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Cycling to Heathrow

rhodrichrhodrich Posts: 866
edited July 2019 in Commuting chat
As part of the Brexit Dividend™, my work are sending me over to our Dublin office Monday to Thursday, with Friday in our London office. I'll therefore be flying in and out of Heathrow quite a lot.

Given that I'll have a flat over there, I won't have much in the way of luggage, so I was planning on cycling to and from the airport at this end. Was just wondering if anyone here had had any experience of this? It all looks rather intimidating. I'd probably be cycling to Terminal 4, where there are apparently bike racks somewhere. From there, it looks like I can pick up a train/tube to terminal 2 or 5 (depending on whether I use Aer Lingus or BA).

Oh, and if anyone here is in Dublin, and wants to meet up for a bike ride over there, I'm all ears! Not sure whether to fly over one of my bikes, or just buy something cheap and cheerful over there.
1938 Hobbs Tandem
1956 Carlton Flyer Path/Track
1960 Mercian Superlight Track
1974 Pete Luxton Path/Track*
1980 Harry Hall
1986 Dawes Galaxy
1988 Jack Taylor Tourer
1988 Pearson
1989 Condor
1993 Dawes Hybrid
2016 Ridley Helium SL
*Currently on this

Posts

  • crossedcrossed Posts: 237
    There's bike racks outside arrivals at T4. From what I'm led to believe there have been a few thefts from the T4 bike racks.
    There's a more secure bike parking area at the Heathrow Cycle Hub on the Northern Perimeter Road and you can get a free bus in to T2 or T5.
  • rhodrichrhodrich Posts: 866
    Crossed wrote:
    There's bike racks outside arrivals at T4. From what I'm led to believe there have been a few thefts from the T4 bike racks.
    There's a more secure bike parking area at the Heathrow Cycle Hub on the Northern Perimeter Road and you can get a free bus in to T2 or T5.


    Thanks. I did look at the Cycle Hub option, but its the other side of the airport from where I am. I guess it's only an extra mile. Can I rely on the busses from there though? I don't want to be having to wait half an hour for a bus to turn up.
    1938 Hobbs Tandem
    1956 Carlton Flyer Path/Track
    1960 Mercian Superlight Track
    1974 Pete Luxton Path/Track*
    1980 Harry Hall
    1986 Dawes Galaxy
    1988 Jack Taylor Tourer
    1988 Pearson
    1989 Condor
    1993 Dawes Hybrid
    2016 Ridley Helium SL
    *Currently on this
  • Ill ask a cycling mate who's a construction engineer for Heathrow, he rides in each day but they get to dump bikes before the tunnel and hop on a staff shuttle I think. The pedestrian/cyclist tunnel was getting revamped I believe, not sure if it's open though.
    If I know you, and I like you, you can borrow my bike box for £30 a week. PM for details.
  • crossedcrossed Posts: 237
    There's any amount of busses going to the terminals. All of the local route buses are free for pedestrians from Bath Road/Perimeter Roads into the terminals.
  • JBVRVJBVRV Posts: 27
    I did it a couple of times to terminal 5 and it worked a treat. Always worth being extra careful on the roads around the airport as people often aren't expecting cyclists.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    JBVRV wrote:
    Always worth being extra careful on the roads around the airport as people often aren't expecting cyclists.
    To say nothing of people figuring out the controls of their new hire car, whilst adjusting seats/mirrors and trying to remember which way they're supposed to circumnavigate each roundabout.

    Minicab drivers seem to become even more homicidal in direct proportion to their proximity to an airport.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,978
    If you're been sent to Dublin Monday-Thursday, you should barter for Friday as a paid day off.

    Aah, this takes me back.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • rhodrichrhodrich Posts: 866
    Thanks all. I guess I'll just have to give it a go, and work out what works best. Hopefully, it's not going to be too busy at 5am on a Monday morning.....
    Ben6899 wrote:
    If you're been sent to Dublin Monday-Thursday, you should barter for Friday as a paid day off..

    I wish! They initially wanted to send me out there Monday to Friday. My being allowed to work out of the London office on a Friday (thereby being able to see my family during the week) was the best I could bargain for.
    1938 Hobbs Tandem
    1956 Carlton Flyer Path/Track
    1960 Mercian Superlight Track
    1974 Pete Luxton Path/Track*
    1980 Harry Hall
    1986 Dawes Galaxy
    1988 Jack Taylor Tourer
    1988 Pearson
    1989 Condor
    1993 Dawes Hybrid
    2016 Ridley Helium SL
    *Currently on this
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Well this sucks a bit!

