London has grown ever more cycle-friendly over the last five years, and while the busy capital may not seem like a place you can enjoy a leisurely weekend ride, you may be surprised. New cycle lanes and growing number of cyclists have made things much safer and enjoyable to do a London bike ride.
CME has been out and about (again) and this time the heart of London was the destination.
If travelling in on Southern Rail look out for the doors with red stripes each side and these indicate that an area beside the toilet is available to secure a bike (or bikes). Strapping is provided to keep them stable.
Get a train to London Bridge Station and stop to take in the height of The Shard (310m) Impressive.
Turn right out of the station and cross London Bridge.
Turn left at the T-junction.
Then the next main left takes you towards the Thames where you join the dedicated cycle way which has recently been completed.
This two-way cycle way travels 2 or 3 miles along the Embankment and tracks the north side of the Thames. Of course it has stunning views of iconic London landmarks such as the London Eye and the OXO Tower. There are no cars on this cycleway and you feel safe on a bike without traffic in the centre of London.
It takes you to the Houses of Parliament and the Palace of Westminster. It gets busier here and the path is a bit more convoluted so either cycle or walk. If you are not so confident through tourists and rejoin the cycle path on the other side of Big Ben – or should we now say ‘Queen Elizabeth Tower’ – and once again take in the views.
One mile takes you to Tate Britain which of course houses a magnificent collection of portraits, landscapes and sculptures from the 15th century to present day. Superb Turner has a major prominence so too do Henry Moore and Babara Hepworth. Hockney too for all tastes. The variety is stunning and the coffee bar in the basement serves a good flat white.
Lunch can be anything which takes your fancy. It is London after all and the choice is endless from pub food to fine dining. Two course set meals can be good in well known restaurants to stretch budgets. No need to hunt for a parking space when you’re on a bike either.
If you want to really explore and feel confident then aim to ride to and through Hyde Park, Regents Park and on to St James Park. Time it so you take in the Changing of the Guard (Mon-Sat 11am; Sun 10am).
CME cycled back to Coulsdon and this took a surprisingly short time on the Scott Spark 910. Still finished the day with over half a battery available!
London is on our doorstep and a potter on an e-bike on a quieter day such as a Sunday is a delight. You see so much more and quickly cover ground smiling as you pass knots of traffic and exploring side roads and off the beaten track areas easily and with minimum effort. Just a delight.