Cycling around London can be an absolute blast. As cycling is one of the healthiest ways to travel, it is a great way to see the sights of any city you wish to explore, whilst having the option to go wherever you want at a great pace. Today’s London is also becoming more and more cycle-friendly, so now is a better time than any to go for a tour of Britain’s greatest city.
Before you hop on your bike and sail off, however, it is important to be aware of the risk that cycling around a city can bring. Though London is becoming increasingly safer for cyclists, you should always remain vigilant and careful. The top speed around many populated areas of London tends to be twenty miles per hour, but it is important to note that cycle accidents still do happen, regardless of your own vigilance. If you are involved in any such accident, it is important to speak to a professional for help.
Staying Safe On and Off The Road
London is, as said, becoming increasingly more cycle-friendly. Thanks to this initiative, there are many specific cycle paths exclusive to bikes. Where you find them it is best to stick to them, as in many places across London you will not be allowed to cycle on pedestrian pathways. You should also ensure that when on the road you are aware of other cyclists and drivers. Don’t forget to signal and make sure that your bike or clothes have some reflective surface so that you can be easily seen.
Choosing The Right Bike
Choosing a bike for a sightseeing tour is very different when compared to choosing one for a normal ride or trail. There are a few key points that you should consider when picking out your ride. The first is to decide how many gears you need. London is a surprisingly flat city, so you will not need a bike that can push you up hills. In fact, and coming to the second point, you may not need to take your own bike at all! London has Santander Cycles, a system where you can cheaply rent a bike and use it for up to twenty-four hours for a tiny cost. The advantage here is that if you want to get across the city quickly you can simply get off of one hire bike, take the tube and pick one up on the other side. As the tube only accepts folding bikes in some areas, this can be the most efficient way to move around if you plan on going all over London in some pedestrian-only areas.
Taking the eco-route can not only help you feel better but also help the environment. London is a busy city even on the quietest days, so there can often be many cars on the road. The tube can be equally busy, especially when the morning workday rush is on. But you’ll still need to get around quickly, doubly so if you only have a short amount of time to see the sights. The best option would be an electric bike! Not only are they as comfortable as a normal road bike, but they are also self-propelled, charged by the cycling that you do naturally. This means that in areas that would be a long cycle you can lean back and let the bike do all the hard work.
What Route Should You Take?
London is huge, comprising many smaller and very distinct areas. As such, it can be difficult to form a route that would let you see everything in one path. If you have a weekend, or luckier, a week, you should try as many trails as you wish. However, if you only have time for one route, one of the most recommended is the trail from Big Ben to the Tower of London. A five-kilometer route that is entirely on a single cycle lane, so no pesky drivers getting in the way. This route takes you past the Tower of London, The London Eye, The Shard, The Globe, and ends at the Palaces of Westminster. This lets you see the essential parts of London all at once, gliding along the idyllic River Thames in a calm and relaxing trip.
All in all, cycling around London can be one of the best cycling experiences you can have. The beautiful sites, the accessibility and the kind and caring community all contribute to an excellent round trip, so don’t hesitate. Book now, jump on the train and have a brilliant and fun time!