Cycling in London (Good, Bad and the Ugly)

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    When I have a business meeting in London, I typically cycle to that meeting from the nearest branch line train station. Yesterday I cycled from PAddington Station to Southampton Row. Which is not very far, about a 6 mile round trip.

    Route from Paddington Station to Southampton Row

    I perhaps visit London once a month, and so I do not get a chance to refine routes, I just go where Google Maps takes me.

    The Good

    In this case I headed down to Hyde Park, which is a great place to cycle. It is well worth taking a slight detour to include it in your route.

    The Bad

    On exiting Hyde Park, I wormed up to Oxford Street . . . .

    Oxford Street Cycle

    Cycling along Oxford Street was a real drag. It is not an overly wide street, and was packed with vans and buses. Maintaining a decent speed requires a real “urban warrior” mindset, squashing between buses and cars, and frequently get off to walk sections on the pavement.

    The Ugly

    I am in no way a dramatist but this is not cycling for the faint hearted. The squeezing between moving vehicle thing is to be expected, but the push nature of the drivers was very unnerving. We have all experienced another driver nosing in to a que of traffic. Well imagine a large truck nosing in to a lane that you are currently cycling in. At one point a truck driver completely blocked my lane, I had to get off push along the pavement and then get back on again further down the road.

    The air quality is not great. I do not know what impact this will have on long terms cyclists.


    So this is the reality of London Cycling for the inexperienced. Be prepared to use up some testosterone, if you are cycling anywhere else but parks.

    On the route back to PAddington I cycled through St James PArk, Past Buckingham Palace and then maxed out on Hyde Park before turning north towards Paddington. This was a nice route.

    Environmental Consultants London

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