Whether you’re conscious of reducing your carbon footprint or trying to get fit as you commute, cycling is nothing but a good thing. Today’s post is dedicated to cycling safely in London, with handy schemes, apps, general advice and a list of cycling-related events.
The Santander Cycles scheme is just as easy as it seems. Go to a docking station, book in with your bank card and hey presto, you’re a cyclist! With this scheme, you can hire a bike, cycle it wherever you’d like, and return it to a docking station of your choice. There’s also an app that you can put on your phone, making hiring a bike all the more convenient. The app will send a specific code directly to your phone, allowing you to skip past the terminal and instantly access a bike. On the app, you’ll receive plenty of handy information, such as where the closest docking station is, a live bike availability feed, an interactive map, your recent journeys taken and a list of your bike charges. The app also allows you to save specific docking stations as ‘Favorites’, as well as searching by tube and train stations, famous landmarks and street names. If cycling around London wasn’t easy before, it certainly is now!
General Tips for Cycling in London
- Be aware of hazards: just like driving, you should be just as cautious on a bike as you are in a car. Keep left unless you’re approaching a junction and keep clear enough of parked cars so that you’re not knocked off by an opening door.
- Be visible: for your own safety, it’s imperative that you wear visibility clothing when cycling. Pick up a high visibility jacket, as well as reflective bands that you can attach to your wrists, ankles or backpack. And don’t just wear them during the dark mornings or evenings, all the time. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Practice your signals: as a cyclist, you’re faced with the disadvantage of not having indicators as you would in a car. This is where your signals come into play! Make sure you know each of the different ones, so that everyone knows what you’re up to and no accidents happen as a result of confusion. Always complete your signals with one hand firmly on the handlebars for your own safety.
- Be sensible: watch out for other road users, use your “mirrors” (AKA your shoulders), and an obvious one: don’t cycle under the influence. Here’s an easy rule of thumb; if you wouldn’t do it in a car, don’t do it on a bike. By putting all of these tips into practice, you’re helping yourself as well as everyone else on the road. Yay safety!
Cycling Events In/From London
- Mayor of London’s Sky Ride: London Freewheeler, active since 2007
- World Naked Bike Ride, active since 2004
- Critical Mass, National Film Theater, the last Friday of the month at 7PM
- Bike Week: a week-long celebration annually in June
- London to Brighton for charity
- London to Paris for charity
- Dunwich Dynamo, annual overnight bike ride to Suffolk, active since 1993
- The Tweed Run, annual bike ride wearing tweed to represent the beginning years of British cycling, active since 2009
- London Cycling Awards, celebrates the best improvements for cyclists every year
Going to London soon? Check out our range of London tours!