cycling in London

Postby TonyR » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:01 pm

Euston Rd is fine too provided you take care at one or two points. Quite enjoyable in fact zooming along in the bus lane past all the stationary traffic and much quicker than using the back roads with all their twists and turns.
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Re: tips for cycling in London

Postby [XAP]Bob » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:13 pm

I quite enjoyed Euston road last time I was down there - quicker to cycle between paddington and euston than taking the tube...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way.
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Re: tips for cycling in London

Postby StellaLdn. » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:16 pm

TonyR wrote:
StellaLdn. wrote:
I second the advice of not undertaking lorries or buses at the traffic light. Unless it's red the traffic is stationary, and you know you'll make it to the front (so that the drivers can see you) safely before it turns green.


If you're going to do that make sure you stop well in front of any lorries. There is a big blind spot in front of the cab so its quite possible to go past and stop in front all the time in the blind spot so now the driver doesn't know you're there and pulls away over the top of you. Happens all too often unfortunately.


Well, yes, thinking back I should have added to make eye contact or, even better if not experienced, stay behind the lorry/bus. Particularly if it's at a left turn. Never, ever undertake any vehicle on the inside on a left turn. NEVER!
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Re: tips for cycling in London

Postby StellaLdn. » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:20 pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:Some great advice here.

I'd add just one thing: plan your route before you set off. Until you know London really well from the saddle, navigating by instinct is difficult - you'll tend to drift onto the major roads like Euston Road and Oxford Street, which is no fun at all. There are some lovely quiet streets in London and even the odd piece of decent infrastructure, but the signage is uniformly crap. In other words, you have to know where you're going. In time you'll get to know the way around, but at first, plan before you ride.


Hahahaha! Tell that my useless sense of direction. I plan everything and still get lost. Always. Then find myself somewhere I really have no clue where I am, trying to find my way back. Or you plan and the real scenario screws you over, like Archway Rd. for instance, when I tried to take a short cut. Man, was I cursing.

Signage, as you say, is notoriously useless. Try Leyton to Dalston. A joke!
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Re: tips for cycling in London

Postby iviehoff » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:18 am

mjr wrote:Oxford street isnt bad but it is slow among the buses. I keep ending up at the Mount Pleasant sorting office whenever I try to head west through Islington so it is better to plan a route but not essential.

I find buses a menace. They stop all the time and what are you to do? Hang around for ever or make a dangerous passing manoeuvre? Roads heavily infested with buses like Oxford St and Strand are those particularly to be avoided, in my mind. As are roads heavily infested with slow traffic lights, like Oxford St.

The art of cycling in London is in my view, that of finding routes that avoid all that. Little roads are the best roads to cycle on in London, but it's a real maze and takes some time to find nifty routes. I can ride from the vicinity of Holborn to the vicinity of Oxford Circus though Covent Garden and Soho and encounter only 4 traffic lights on the way - that's what I consider nifty.

It is true that Marylebone Rd/Euston road is fast cycling, but that is a rare exception. I don't like it and it isn't difficult to find a route that parallels it just to the south.
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Re: tips for cycling in London

Postby [XAP]Bob » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:16 am

iviehoff wrote:
mjr wrote:Oxford street isnt bad but it is slow among the buses. I keep ending up at the Mount Pleasant sorting office whenever I try to head west through Islington so it is better to plan a route but not essential.

I find buses a menace. They stop all the time and what are you to do? Hang around for ever or make a dangerous passing manoeuvre? Roads heavily infested with buses like Oxford St and Strand are those particularly to be avoided, in my mind. As are roads heavily infested with slow traffic lights, like Oxford St.

The art of cycling in London is in my view, that of finding routes that avoid all that. Little roads are the best roads to cycle on in London, but it's a real maze and takes some time to find nifty routes. I can ride from the vicinity of Holborn to the vicinity of Oxford Circus though Covent Garden and Soho and encounter only 4 traffic lights on the way - that's what I consider nifty.

It is true that Marylebone Rd/Euston road is fast cycling, but that is a rare exception. I don't like it and it isn't difficult to find a route that parallels it just to the south.

For a one off journey I'd disagree, for a regular run - well on that *one* route I'd still disagree, but in general you're right...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way.
No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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Re: tips for cycling in London

Postby StellaLdn. » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:48 am

iviehoff wrote:
mjr wrote:Oxford street isnt bad but it is slow among the buses. I keep ending up at the Mount Pleasant sorting office whenever I try to head west through Islington so it is better to plan a route but not essential.

I find buses a menace. They stop all the time and what are you to do? Hang around for ever or make a dangerous passing manoeuvre? Roads heavily infested with buses like Oxford St and Strand are those particularly to be avoided, in my mind. As are roads heavily infested with slow traffic lights, like Oxford St.

The art of cycling in London is in my view, that of finding routes that avoid all that. Little roads are the best roads to cycle on in London, but it's a real maze and takes some time to find nifty routes. I can ride from the vicinity of Holborn to the vicinity of Oxford Circus though Covent Garden and Soho and encounter only 4 traffic lights on the way - that's what I consider nifty.

It is true that Marylebone Rd/Euston road is fast cycling, but that is a rare exception. I don't like it and it isn't difficult to find a route that parallels it just to the south.


If I could do that, I'd work as a courier. Wanted to for years and even found a company willing to take me on (tip from my courier friend), but my terrible sense of direction prevented me from even finding my way around W1. Lost case!

Not a fan of cycling through Oxford St. either, for the reasons above in addition to pedestrians just running into the roads. Lucky for me, I don't need to cycle there often. One road I dislike is Farrington St. up to Blackfriars. It's uneven, too many traffic lights and cabs/cars coming out of side roads drive too far into the road, making you either brake or swerve. But I ride there anyways when needed. Big roads don't faze me, my lack of orientation does. *sigh*
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Re: tips for cycling in London

Postby Abu Milhem » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:31 pm

evans4190 wrote:Hi everyone just thought i'd introduce myself as I've just got into cycling and bought my first road bike.
It's a btwin triban 3 from decathlon. Was it a good move?

My first ride on it was great. I live in London and feels dangerous ( but very enjoyable )

Is there anybody else from london? (East) ??
If anybody could give me some good tips on cycling in London, that would be great :)

Thanks


I have lived in the centre of London and cycled in Central London (all inner postal districts) on a daily basis since 1983 and occasionally before that right back to childhood in the 1960s.

London is a fantastic city to cycle in the centre of and now more so than ever. I am not keen on the arterial routes as they are noisy, crowded and full of people who conduct themselves disagreeably. Good tips already on this thread. I would underscore a comment from, I think, Rob Van Der Plas (sp?) that getting used to cycling in London takes about 6 weeks - the yet is to fall in with the rythm and pace of the traffic and learn to be part of it. Give all trucks a wide berth and look for alternative, quieter, routes and you will find a city of real delight. Get a good lock and always use it properly. Fit dynamo lights and you will save endless faffing about when commuting.

I have been car doored twice, once quite badly and knocked off once. as a pedestrian I have been mugged once and banged over the head with a plastic bread crate. I have also fallen off a few times but then I may have been less than fully capable on those occasions.

Learn to look after your bike fully (as I have done) or find a bike shop who are polite and helpful - not all of them are.

For the record, I don't wear a helmet. I have tried them and can't get on with them.

See you around and keep your eyes on the road.

All the best,

AM
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Re: tips for cycling in London

Postby Abu Milhem » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:48 pm

I meant to say '...the key is...',NOT '...the yet is...'
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