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  1. #1
    Cycling is Self-Therapy pdxcyclist's Avatar
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    Riding in London: Tips, Clubs, Must-Do Rides?

    Hi,

    I haven't posted here since 2005, but my family and I are moving to London for at least two years or longer. In the "must move" category are our five bikes.

    So, what's the best way to get riding in and around London? Any recommended rides, clubs or events we should get involved in? I've bike commuted for many years, in several cities, and I'm looking forward to riding around the UK and Europe.

    Our move is in early July, and we hope to be "car free" for as long as possible.

    Jim H
    Portland, Oregon (for about six more weeks)

    '99 Bruce Gordon BLT
    '96 Canondale T700 (wife's)
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  2. #2
    Senior Member I saw Elvis's Avatar
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    As an ex resident of London I wish you luck, as far as clubs go it will depend on where you live and what sort of riding you want to do. If you're looking for training type rides and or races have a look at Britishcycling.org.uk, if it's touring have a look at CTC.org.uk for local clubs.

    Bike is by far the best way to get round London, certainly the fastest. And in the summer it's an ok city to ride in.

    If you finish up in South London have a look at Velo Club de Londres (my old club) they're based at Hern Hill velodrome in Hern Hill S London, they train there every Sat am and a couple of evenings and they're really geared up for kids and newcomers. They're a great gateway into the sport and or social riding, sportivs etc.
    If it is racing you're in to (at what ever level) S London is perhaps a better choice as apart from the velodrome you can also drive a few miles south and rider Surrey League races at weekends and evenings.
    Watchout for those taxis
    I grew up as a kid idolising those hero's in the Tour de France, Indurain and everyone like that. It was almost a childhood dream to ride the Tour de France. The last 2 years my childhood dream which became a reality has been pissed all over by certain members of the peloton. - Bradley Wiggins 27th July 2007.

    My Blog. http://onthebanking.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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    london bike riding

    I ride a bike and have been fined with no pre-warning! Real hardcore here and ruthless here on bikes. You can not ride in any Park within westminster so Hyde park, st james park, green park..(200 pound fine) even on grass and dirt etc and most other parks, except in a bike lane which is actually outside the park. You can't take bikes on tubes and buses. You can not ride anywhere in england on footways, footpaths, pavements but you can ride on the road where 200 hundred people have been killed in the past year cause have no choice... also, if you choose to drive, bloody cameras everywhere. So far, it has cost us thousands on fines. This place is so backward and focused on revenue raising while crime is rampant! I wish i never bought a bike here knowing what i know now.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mint-sauce's Avatar
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    couldn't tell you about clubs but some great routes, most of my cycling was done about sw london, best one around there 'richmond park' (see the ricmond park thread on this board), another good spot is wimbledon common, plenty of marked and unmarked routes there, other one i done regualry was along the thames tow path, can be followed nearly the whole way from on the south side of the river from putney bridge the kingston bridge, mixture of stone, gravel, tarmac, paving in places, with some nice pubs and restrarants on route, around 15 miles or so, 30 if you do the return leg

  5. #5
    Senior Member mint-sauce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I saw Elvis View Post
    Watchout for those taxis
    ah, the bus lane, where cyclists, buses and taxies can co exsist peacefully



    never had any major problems on the road, had the odd near miss, although i'd say every one who has ever cycled in london has had one, just show no weakness, its every man for him self



    nah seriously, there are accidents, but its one of the best ways and quickest ways to get around london, as one of the other posters pointed out, you cant bring your bikes on buses, but you can on the surface level sections on the tube during off peak hours (cant bring your bike on the deep level sections at any time), bikes allowed on most commuter rail at off peak, and on most national rail services any time, all at none extra charge

