Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
wilde2
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Joined: 6 Aug 2015, 12:06pm

Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby wilde2 » 6 Aug 2015, 12:13pm

Hi - I would really appreciate some advice. I am considering cycling to work (Liverpool Street to Victoria area) but the traffic worries me, and I haven't been on a bike other than in the gym for years! If I use the tfl journey planner for easiest route (which seems to take me across the river and back), does anyone know if you can get a sat nav for cycles that would work in London where I could put in a route for beginners? Cycling would solve so many problems for me, but frankly the London traffic terrifies me - so I want to minimise risk as much as possible. Any recommendations at all would be gratefully received re routes / boris bikes versus own bike etc.
Thanks so much. (I will venture out on a bike locally first before London of course, but at the moment I don't have a bike)

edocaster
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Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby edocaster » 6 Aug 2015, 1:18pm

If you mean a satnav for while you're riding, I wouldn't recommend that. If it's to plan your route beforehand, you can do a lot worse than going to the tfl site, where you can order (for free) paper cycle maps. They outline which roads have dedicated cycle lanes or shared use facilities (I.e. where you can legally ride on the pavement). Just a useful thing to have anyway.

You can then trial the route on Google street view.

Good luck. London has its hazards, but is definitely worth it for cycling.

wilde2
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Joined: 6 Aug 2015, 12:06pm

Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby wilde2 » 6 Aug 2015, 1:21pm

Thank you, yes that was what I meant - it looks quite a long/complicated route, so I thought a sat nav might help if I went wrong. Out of interest, why would you not recommend this? Thank very much for your suggestions re TFL, I will do that.

TonyR
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Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby TonyR » 6 Aug 2015, 2:00pm

If you've got a smartphone then Google Maps does a decent job of bike navigation for you. Otherwise the more specific CycleStreets app gives you the option of the fastest, quietest or a balanced route.

Alternatively you can plan it at home and export it as a gpx or tcx file which you can import into the Co-Rider app. Used with a cheap bluetooth earpiece you will get turn by turn verbal directions so you don't have to keep looking at the map.

wilde2
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Joined: 6 Aug 2015, 12:06pm

Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby wilde2 » 6 Aug 2015, 2:59pm

Thanks - that was what I was hoping for, something that gives verbal directions so no need to look down. Will look into that, thanks very much.

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Philip Benstead
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Location: Victoria , London

Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby Philip Benstead » 6 Aug 2015, 3:08pm

wilde2 wrote:Hi - I would really appreciate some advice. I am considering cycling to work (Liverpool Street to Victoria area) but the traffic worries me, and I haven't been on a bike other than in the gym for years! If I use the tfl journey planner for easiest route (which seems to take me across the river and back), does anyone know if you can get a sat nav for cycles that would work in London where I could put in a route for beginners? Cycling would solve so many problems for me, but frankly the London traffic terrifies me - so I want to minimise risk as much as possible. Any recommendations at all would be gratefully received re routes / boris bikes versus own bike etc.
Thanks so much. (I will venture out on a bike locally first before London of course, but at the moment I don't have a bike)




Frist of all I suggest you get some free cycle training from here

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/subsites/school ... gform.aspx

I work for these these people, ask for Philip Benstead on the application form

Regarding the bike we can use Santander (formerly Barclays) Cycle Hire Station

I can take you via the best route and give you tips how to deal with traffic
Philip Benstead | CTC London and FORMER CTC Councillor SE
| 0794-980-1698 | philipbenstead1@gmail.com |
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Cycle Ride? http://www.meetup.com/socialcycling4u/
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

wilde2
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Joined: 6 Aug 2015, 12:06pm

Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby wilde2 » 6 Aug 2015, 3:11pm

That is brilliant, thanks, I did not realise anything like that was available. Will have a look now, thank you.

AndyBSG
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Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby AndyBSG » 6 Aug 2015, 3:23pm

Is it suggesting going over London Bridge then crossing back at Westminster Bridge?

