Are you too scared to cycle in London?



  • edited April 2014
    Went to Forest Hill today to pick up some tyres. Got lost quite a bit and had to ask a lot of people. All I can say, I won't go down there again any time soon. Bloody hilly! I can take a few hills, but that's just about it. <br><br>But hey, it was great weather and I got a bit of a healthy tan. :-)<br>
  • Been out to Potters Bar today (and back, of course). I must say, that I find cycling in London city way safer than outside London. The speed the cars go there is unreal. Not that I felt unsafe or in danger at any point, but there are lots of corners on a downhill stretch where you go with quite a bit of speed.<br><br>Glorious day to enjoy the countryside, just a bit hilly for my liking.<br>
  • Great ride today. Went to Pitfield Gallery, just off Old Street, to see an exhibition of bugs made from litter. Litterbugs. Then lunch in the cafe. Then home. 14 miles in all.
  • It was lovely today. I'll be out on my bikes tomorrow and Monday. Rather much looking forward to it. <br>
  • Rain stopped play today. I was planning on doing my favourite short ride to Stokey for brunch and then back along the River Lea towpath. Hopefully it'll be nicer tomorrow.
  • I certainly hope so. Didn't go out today, but definitely want to go tomorrow as it's been planned for a few weeks.<br>
  • Stella I am raring to go
  • So am I. Apparently it's going to be up to 19 degrees. Text me when you leave the house and I'll come down, okay? Your friends coming, then? Ben didn't reply, so I guess he's not coming.<br>
  • Oh, this weather's just gorgeous! It better stays that way!<br>
  • So, I bought a new bike:<div><br></div><div>And today I cycled to Kenwood House. This involved cycling on the A10 and A1. I reckon if you can cycle on the A1 in London you can pretty much cycle anywhere.</div>
  • Why didn't you cycle through parkland walk Idorou?
  • edited May 2014
    I go Hornsey Rd, Hornsey Lane, Highgate Hill, Hampstead Lane for Kenwood and Hampstead. Very quick route but the hills are a bugger.
  • At least Archway may be sorted out soon - TfL looking into removing the gyratory and provided much better facilites for cyclists.
  • I didn't go via the Parkland Walk simply because Google didn't tell me to. All I do for my cycling adventures is think of somewhere I'd like to visit, put it into Google Maps and get Google's cycling directions from my house. Keep in mind, too, that I'm coming from Walthamstow so I'd still have do the A10 and Seven Sisters Road, unless I went a very long way round. <div><br></div><div>miss annie's route looks good for avoiding the A1 though. But it wasn't that bad - I saw a stunning art deco cinema that I guess was a theatre when it first opened, and went past Archway market where a good friend used to have a stall. The gyratory was the worst bit. I walked round that on the way back. Oh, and I walked up much of Highgate Hill too. I'm from Cambridge - we're not good with hills.</div>
  • Being from Yorkshire I'm use to hills... Doesn't mean I am any bloody good on them.
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  • Was it the Odeon on Holloway Road? It's a beauty and featured in a tv ad for O2 a couple of years ago. The foyer is glorious, but I'd love to have seen it in its heyday. It's a favourite with cinema history geeks
  • It was indeed the Odeon on Holloway Road. I should have stopped and taken a photo, but I was enjoying my ride too much
  • Really glad you're enjoying your bike, Idoru. I don't know if you feel the same, but as soon as I get on my bike and start pedalling, I feel some kind of a rush and it makes me smile--often as if euphoria is spreading through my veins. It's hard to explain. The motion of my legs, the wind in the face ... it's magic.
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  • Stella, that's exactly how I feel - I think euphoria is definitely the right word. It's just so much fun and I feel so energised at the end of a ride. It's why I've never regretted cycling to work, no matter what the weather, I still feel great when I arrive at work or home, in a way that just doesn't happen when using the Underground or bus. <div><br></div><div>I won't cycle this week because it's press week, which could involve 12-hour days, or even longer, and I don't like the idea of doing a 21-hour day and then cycling home. But I really miss the bike - I'm already planning Saturday's ride.</div>
  • @Stella and Idoru - don't you think you are just describing the euphoria because of the endorphins released by exercise?
  • Don't be so bloody scientific, man!<div><br></div><div>Idoru: I always enjoyed cycling, and I missed it a lot when not cycling for a while, but since I've switched to Viscounts (road bikes), I'm enjoying it even more. A bit can make the difference. Riding around on a heavy MTB for about 10 years was great, but the Viscounts are even greater. </div><div><br></div><div>On a slightly different note: a bus driver had a beep at me today, then overtook me far too closely, beeping again. To him I was a slow nuisance. Poor sod!</div>
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  • edited May 2014
    Yes, we arranged for tomorrow. Not a moment too soon as I've got a customer who urgently needs a set of wheels. So I'll be building them on Thursday.
  • To bring this discussion back: I've recently been shouted at by a driver. He called me a cunt if I remember correctly, for daring to ride in the middle of the lane. I wanted to go straight ahead and wanted to make that clear as in that section in Camden they tend to drive fast. He wasn't amused. <div>Made me grin. Quite an aggressive van driver it was. I thought he probably could have done with the hour power ride I'd just come from, as it would have made him relax. haha</div><div>Cycling rules! </div>
  • Starting a new job which means a new commute. Cycle routes is telling me to take the Parkland Walk. Is this ok for a regular commute all year round?
  • Parkland walk is pretty good, but it isn't so good after dark or after rain.  Also you need to travel slow enough not to mow people down. I never normally have that problem, but when I was in commuter mode I did get a bit carried away a couple of times before I remembered to slow down.<br>
  • Regarding the original post, I'm not too scared to cycle in London myself, but I am too scared to take my son cycling on the roads, unless we've picked a very careful route.  Which in effect means that I do not cycle because I am too scared.
  • Peter, I think Parkland Walk is okay when you're riding a mountain bike. It's no good for skinny road bikes. I've recently tried it and gave up. The surface isn't really great; sharp stones, lots of potholes, gravel and whatnot. Puncture heaven. Plus quite a few people walking their dogs. Possibly nice when you're on a nice and easy Sunday ride, but definitely not if you want to use it for 'fast' commuting. <div><br></div><div>Duncan: welcome to the thread. I do understand the fear of letting your son cycle. Hope you can overcome this so he'll be a confident cyclist one day. :-)<br><div><br></div></div>
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