Are you too scared to cycle in London?



  • Ok so consensus is don't do Parkland Walk. Going to have to have a think about my route as want to avoid huge hills as there's no shower at work.
  • Tricky. Sounds you're going towards Archway. It's not a massive hill, just a longer incline. Shift down and go in the low gears, that's far more efficient. :-)
  • Duncan, this may be useful for your you and your son. Islington offer free cycle courses and some are being held in Elthorne Park over the summer, most fully booked but a few spaces.I have booked my daughter and her friend as they have just learnt to ride this year but they offer something for slightly older children and they go out on the road.
  • Well how you feeling Stella? Glad you won.
  • So these ASL's, so often motorists seem to just ignore them and use them for their cars...... Seems like a big fuck you to cyclists and seems to be getting more common. I've certainly noticed it more this year than last. <div><br></div><div>I really don't want to be the guy who has to point this out to motorists. I'd rather concentrate on my cycling</div><div><br></div><div><br></div>
  • Yes, they're often used by drivers and motorcyclist. I wouldn't mind the latter so much if they just left space for us to come through, but they just place themselves smack bang in front of (between) two cars and I'm forced to get blasted by their fumes behind them. Or, if they're not in front of me, they overtake so closely once it's green, they brush against me. Not so nice. <div>I've also noticed that drivers don't 'get' what those ASLs are for. They will promptly hoot if you don't dare to get out of their way immediately. I think the ASLs are pointless unless cyclists get individual traffic lights--at least at 'dangerous' crossings. </div><div>That said, I mostly have 'this could have been an incident' in other situations: drivers just pulling out and into my lane/turning left without looking (or maybe looking, but not caring), other cyclists overtaking far too close, cyclists not looking where they're going; there's plenty. </div><div><br></div><div>As R&J, though, I brush this off quickly and carry on as usual. Cycling is just far too much fun to stay angry. :-)</div>
  • Here is the Police advice on this:<br><br><br><br>Pointing out the penalty doesn't go down very well with drivers !<br><br>I think I have seen somewhere that TfL are going to use camera technolgy to enfore them.<br><br>Since the big police  operation  last year after the deaths drivers do seem to be  a bit better at staying out of them<br>
  • I think I've been lucky - it seems to me that most of the time when cars are in ASLs it's because they've mistimed the lights and had to stop rather than just not caring that they shouldn't be there. Although a few times the latter has definitely been the case. <div><br></div><div>I do like ASLs. I definitely feel safer knowing I'm in one, especially if there's something big behind me. I wish there were more of them. </div><div><br></div><div>As for keeping motorists out of them, more and better education is needed. I didn't know that motorcyclists couldn't use ASLs, for example. They can use bus lanes so I wasn't sure whether or not they could use the ASLs too. I think a comprehensive cycling-related section needs to be added to driving tests.</div>
  • R&JR&J
    edited July 2014
    One thought came to me is whether cars get caught in the ASL as the lights have turned to red and they are stuck there from the previous green?<div><br></div><div>Weather forcast says there's about to be another thunder storm, fancied a ride out to little venice. I know as soon as I wheel my bike out the clouds will darken. Have slick tyres on my bike right now and they are terrible in the rain </div>
  • Thanks Stella and Tordie<br><br>Stella - we're signed up for the prudential Freecycle now so that might be a good introduction to road cycle for my eight year old.  A helpful online acquaintance has also suggested a quieter route over to the Lea Valley, which could be a good follow up.<br><br>Tordie - yes - I would like to book one of those courses, but we're in Haringey, where you have to be nine.  Or did.  Their website is now ambiguous as there's a new headline saying that cycle training has now been opened up to all residents, but the details say you still have to be nine years old.  So I will have to find out which is true.  There's also some mention of summer training.<br>
  • Duncan, I'm so glad to read this. Sounds all positive to me. Don't give up on the joys of cycling.  :-)
  • I think the reason motorcyclists can't use ASLs is because they usually take off at such speed that they could possibly take a cyclist off their bike if they were doing a left or right whereas with bus lanes there's no such problem.  Anyhow, ASLs a welcome introduction to London's road.
  • Forgot to mention I was cycling under the Bridge by Finsbury Park Station the other week using the cycle lane and the police were standing in the middle of it with a driver making him do a sobriety test <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>
  • I'm not too sure about those ASLs; yes, they have cyclists in front of the row of cars--if they can reach it, that is--but motorists don't seem to understand them. They seem to think your place is on the left, in the gutter. If you dare to cycle in the line that has you turn right one traffic light later, you're just a nuisance. ASLs may give you the advantage to pull off first, but if you don't find your place to the left immediately ... or if you don't hit the pedal the second the motorist--who's not texting anyone--could hit the accelerator, you're hooted at. Uh.<div><br></div>
  • I would say more often than not scooters and motorbikes park in the ASL. It says it is a myth that the police do not monitor it. I've never seen them say anything evens when they're sitting there.