    Just a thought, but are you planning to board a plane, following a nice, sweaty ride, and thereby treat the passengers in your immediate vicinity to the slightly agricultural smell of fusty cyclist? :)
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    Hey Rodrich - I work at Heathrow and used to commute in from SW London. TBH, it isn’t the BEST commute in the world, but the airport are trying to make it better (and hopefully expansion will give them the scope to make it better in the future as well). There are quite a few cyclists at Heathrow - I think as mentioned above, the cyclehub caters for Heathrow people and those outside as well. https://www.heathrow.com/file_source/He ... timetables Sets out some commuting options - I don’t know T4 cycling I’m afraid, but T5 is pretty easy to get to by bike. There are a few big buses wafting around on the Northern perimeter road and no segregated cycle lines, although I have heard changes are afoot. Recently some speed radar signage and warning signs have gone up and so people don’t hoon it round the permiter road as much as they used to. Despite the prevalence of CCTV, there are some thefts from terminals - so do use a good lock. If one terminal suits you better than another, you can get around by free transport - HEx every 15 minutes to/from T2/3 and T5, TfL rail every 15-30 min between T2/3 and T4 and there is a bus between T4/5 as well as the underground options (cost). Bus links are also free. You can also get a bike on the T5 car parking pods if you fancy riding on those!

    You can find “pay as you go” lounges in the terminals so you can grab a shower.

    The pedestrian/cyclist tunnel to t2/3 is still closed I’m afraid. Bus in - and it is a free service as well.

    Good luck - will you post on here how you get on? I can feed back to the powers that be and try and make sure your feedback is taken on board.

    Cheers.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,978
    Rhodrich wrote:
    Ben6899 wrote:
    If you're been sent to Dublin Monday-Thursday, you should barter for Friday as a paid day off..

    I wish! They initially wanted to send me out there Monday to Friday. My being allowed to work out of the London office on a Friday (thereby being able to see my family during the week) was the best I could bargain for.

    Keep at em!

    I used to do Monday-Thursday (fly out at 10am Monday, back at 7pm Thursday) with slightly longer hours on Tuesday and Wednesday (paid to travel) to do full hours without Friday.

    I wouldn't have done it otherwise. NFW.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 5,597
    mroli wrote:
    You can find “pay as you go” lounges in the terminals so you can grab a shower.
    I just had a look on the Heathrow website and it was quoting £30 a go which is a lot for just a shower, but a priority pass is £340 for a year. Would your employer pay for that for you as part of the deal? They maybe have some corporate discount for one. Maybe they could send you business class :D
    Or if your company are booking you a year's worth of flights with the same airline they might be able to haggle free access for a shower.

    I found some free showers in Abu Dhabi airport during a layover, not sure if there's anything like that at Heathrow.
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    If you are flying every week on BA you might want to take a look at this... https://pointstobemade.boardingarea.com ... er-tp-run/

    (BA status also works to get you into the lounge when travelling on Aer Lingus, but only if your ticket is booked with a BA flight number. My travel agent isn't capable of doing this. It's one of the long list of things they aren't capable of doing.)
  • rhodrichrhodrich Posts: 866
    This is all fantastic information - lots of options to consider. Thanks! I also hadn't realised that the X26 bus also could be an option. Would mean my cycling to Kingston to pick it up, but that's only 2 miles, so I wouldn't need to get sweaty, and it only costs £1.50, and has 2 stops between Kingston and Heathrow. At 5am, there would be no worries about traffic. Locking up the bike for a few days in Kingston town centre though is not ideal. I'd have to make sure I used one of the ones that aren't good enough to be included on the list below. I guess once I start doing it all regularly, I'll try a few different ways before working out what the best option is. Then there's the journey from Dublin Airport to my office at the other end. Only 10km, so that's all cyclable as well. Would mean keeping a bike stationed at the airport over there too.....

    Not working Friday unfortunately just wouldn't be an option. Unfortunately, my working hours have had to be negotiated with the Central Bank of Ireland, who really want someone in Ireland full time for the role I'm doing. Even persuading them that I can work from the London Office one day a week has been challenging.
    1938 Hobbs Tandem
    1956 Carlton Flyer Path/Track
    1960 Mercian Superlight Track
    1974 Pete Luxton Path/Track*
    1980 Harry Hall
    1986 Dawes Galaxy
    1988 Jack Taylor Tourer
    1988 Pearson
    1989 Condor
    1993 Dawes Hybrid
    2016 Ridley Helium SL
    *Currently on this
  • Buy a brommie and a check it in? Solution for both ends?

    I've a mate who buys a new one each year through the cycle to work scheme then sells it second hand recovering most of his money and escaping having to pay for servicing. It would drag your bike collection forwards in time 26 years though!
    If I know you, and I like you, you can borrow my bike box for £30 a week. PM for details.
  • mouthmouth Posts: 1,195
    Make sure you do the obligatory Guinness and Jameson visits on separate days though. My mate did both in the same afternoon a few years ago and spent the next 24 hours recovering.

    I have nothing whatsoever to add to your travel woes.
    The only disability in life is a poor attitude.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    A 2 mile walk is 40 minutes. I would walk it rather than leave a bike in a town centre for a couple of days.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 17,783
    and the X26 is a great service. Because it barely stops, apart from the detour for Hatton Cross it's almost as quick as a taxi.
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