Biking in London

A bit of a silly, random photo for you today. I took this shot last week in the East End just for the colours and because I love all of the half-bicycles sitting around the city. People always tell me I take photos of weird things, but that’s the beauty of living here! All the quirky stuff like this…


Also, because I’ve been thinking about getting a bike.

Here are a happy cycling fact for you from “People in cars are exposed to three times more air pollution than pedestrians or cyclists.”

So, I need your opinions…How many of you bike to work in London every morning? Thoughts? Close calls? Positives? Negatives? Leave me some comments and have a great weekend!

(If you have any London bike photos of your own, add them to the Flickr pool for a chance to be featured.)

7 comments on “Biking in London

  1. When I was in London I would beat the train/tube connection across London to go to work. London drivers are great to share the roads with, so long as you obey the rules and are predictable. i.e. no nervous stops and starts and go with the flow, signal and be deliberate and confident with your movements.
    Stick to the official bike routes (little blue bike traffic signs), A group called the LCC (London Cycle Club, If I remember correctly!) have done a lot of home work and produced a great bicycle netwok map of London.
    Never undertake a truck or bus, as long as you can see the driver in the rear view mirror, he can still see you. Once you are right beside him on his left, he loses sight of you.
    Good luck – I’m sure you will find it enjoyable. 🙂


    PS. I’m not so confident about sharing the roads where I live now – Us Australian drivers are so territorial in comparison. Our wide and open spaces have meant that we have never really had to, or learned to, share the roads.

    • Hi Alan,

      Thanks for the long and thoughtful comment. Great to know there’s a map out there. My sense of direction is miserable so I’ll certainly be getting my hands on one of those. Thanks for the advice about the trucks as well.

      Hopefully those crazy Aussie drivers sort themselves out for you 🙂


  2. I know a lot of people who cycle to work. One comes from Forest Hill to Woolwich, and another from Camden to Woolwich. My flatmate used to cycle from Bermondsey to Debtford, too. I think it’s just a matter of having the right protective gear and actually knowing how to cycle in this country. Once I took a bike to pick up a package and it was one of the most fearful things in the WORLD! Cycling on the left-hand side? WEIRD!?

  3. Good luck! Before doing so here’s a check-list
    * Body armour
    * Private healthcare
    * Last will and testament
    I LOVE everything about that shot! I can’t even offer any helpful critique, it simply works perfectly!

  4. Hi Stef,

    I cycle 15 miles to work every day and I go through east london- so I fear nothing. My advice is if you’re turning or pulling out of the cycle lane- do it with confidence. Signal your intentions clearly and don’t hesitate. Give buses and lorries a lot of room and hang back for the reasons already stated. Pedestrians frighten me a lot more than drivers I have to say. Slow down if you are in a crowded area with lots of parked cars and clearly marked crossing. These will be ignored and people will run out between the parked cars to cross the road (maybe its an east London thing) and will do it so fast you will not have time to stop or dodge if you are going fast. Bethnal green is the only area I have come across (and forest gate) where people look AT you as they walk into the road. I have had most of my close calls thanks to pedestrians- one in upper street where this guy ran into the road while looking the opposite direction. I nearly came off and when I shouted abuse at him (surprising given he scared the hell out of me) I got threatened with a fine by some community support plod who hadn’t seen what happened.

    I would get 2 locks- one for the front and one for the back wheel. Get a bike from a small independent shop. I used a great one in Hendon. They gave me a free service and also fixed a problem on my bracket that brick lane bikes said was unsolvable. The bike lasted another 9 months. I recommend E1 cycles in commercial st (the far end). They won’t rip you off and know their stuff

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