    some great shops, another thread on this board some where


  6. #6
    Senior Member Matt Gaunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightmover View Post
    I ride a bike and have been fined with no pre-warning! Real hardcore here and ruthless here on bikes. You can not ride in any Park within westminster so Hyde park, st james park, green park..(200 pound fine) even on grass and dirt etc and most other parks, except in a bike lane which is actually outside the park. You can't take bikes on tubes and buses. You can not ride anywhere in england on footways, footpaths, pavements but you can ride on the road where 200 hundred people have been killed in the past year cause have no choice... also, if you choose to drive, bloody cameras everywhere. So far, it has cost us thousands on fines. This place is so backward and focused on revenue raising while crime is rampant! I wish i never bought a bike here knowing what i know now.
    Incorrect. You can take your bike on certain lines at certain times, full details of which can be found on www.tfl.gov.uk when you search for "cycle tube". I'd post the link but I've posted it here before and I'm not on a pc at the moment.

    London is not as bad as this guy makes out. I've lived here for three years now and my cycling has not suffered as a result. You just have to adapt. I also regularly take a bike on the tube and whilst not ideal, it is easily achievable and is really useful at times.

    Good luck with your move, shout if you need anything
    Matt
    2010 Kinesis Decade Convert2 Alloy fixie, Miche, Sora Pics soon...
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  7. #7
    Senior Member mint-sauce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Gaunt View Post
    Incorrect. You can take your bike on certain lines at certain times, full details of which can be found on www.tfl.gov.uk when you search for "cycle tube". I'd post the link but I've posted it here before and I'm not on a pc at the moment.

    London is not as bad as this guy makes out. I've lived here for three years now and my cycling has not suffered as a result. You just have to adapt. I also regularly take a bike on the tube and whilst not ideal, it is easily achievable and is really useful at times.

    Good luck with your move, shout if you need anything
    agreed, just looked up the stats, ony 45% of the network is actully truly under ground, ie deep bore, its these sections you cant bring your bike on at anytime

    the rest is surface and cut/cover, bikes can be brought on most of this off peak

    think i ever only took my bike on the tube once, think it was two or three stops on the district line (surface and cut/cover line) when had a mechcanical problem, had no issue at all

    have taken it on the mainline sections a few times, never an issue, on comuter sections you may have to wait if there are a few bikes as most services only allow a maximum of a few bikes per service, but most routes have very regular trains, you never have to wait long. most inter city services allow up to four bikes, and is recommended you pre book your bike, but carrige is free, and you can book 2 to 3 months in advance

    Last edited by mint-sauce; 08-16-09 at 11:22 AM.

  8. #8
    London Cyclist andikam's Avatar
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    To be honest I have only ever seen the need to take my bike on the tube twice and both times I just decided to cycle it instead. Not a big fan of the tube.
    I would second the advice by I saw elvis and make sure you start at CTC and British Cycling for local touring groups.
    Think you will find things very different to Portland, Oregon who I believe are very well organised around cyclists? It is a bit more of a jungle out there but nothing you can't get used to after a couple of weeks riding - don't believe any of the hype about the dangers of London until you have tried cycling there yourself. Be interested to hear about your experiences
    My blog: London Cyclist Blog
    Some of the posts I have written: Top 50 cycling blogs, Bike apps for the iPhone

  9. #9
    Senior Member Matt Gaunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andikam View Post
    To be honest I have only ever seen the need to take my bike on the tube twice and both times I just decided to cycle it instead. Not a big fan of the tube.
    I would second the advice by I saw elvis and make sure you start at CTC and British Cycling for local touring groups.
    Think you will find things very different to Portland, Oregon who I believe are very well organised around cyclists? It is a bit more of a jungle out there but nothing you can't get used to after a couple of weeks riding - don't believe any of the hype about the dangers of London until you have tried cycling there yourself. Be interested to hear about your experiences
    Try getting your bike, a large suitcase, two rucksacks and a guitar from Putney to Euston whilst cycling the bike. Then let me know if you'll be doing it again
    Matt
    2010 Kinesis Decade Convert2 Alloy fixie, Miche, Sora Pics soon...
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