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Look Mum no hands! -Thursday

Corporate CamperCorporate Camper Posts: 293
edited February 2013 in Commuting chat
So, this Lady is giving a talk at a Bike Cafe in Old St, London on Thursday evening and I want to go...

I'm not a London commuter, but I'll be working in Stockley (near Heathrow) on Thursday and I'm thinking of leaving the car there and cycling in and back.

I suppose my question is... How do you find your way around in London? I'd come down the Uxbridge road and eventually Oxford St, but I think I'm bound to take a wrong turn after that! iPhone Sat Nav in one ear, or is that just being a big girlie girl about it?
'12 CAAD 8 Tiagra


  • The route from Oxford Circus to Old Street is very easy. If you look on google maps you can see that you keep heading east on the A40, which is what Oxford Street is, past Tottenham Court Road tube station; along Theobolds Road which turns in to Clerkenwell Road as it crosses Grays Inn Road and finally become Old St as it approaches the nasty roundabout itself.

    There will be lots of cyclists going in the same direction and you may see me going the other on a Boris bike.
  • clarkey catclarkey cat Posts: 3,641
    its the main courier route from west to east so just follow all the guys with dreadies on fixies.
  • I'll see you there CC!

    "Let's just all be really careful out there folks!"
  • I really enjoyed tonight; proper inspirational stuff! That was also my first visit to a "bike cafe", I'm impressed...

    I don't normally commute in London, so that was an adventure too!
    '12 CAAD 8 Tiagra
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    I'd be really interested in hearing your opinion about commuting in London... a new perspective would be good to hear
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • I worked in Chalk Farm for a while, but I only cycled a handful of times as I drove in every day and cycling was more hassle.

    If I commute these days (and I should more than I do) then it's a very rural 15 miles each way and it's doubtful I'd see another cyclist on the route.

    I really enjoy cycling in London, it's just so "different"! The only thing I was a bit worried about was finding my way round, but I managed ok with only a couple of minutes on Google Maps beforehand.

    I suppose the thing you notice most as a newbie to London Rush-hour cycling is just how many bikes there are, there were loads! You might think that would be a "safety in numbers" sort of thing but I find that it's the other bikes that I tend to be on the lookout for more than the cars/busses etc.

    The other thing is the road surface is pretty rubbish, out in the country it's quite bad but I found a lot of the city streets quite uncomfortable on a road bike.

    Lastly; how many traffic lights??? It was hard to get a rhythm going when you have to stop every 300yds (felt like it!)
    '12 CAAD 8 Tiagra
  • pete54pete54 Posts: 488
    I worked in Chalk Farm for a while, but I only cycled a handful of times as I drove in every day and cycling was more hassle.

    Hard to believe that driving in London was less hassle than cycling.
  • pete54 wrote:
    I worked in Chalk Farm for a while, but I only cycled a handful of times as I drove in every day and cycling was more hassle.

    Hard to believe that driving in London was less hassle than cycling.

    The hassle part was getting to within cycling distance. I was driving in each day from Bicester in Oxfordshire so I'd have to park somewhere and cycle from there. Couldn't take the train as it was too expensive compared to a company car and fuel card.
    '12 CAAD 8 Tiagra
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Blimey CC - swapping the lanes around Claydon for London is a bit of a jump in excitement levels :)

    Only time I've ridden in London has been on a Saturday afternoon (twice) from St Johns Wood to Hackney for the Dunwich Dynamo. First impression is that it seems mad as can be but it soon becomes clear that no-one is trying to kill anyone (mostly), there's just more people on the roads but they all give as much space as some old boy in his Land Rover coming out of Poundon would, so it stops being scary. Biggest hassle for me was all the junctions & red lights - wouldn't fancy jumping them with so much traffic around.

    ETA well done on seeing the talk. I've been following Emily's blog since [I think] you flagged it up not so long ago. It would have been good to get down and see her talk and maybe get a chance to chat to her. Did you manage to catch her afterwards?
  • You're right, it was a bit of a change of pace. I was by far the least cool person in the place too, probably should have left the Barbour jacket and Labrador at home...

    The thing is; when you are cycling in the country it's easy (probably mandatory) to sort of drift off in to your own world and think deep thoughts (like what to have for dinner), but in somewhere as crowded as London you need to pay a bit more attention. I find it quite exceiting, but if I was doing it every day it might be a bit tiresome.

    I was pleased I went to the talk. Normally I think "I would like to do that" but I talk myself out of it, this year I'm going to try and follow through with more of my "good ideas". Unfortunatly I couldn't hand around for long afterwards as I had to collect my parters daughter from work at 10pm, there's always something!
    '12 CAAD 8 Tiagra
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