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people from london/uk

Old 12-05-06, 01:43 PM
  #1  
robx
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people from london/uk

specifically the kingston area.
i have a bunch of questions about your area. i'm going to be there next semester for school.
-what do you lock your bike up with (dont plan on leaving it over night) and where in london can i buy good locks. i'm not bringing my stuff over there because i can't afford the weight (50 pound limit, and i'm pushing that with the case+bike).
-good bike shops. especially good single speed/fixed specific shops.
-is it possible to ride from kingston to central london easily? what about the airports?
-can i bring my bike on the trains/buses in london?

i dont check this site that regularly, so if you want to email me radavis1@uncc.edu

also, any parts you guys are looking for that you cant get over there? i'm doing that with some records because i know some people that want harder to find punk stuff i can get really easily
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Old 12-05-06, 03:22 PM
  #2  
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Although I'm now in Australia I'm English and lived in London for 8 years or so. I was an almost daily rider. I've lived in Oz for 4 years, so unless things have changed dramatically I assume this info will be kinda current.

I used a D (or U) lock. I had quick release nonsense on the bike and had to cart it around with me. Don't bother with this nonsense and you should be fine. Don't be tempted to free-lock or leave your bike un-locked, fatal.

For my money the best bike shop is Brixton Cycles. You can get some Jamaican food in Brixton too, well worth the trip.

Not sure about riding to Central London from Kingston. I used to get around Lonodn very freely and although Kingston is in the suburbs I don't see why it should be a problem.

Bikes can go on trains and tubes (although not popular). Avoid rush-hour. Bus' are a no-no.

Enjoy Blighty, you'll get fat, everyone does.
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Old 12-05-06, 05:44 PM
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you won't be able to ride from the airports to london, but kingston to central london is probably do-able in an hour and a bit. [about the same time as taking the train]

you can take bikes on overground trains out of rush hour.
you can take bikes on the tube, but not underground
and you can't take bikes on busses.

as said, brixton cycles is awesome. condor cycles on chancery lane is also good, but tend towards high end/race stuff [think corima rims, campy record].

online, st johns street cycles are really good.

fsnl
sparky
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Old 12-06-06, 03:52 AM
  #4  
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Think people pretty much covered it. I don't know jack about the Kingston area as its quite out of central london.

Things are going to be pretty expensive as the exchange rate is so poor and stuff just costs more on this little island.

Condor/Brixton are about the best shops in london for singlespeed/track stuff. Brixton wins handsdown as its a workers owned co-op but don't expect to be blown away with the selection compared to the US. Lots of small shops that carry the odd few things such as Brick Lane Bikes, Witcombe etc.

Locks. Pretty much most of the messenger crowd rocks Abus Granite cable locks. Super beefy, easy to carry, decent amount of proctection. Will run you about 40-50 quid. London suffers from bike thefts but folks don't on the whole tend to steal components from your bike. Keep it indoors overnight.

You can ride to Gatwick from central london (can't find the route map right now but Gatwick is on the national bike network - will take quite some time though esp if you don't know where you're going), not too sure if Heathrow is doable. London cycling campaign has a good website on how to get a bike to and from the airports with public transport:
https://www.lcc.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=394

Should definitely swing by Herne Hill Velodrome if you get a chance (and its open - its outdoors). They held the 1948 Olympics track races there and its a grand ol' mellow track for riding on. Love it:
https://www.hernehillvelodrome.co.uk/
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Old 12-06-06, 04:15 AM
  #5  
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The most common lock for bikes that people clearly want to keep possession of is the Abus Granite:

It fits nicely around the waist, which is where you'll see most messengers carry it.

After that you're into chains, the two top ones are the Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit:


And the Abus Granite Chain:


It is very rare here for cycle thieves to have more than a pair of bolt cutters, so as long as you have thickness on your side they won't be able to get around the lock to cut it.

You'll spot commuters with D-locks, but there's a popular trick of using a car jack to prise them open. So I wouldn't recommend a D-lock unless you're locking it up within view (i.e. you're in a café and *you* can still see your bike).

There's loads of street furniture to which you can lock your bike, but beware of poles that have signs on, parking meters, and other things that the bike can be lifted over. If it's below 10ft tall they will manage to lift your bike and sort out removing the lock later.

Don't trust bike lockups at the University, it's better to lock the bike on the street with a damn good lock. The bike racks are usually too flimsy and just bolted to the floor in the Uni's, and just like in the US it's a popular place for the more dedicated bike thieves to scout for a lot of bikes in one go.

And as you're in Kingston, pop along to Sigma Sports near Kingston bridge, you'll find it on the other side of the river on the right (if you're coming from Kingston town center). Their URL is here and although they do road bikes primarily they can pretty much get most things you might want: https://www.sigmasport.co.uk/home.html

For rides:

Richmond Park for road laps, go counter-clockwise to make easy work of the one hill of note, and to avoid having to go on the outside of the 4 small roundabouts.

Herne Hill for track riding, Saturday mornings they welcome anyone and give lessons and advice. They also have racing there. From Kingston, just head into London a little and then follow the South Circular to Clapham and then head South to Herne Hill. Their URL: https://www.hernehillvelodrome.co.uk/

You won't find much in the way of Bike Polo in London, and bars that are focused around riders are limited to a few places that messengers hang out (Duke of York in EC1). There's still some god bike culture though, and Critical Mass is always peaceful here, the meet is under Waterloo Bridge at the Thames on the last Friday of each month at 6pm.

Hope that all helps.
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Old 12-06-06, 04:25 AM
  #6  
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Oh, and Kingston to central London is possible, it just depends on what distances you find manageable.