Personally i'd never use that route!

The most direct route would be straight down the A2 but, again, it's not a route i'd choose.

I'd probably cycle down to Tower Of London from Liverpool Street then make my way along Embankment to Big Ben. That said, I don't know what state cycling facilities in Embankment are like at present with the new Cycle Highway going in as i've not cycled there since last summer.

wilde2
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Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby wilde2 » 6 Aug 2015, 3:37pm

Yes, when I selected the easy route, that is what it suggested. I assumed it would be embankment, but that is pretty congested as you would expect at the moment with the work going on - ideally I'd like to go along tow paths and through parks, but I don't think there is a route like that!

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Philip Benstead
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Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby Philip Benstead » 6 Aug 2015, 3:40pm

wilde2 wrote:Yes, when I selected the easy route, that is what it suggested. I assumed it would be embankment, but that is pretty congested as you would expect at the moment with the work going on - ideally I'd like to go along tow paths and through parks, but I don't think there is a route like that!


I go along the embankment once a week I would not recommend until Superhighway is finished It is one long traffic jam
Philip Benstead | CTC London and FORMER CTC Councillor SE
| 0794-980-1698 | philipbenstead1@gmail.com |
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Cycle Ride? http://www.meetup.com/socialcycling4u/
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

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bovlomov
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Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby bovlomov » 6 Aug 2015, 4:43pm

My advice for cycling in London is this: There'll always be other cyclists passing you - more skilled, faster, stronger, more reckless, more stupid, more law-breaking, luckier... - take no notice of these and cycle at exactly your own pace, making your own choices. The bloke in front has just whizzed between two buses, but you don't need to.

It sounds bleeding obvious, but it's worth thinking about. Peer pressure is a major influence on cyclists, and if we see everyone else passing us, bending the odd bye-law, breaking a few more, it takes a lot of self-control not to follow. Especially in London, where there are so many other riders to 'learn' from.

wilde2
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Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby wilde2 » 6 Aug 2015, 4:48pm

Thank you for that. I can understand what you are saying, as I travel accross by bus or taxi, so see this a lot. I am a coward though, I am far more likely to be the one pushing the bike than overtaking :lol:

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Philip Benstead
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Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby Philip Benstead » 6 Aug 2015, 4:49pm

bovlomov wrote:My advice for cycling in London is this: There'll always be other cyclists passing you - more skilled, faster, stronger, more reckless, more stupid, more law-breaking, luckier... - take no notice of these and cycle at exactly your own pace, making your own choices. The bloke in front has just whizzed between two buses, but you don't need to.

It sounds bleeding obvious, but it's worth thinking about. Peer pressure is a major influence on cyclists, and if we see everyone else passing us, bending the odd bye-law, breaking a few more, it takes a lot of self-control not to follow. Especially in London, where there are so many other riders to 'learn' from.



Yes , yes , and yes
Philip Benstead | CTC London and FORMER CTC Councillor SE
| 0794-980-1698 | philipbenstead1@gmail.com |
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Cycle Ride? http://www.meetup.com/socialcycling4u/
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

Ant
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Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby Ant » 6 Aug 2015, 4:53pm

Many Nokia (and latterly Microsoft) Lumia phones have a really good sat nav app built in which gives verbal directions with or without the screen on. Attach headphones into ONE ear and you are sorted (before anyone whinges - this is perfectly safe even for a relatively inexperienced rider since you can still hear traffic and the directions only verbalise periodically)

Phone can be screen locked and in your pocket. Not sure if i devices or android phones do this, but I would have thought they do...

PRL
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Re: Newbie considering cycling in London - help!

Postby PRL » 6 Aug 2015, 10:19pm

wilde2 wrote:Thanks - that was what I was hoping for, something that gives verbal directions so no need to look down. Will look into that, thanks very much.


Worth looking at the OsmAnd app. Will plot a route and give you verbal directions.