30 Oct 2012


Recently I've become much more likely to cycle somewhere than take the bus/train. 

Various reasons:
  • Cheaper
  • Sometimes quicker
  • Good exercise
  • Makes me know areas better
Now my head office has moved into central London it costs me £5.10 at peak times to get there/back. Whereas I could just hop on a bus (and my work pay for my bus pass...), now I have to get a train and tube. Thankfully I only HAVE to do this on Mondays for staff meeting...but even still I have tested out cycling into work and it's doable. It takes about 50 mins from my house which is roughly the same amount of time it takes to go by train (when you include walking from my house to the station). I don't think I'll be doing it all the time (defo not in rain/adverse weather conditions) but as much as is feasibly possible.

Around Lewisham sometimes it is quicker just to cycle. Means I don't have to wait for a bus. Places aren't near enough that you can walk to them all, but cycling is generally quicker than waiting for a bus and then stopping every few mins at stops. 

If you know me you know that I love sports. I always have. I used to play loads of things at uni but since coming to London it's been really tricky to find a sports team which I can flexibly join. Work/Church means I don't have loads of spare time in evenings/weekends and so I can never be free enough to train and play in games. Cycling is good exercise seeing as I am not doing any other form of it any more!

I've been living in Lewisham for over a year now and feel like I know it quite well. I know pretty much every bus route, all the stations, generally know how areas link up....BUT I don't know short cuts...to me knowing short cuts is a sign you know a place inside out :) Cycling helps to really know areas better as you don't always stick to roads. 

HOWEVER..cycling in London does not have a good press. It is a bit mental. What would your top tips be for me cycling about? 


  1. Naomi, I've never cycled in London but my tips for cycling in cities from experience would be to:

    look out for vehicles parking further up the road from you as when they open their door they may not see you approaching from behind

    wear a helmet (see above)

    look out for people chucking cigarette butts out the car window

  2. Welcome to the club Naomi!

    I'm not convinced that cycling in London really is that dangerous... If I had to give my top tips I'd say:

    Wearing something shiny is a good idea.

    If you're cycling past parked cars give them a door's width clearance if you possibly can, if not then don't go too quick, people often don't check for cyclists when they open their doors.

    Obviously cycle on the left, by the kerb, when you can, but if you have to cycle in a different lane (if you're turning right for example) cycle in the middle of the lane (not on the the left of it) otherwise you can get cars going past on both sides, which is a bit scary. The cars behind you will have to slow down but that's ok.

    Most cyclists that get badly hurt are hurt by large vehicles turning left at traffic lights. So, at traffic lights avoid waiting to the left of the traffic, especially if the vehicle at the front is large or is signalling left. Try to wait in front of the traffic, between two cars or to the right of the queue if there's space.

  3. Loving the advice Alison and D-Stell - David I have yet to try out your advice about torches and elastic bands, but watch this space!