It's about 12 miles as the bird flies, and to drive is also about that distance. However the route would not be direct as you'd end up going down a couple of major dual carriage ways. Allowing part of the route to go through Richmond Park, picking up the South Circular for a while, and crossing near Vauxhall, you'll end up with a ride just shy of 15 miles.

It's absolutely possible, were you thinking of socialising in central London or just riding up every now and then? Given that it's a bit of a ride, you might want to remember that there are night buses to Kingston from central London and that you will always be fine to get home even in the really early hours. Don't ride drunk here, there's just too much going on on these roads, and pedestrians are unpredictable things.
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Old 12-06-06, 07:15 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by buro9
You won't find much in the way of Bike Polo in London
Untrue, there was a fairly regular bike polo session every sunday last year. Pretty sure its running again this year. Ask around at the Duke and you should be able to find out the details.
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Old 12-06-06, 10:23 AM
  #8  
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I'll add a +1 to sjscycles. Kingston to central as stated is about 12 -13 miles but it will not be an entirely plesent ride. Remember that over here most lanes are narrower than in North America (from my expearience) so even if your on a big road you get squeeezed at bit. Like anything though it is only bad when it is new to you and you will soon get into it.

Bike on tube info
https://www.tfl.gov.uk/tube/using/get...d/bicycles.asp
basicaly no deep lines and not at rush hour.

Bikes on bus as stated no no.
Bike on trains yes but I would not use the train to get into cenral London with a bike but use them to see the rest of the country.

I use a hardened square link chain and lock. Security is like most other large citys.

Kingston is quite a nice place. It is largely a middle class suburb with some very nice areas near by (like Ham). Not very close to central but close enough if you want to go out and there are night buses back which are pritty safe. They just take forever. Avoid drinking in Covent garden and Leicester Square.

Last edited by TheBrick; 12-06-06 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 12-06-06, 11:30 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by TheBrick
Avoid drinking in Covent garden and Leicester Square.
And unfortunately... Kingston at the weekend.
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Old 12-06-06, 11:41 AM
  #10  
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The Works? NEver went there myself But Iwent uni at Brunel (Uxbridge) for my Bsc and had some friends that went to Kingston uni and went to the Works on weekends. Sounded like a meat market.
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Old 12-06-06, 11:48 AM
  #11  
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There used to be a place called Volts (that may also have been The Works). The pink neon sign was the best bit about the place. Describing it as a meat market is a bit unfair to markets. More a meat Lidl...
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Old 12-06-06, 11:54 AM
  #12  
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HA! .

Yeah I think I can rember people saying the name changed. This was back in 99 - 2002 era.

Just read something on buro9 blog about the DC pirates. Kind of a riding / drinking club. May be us London guys should try that he sugested? Be good to meet bikes in London plus drinking .
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Old 12-06-06, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TheBrick
HA! .

Yeah I think I can rember people saying the name changed. This was back in 99 - 2002 era.

Just read something on buro9 blog about the DC pirates. Kind of a riding / drinking club. May be us London guys should try that he sugested? Be good to meet bikes in London plus drinking .

like this?
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Old 12-06-06, 12:17 PM
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Ok already exists. Not supprising really. Whats it called One Perrent Font make it difficult to read.

I ride home after the pub but need to get into some multi tasking / pub crawling with bike.
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Old 12-06-06, 12:24 PM
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says 1 %. all started when ImOnCrank came over for a year of study. we've not been that active recently but i'm sure with a little bit of organisation (over a pint) we can sort out a few more rides.
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Old 12-06-06, 12:27 PM
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I've googled, and cannot find trace of the "One Percent Bicycle and Drinking Club of London England".

Any links?
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Old 12-06-06, 12:34 PM
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Ahhh! My dyslexia spastication comming out to play again!

Yeah sounds good maybe we could try and organise something in Jan? PM me or https://www.myspace.com/ginger_tommy
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Old 12-06-06, 04:11 PM
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London drinking/riding sounds like a good idea, none of my friends ride bikes. Is 1% messenger-orientated? I'm a student thinking about doing some work over Christmas to raise some cash, would be intersted to meet people who could point me in the right direction...
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Old 12-07-06, 10:13 AM
  #19  
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i dont drink so none of this is really an issue.
thanks for the help, links, etc.
i'm sure i'll be posting more once i get over there, because right now, all those routes seems completely insane to me.

so, if i decide to go into london at night, how do i get a bike over there? and why the hell dont they let bikes on the buses?
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Old 12-07-06, 10:24 AM
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space my good man space. Plus any distance you are likly to take a bus can be easaly cycled. You will see.

You will learn the route quickly. Buy an AtoZ and take your time. It will be a bit weird as youwill be learning new traffic rules but take your time and all will be good. The first time I did my route it took me 1.5 hours the next time 1hour 10 min then 1 hour which is standard now unless I am busting a gut and racing.
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Old 12-07-06, 02:31 PM
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Just imagine getting a bike on that!

Besides, you would have in your hands a means of transport that gets you wherever that bus is going but faster. Cycling in London has a higher average speed than any other mode of transport except motorcycles (but if you jump lights you can beat them too ).
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Old 12-08-06, 03:41 AM
  #22  
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If you're going to be in kingston your closest top end bike shop will be Sigma Sport they're a pro bike shop and tend not to deal with fixies but are really friendly and useful, lots of kit, parts, locks, etc. otherwise if your in central then condor's probably your best bet.

The cycle from kingston to central is quite popular so you'll have lots of people to pace/race against.
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