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Cycling in London is one of the most satisfying activities that a cyclist can develop, but in turn it can be dangerous. Since a few years ago and thanks to the initiative that the mayor Boris Johnson (2008-2016), nicknamed Boris Bike, had, the use of the bicycle has been extended in such a way that it is a real spectacle to observe the coexistence between cyclists and motor vehicles.

The first thing that surprises when you watch the cyclists in London is the risk they run. Move around with buses, taxis, trucks, and private cars is an odyssey. However, when looking carefully at the signals assigned to the circulation of bicycles, it is surprising to see that in many spaces bicycles have absolute priority.

Road bikes dominate

The dominance of road bikes over the rest is overwhelming. It is striking to see how Londoners prefer fine wheels instead of more urban options. You only have to look at the numerous bicycle parking lots and check how many good road bikes there are. In addition many of them mounted with automatic pedals.

Secondly, ride bicycles are located, dividing between the folding ones (the Brompton are a legion) and the city ones. Finally, the use of mountain bikes compared to other cities is very limited.

Facilities to use the bicycle

The London City Council is aware of the importance of cycling in a huge city like London. Let us not forget that it is one of the most populated urban areas in Europe. For this reason, it is facilitating its use with the design of multiple routes, classifying them according to the use the cyclist will make of them (quiet, sports, dangerous, by gardens, shared with pedestrians, etc.).

A complete collection of cycling guides (14), classified according to the zones of the capital, are available in cycling stores and in train and metro stations.

Likewise, the bicycle rental network (Barclays Cycle Hire) is very widespread (10000 bicycles and 700 rental stations). The most incredible thing is that anyone over 14 can use them for £2 (information from 2015). All this effort means that more and more Londoners are going to work on bicycles. To this end, the public transport network in London facilitates parking, shelter inside the subway cars and great parking for bicycles. Its objective is summarized in the following motto: “If cycling is good for you, it is good for London”.

The dangers

Many cyclists have lost their lives on the streets of London. The City Council invests resources and efforts in the safety of cyclists but the large dimensions of the city complicate the resolution of the problem.

A successful audiovisual announcement also warned of the danger posed by trucks, due to the blind points of vision that drivers of trucks have. The authorities ask that the cyclist not overtake trucks when they reach roundabouts or changes of direction.

If you are interested in cycling in London, you can see which are the unforgettable routes through the London capital.

If you want to find out about the education system, check out our article on this topic: UK education system.

[Photo from Unsplash]