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To not feel safe cycling in London?

(8 Posts)
Notcontent Mon 29-Jun-20 12:51:24

I have had bikes in the past but to a large extent my cycling experience is more limited to cycling on holiday along bike paths in other countries, etc.

But recently, like many other people, I have bought a new bike, to hopefully do some bike rides with my teen over the summer and beyond (as there is not much else to do!).

We have been out on a few bike rides now, but I have to confess I find them a bit stressful as I don’t feel completely safe. We try to avoid busy roads, but it’s impossible to completely avoid them. The worst areas are where the street is narrow with cars parked on the side. Have also had really scary instances of cars gong past too close.

I would love to be able to cycle to work but I just can’t see that happening - peak hour traffic would be even more scary. Is it just me?

OP’s posts: |
Hingeandbracket Mon 29-Jun-20 12:57:00

YANBU I wouldn't dare cycle in most parts of London or any big city (in the UK).

In London some of the other cyclists are at least as scary as the cars etc, albeit less likely to kill you.

Notcontent Mon 29-Jun-20 13:08:09

I know what you mean about other cyclists!

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Paul72 Mon 29-Jun-20 13:20:42

I live near Glasgow and before this pandemic would sometimes cycle to the station, take my bike on the train, and then cycle to where I was going in London. I don't know London well and there is lots of traffic but I have always felt safe cycling there. I think there are lots of bike lanes.

Notcontent Mon 29-Jun-20 14:05:25

That’s interesting Paul72. I am in North London and there are not many bike lanes. There are some short stretches of bike lanes, but they really are very short and so of not much use.

OP’s posts: |
PaulinePetrovaPosey Mon 29-Jun-20 14:18:19

I cycle in London almost daily when I'm at work, and honestly you do get used to it. But don't do anything that feels unsafe or scary - hop off and push if you don't fancy cycling.

If you do one particular route regularly you could try it once when it's really quiet to get used to junctions ect without too many cars - I once cycled my commute at 6am on a Sunday so I could properly feel comfortable with it.

Once you get in the swing of it cycling in London is great. Always faster than the bus, and often faster than the tube.

Enjoy!

Notcontent Mon 29-Jun-20 14:37:39

Thanks Pauline - some good tips.

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MotherWol Mon 29-Jun-20 14:40:58

YANBU, it can be intimidating, and many drivers are impatient and aggressive. That said, once you get into the swing of it, it can also be liberating (not having to rely on buses!), great exercise and really enjoyable. It's worth looking into some cycle training - many councils offer it for free - which will help you plan safe routes and gain a bit of confidence with your road positioning. It's easier said than done, but confidence and assertiveness does help, and the infrastructure in the centre of the city is improving a lot. Stick with it!

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