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Training around London

erksimsekerksimsek Posts: 18
edited May 2019 in Road general
Hello! I moved to Central London a while ago, but could not find any good routes to train on, so temporarily quit road cycling. I tried the roads of Essex, which are excellent, but it takes me about an hour of commuting until I get to the training route. Richmond Park is okay, but also far away from where I am (Old Street). Does anyone have any recommendations for a quick route for morning rides (1.5-2 hours)?

Posts

  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    If I was you I would do the usual regents, Richmond laps in the week and then hop on a train and hit the chilterns or South Downs at the weekend. Issue with London is it takes you 45 minutes to hit decent roads which eats into your ride time.
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 752
    If you're in Old St, you probably need to get on the train for 30 minutes, in almost any direction for 30-40 minutes and then start riding. Will save you about 90 minutes each way of riding. Go south west towards Dorking and hit the Surrey Hills - like a lot of people - plenty of scenic routes but still full of Chelsea tractors driven by idiots that will think you are a bump in the road as they drive over you. Or go more south towards Caterham and ride the roads that criss cross the M25, less busy, possibly a bit more challenging. Or the Chilterns, NW ish of London. The earlier in the morning you can start the better
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Regents park laps, also hill reps on Swains Lane/Highgate West Hill.

    You can do laps/repeats at the front of Alexandra Palace, decent enough climb, good view from the top.

    So for speed work laps of Regents Park inner/outer circle, hill work you can either do simple repeats of the above or create a route around all the north london climbs.

    Slightly further out, there's Epping Forest (Mott Street is another fairly well known climb), Mill Hill, Totteridge - all fairly reachable for a quick ride.

    Problem with hopping on a train for a ride is that in itself takes time, and I'm guessing time is the limiting factor?
  • isotonikisotonik Posts: 50
    yeh London is not the best, hop on a train
  • erksimsekerksimsek Posts: 18
    Thanks very much for the recommendations, it sounds like hopping on the train for the weekends. Highgate West Hill and Alexandra Place sound interesting for the week days, I'll give them a try this week.
  • cookeeemonstercookeeemonster Posts: 1,960
    I've heard the Olympic park roads are pretty quiet and good for training, not tried them.myself though. Could also pay £5 or whatever to train on the actual road race track there, but that would get boring after a while of course
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,689
    imo highgate west hill isn't so good once the traffic gets going, it's narrow and has too many drivers coming from side streets without looking/caring

    swains lane is quieter, another good option is the private road up through holly lodge estate, road name is hillway, left turn off swains lane coming from the roundabout

    from old street head to the a1, follow until archway then highgate hill is a good climb up to the top where you can cut across to highgate west hill, descend to the roundabout, first left into swains lane

    for early weekdays, doing laps around regent's park is as good a it gets in london, inner circle is a bit dull but has the advantage of no traffic lights, outer circle has a few but if you get stopped at more than a couple it's unusual. watch out for squirrels and idiot runners
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • TiesetrotterTiesetrotter Posts: 432
    There are a few options. But with that amount of time you won't be getting out of London.

    There are a huge amount of clubs that use Regents Park for early morning chaingangs as well as a huge amount of people solo training round and around. Check out this website for the main users:

    http://regentsparkcyclists.com/clubs-and-sponsors/

    Your other bet is to either join the general RaphaCC rides or join them as a club. They have a group that does very early morning hill training in North London around Alexandria Palace
  • sam_anonsam_anon Posts: 165
    Dirty WKND have a load of good routes on their website, check them out!

    I rode from Old Street into Essex yesterday, it can be quicker than you think to get out passed the M25.

    Good luck!
  • cookeeemonstercookeeemonster Posts: 1,960
    sam anon wrote:
    Dirty WKND have a load of good routes on their website, check them out!

    I rode from Old Street into Essex yesterday, it can be quicker than you think to get out passed the M25.

    Good luck!


    They have a very professional social media presence and website, and seem pretty good.

    Then you look at how much they charge to join their club...jesus.

    £99 per year or £9.99 a month...but you do get "free group rides" with that.

    Just wow.
  • cookeeemonstercookeeemonster Posts: 1,960
    sam anon wrote:
    Dirty WKND have a load of good routes on their website, check them out!

    I rode from Old Street into Essex yesterday, it can be quicker than you think to get out passed the M25.

    Good luck!


    They have a very professional social media presence and website, and seem pretty good.

    Then you look at how much they charge to join their club...jesus.

    £99 per year or £9.99 a month...but you do get "free group rides" with that.

    Just wow.