  • edited July 2014
    Thanks @Tordie for that link! I've just managed to book the last place on a beginners' cycling course this weekend. I'm one of those rare people who did actually forget how to ride a bike. Would love to eventually be able to commute to work by bike so actually learning how to ride is a pretty essential first step...
  • Just tried my commute to Hampstead Garden Suburb. Easy enough coming back through Archway if a little busy. Harder getting there. I was trying to join the main road at Highgate tube station as I find it nicer to go up big hills on quiet roads. It is not nice to be struggling up a hill whilst trucks etc are overtaking you. Anyway I got lost trying to navigate through a maze of a housing estate near Hornsey Road.
  • I'm getting more confident with hills.<div><br></div><div>I remember last year going up Goswell Road to Angel was a killer. Went up it on Saturday like a breeze. I went up the hill on Seven Sisters a few times the other week (the one leading from Tottenham to Manor House) and although it was a test, my time improved considerably. I'm still a way off trying any "proper hills" though <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span></div>
  • I wasn't going to do this as I hate asking for money, but I'm doing the London to Cambridge bike ride on Sunday, a total of 60 miles, which is the furthest I've ever ridden. Or will be if I manage it! I rode a 45-mile round trip between Walthamstow and Richmond on Sunday so I am prepared. I'd be most grateful if anyone would like to sponsor me - even a small amount makes a difference. Here's the link:
  • Peter: I know how you feel getting lost. It's one of my specialities. :-)<div><br></div><div>R&J: well done! My goal is Highgate at some point. You'll get better and better. I promise. Happy riding.</div>
  • Hi guys<div><br></div><div>I'm conducting a dissertation study on cycling in London, and I'm particularly interested in the mental barriers that may prevent Londoners from cycling.</div><div><br></div><div>If you could just take a few minutes to fill in my survey it would really be a great help for me. The link is:</div><div><br></div><div><a href=""></a><br></div><div><br></div><div>Feedback on the survey itself is also welcome.</div><div><br></div><div>Have a good day!</div><div><br></div><div><br></div>
  • Anyone else enjoying their commute in this beautiful weather?
  • Well I completed the London to Cambridge on Sunday. My friend and I did it in just over four hours, which considering I was expecting six was pretty good, although I don't know how that measures up to other cyclists. We overtook plenty of people and were ourselves overtaken by plenty of others. <div><br></div><div>But that means for the past three days I've been giving my legs a break and taking the tube. Today I cycled for the first time this week. I arrived at work with a smile on my face and feeling refreshed and happy. </div>
  • Cycling is just a great source for happiness, isn't it? Even when totally tired, it makes me smile.
  • edited December 2017
  • Had a great experience yesterday: rode through Hyde Park, in the cycling lane that is on the road (carriage way that goes from south to north) which then moves onto the pavement, when the Mercedes before/beside me suddenly drove into the cycling lane and into my way. I tapped his car (this close he came) and had to slow down significantly as he stopped, then passed him on the other side, to learn he was talking on the phone, totally engrossed, and not even noticing that he'd put me in danger. <div>Wanker! </div><div>I swore loudly at him, waving my hand, something I normally never do, but drivers on the phone really piss me off. Well, I let it go two seconds after the incident. Luckily, I always anticipate idiots. </div><div>And something else: those Lycra bastards should learn how to overtake other cyclists. On my commute through Regent's Park, I get overtaken daily, and far too close. So close that I can smell their sweat. Urgh!</div><div>Okay, rant over. </div><div><br></div><div>Still love cycling dearly. It's always the highlight of my day. Yeah, I know, I'm a sad person. lol</div>
  • Here's one for the helmet fans: I managed to crash on my way to work this morning. Totally stupid and I have no idea how it happened, but I turned a corner, wanted to brake and my hands reached into air, which meant I sort of fell over my handlebars, and crashed, landing on my side, bumping my head. Got straight up, checked if I was in one piece, felt my bump on my head, called work and went home.<div>Haha. To be honest, a helmet wouldn't have saved me from the mild concussion I'm having. Like last year's crash (on my own!) I blame being tired. Being awake and fresh is one of the best accident prevention. </div><div><br></div><div><br></div>
  • Here is an interesting experiment about the impacts of air pollution on health related to our transport choices. A very good reason to chose cycling:
  • Thank you, Nick. Not really a surprise. Plus, cycling or walking causes less stress; quite the contrary, it can make you happy. It works for me. In addition to this: from door to door public transport or driving would take me longer than cycling. (SG to Kensington). <div>I do take the main road to Camden, though. A bit annoying as it's always slow going at the end and I can't really avoid Kensington High Street, which has far too many <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">useless</span> traffic lights, but Regents Park and Hyde Park are nice to ride through.</div>
  • Do you use the canal Stella?
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