    ...I actually looked a bit more on their website. They charge between £5-£10 per group ride...including an hour laps around Regents and Richmond park. Free public roads that are full of groups of cyclists anyway.

    https://www.dirtywknd.com/collections/join-a-group-ride

    Not sure whether I feel mildly outraged or jealous that I didn't think of this first. Normal London clubs should take note - you are potentially losing members to these - you need to maybe up your social media game or try to appeal to more inexperienced cyclists?
  • TiesetrotterTiesetrotter Posts: 432
    That is madness. All the clubs in London do training of every sort for free.

    Dulwich Paragon, for example, do Wednesday & Thursday Chaingangs from Elmers end for all levels. Start just after 7pm and you are back in Crystal Palace two hours later after traversing the North Downs and pummeled down Pilgrims way.

    I bet Islington do similar things North of London.
  • sam_anonsam_anon Posts: 165
    sam anon wrote:
    Dirty WKND have a load of good routes on their website, check them out!

    I rode from Old Street into Essex yesterday, it can be quicker than you think to get out passed the M25.

    Good luck!


    They have a very professional social media presence and website, and seem pretty good.

    Then you look at how much they charge to join their club...jesus.

    £99 per year or £9.99 a month...but you do get "free group rides" with that.

    Just wow.

    ...I actually looked a bit more on their website. They charge between £5-£10 per group ride...including an hour laps around Regents and Richmond park. Free public roads that are full of groups of cyclists anyway.

    https://www.dirtywknd.com/collections/join-a-group-ride

    Not sure whether I feel mildly outraged or jealous that I didn't think of this first. Normal London clubs should take note - you are potentially losing members to these - you need to maybe up your social media game or try to appeal to more inexperienced cyclists?

    I like them because they're super newcomer friendly, some London clubs ask you join for a qty of newcomer rides before you can join, whereas you can dip in and out with DW as you like.

    Sure, riding a bike generally is "free", but if you're wanting to ride with a group of like-minded people, on tried and tested routes, then the fee is cheaper than a month of gym sessions, classes, game of 5-a-side etc.
  • cookeeemonstercookeeemonster Posts: 1,960
    I do get that they're trying to be newcomer friendly, which is good...but a lot of clubs are also newcomer friendly for a fraction of the price. I wonder if people know that?

    I'm not even an old school clubbie or anything, but standard yearly membership for clubs is around £20 normally and most I've seen welcome newcomers for free until they're ready to join.

    Each to their own. Yes it's cheaper than a gym
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,961
    Each to their own. Yes it's cheaper than a gym

    Yeah, but a gym membership covers business rates and building rent/ rates, heating, lighting, shower facilities, a ton of expensive leased or owned gym equipment and for several staff plus cleaning and maintenance costs.

    The club mentioned doesn’t have any of these costs, you pay for all the equipment and maintenance (your bike and kit), for the infrastructure (the roads through taxation) and even for the shower when you get home! I really can’t see the value in group riding for such a high price when any club offers such for free after the annual membership of circa £20 is paid.

    I ride with five different groups locally - four of them all clubbies from around the local area and the other just a bunch of cycling mates. We just have a WhatsApp group for each ride, details are posted with a message, and one group actually publishes a list for the midweek rides for the whole year in advance. Works really well and not one penny changes hands for any of the rides.

    PP
  • sam_anonsam_anon Posts: 165
    Pilot Pete wrote:
    Each to their own. Yes it's cheaper than a gym

    Yeah, but a gym membership covers business rates and building rent/ rates, heating, lighting, shower facilities, a ton of expensive leased or owned gym equipment and for several staff plus cleaning and maintenance costs.

    The club mentioned doesn’t have any of these costs, you pay for all the equipment and maintenance (your bike and kit), for the infrastructure (the roads through taxation) and even for the shower when you get home! I really can’t see the value in group riding for such a high price when any club offers such for free after the annual membership of circa £20 is paid.

    I ride with five different groups locally - four of them all clubbies from around the local area and the other just a bunch of cycling mates. We just have a WhatsApp group for each ride, details are posted with a message, and one group actually publishes a list for the midweek rides for the whole year in advance. Works really well and not one penny changes hands for any of the rides.

    PP

    That's an envious position to be in, sounds great!
  • Daft question, but how do they justify the fee ? Where do they say the money goes ?
  • Thigh_burnThigh_burn Posts: 489
    Might be worth you looking into the Rapha Cycle Club rides from the Spitalfields club house on the weekends. I'm pretty sure that non-club members can ride once (or more) to try it out. Everything I've heard about RCC is positive despite the haters of the brand. Supposedly very friendly rides etc. On cost, if you're a coffee drinker and have a club house near you, you should find membership pays for itself in free coffee fairly quickly.
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