Recommend me some safe central London cycle routes to ride for fun.
September 2, 2011 12:28 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to do boris-biking for fun and exercise? I'm visiting the capital next week, and looking for recommendations of very quiet or ideally traffic-free routes in London - central enough to be able to do in a series of <30m boris-bike hires. Hyde Park and Regents Park are obvious options - are there any others?
posted by handee to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Boris biking is fun, no doubt. And plenty of exercise - they're heavy buggers. But outside of the parks, London's full of traffic.

Perhaps try the Regent's canal towpath. Not too bad during weekdays, but astoundingly busy with walkers buggies, cyclists, anglers etc at the weekends. Also added thrills from nearly bashing your head on the low bridges and the constant threat of falling in the canal.

Also, the South Bank, maybe.
posted by ComfySofa at 2:10 PM on September 2, 2011

When at Regents Park I strongly suggest cycling around rather than through the park. The bike lane that goes through the park is always terribly crowded with a fairly chaotic pedestrian traffic, while the loop that goes around is low on traffic and generally a pleasure (and very pretty too, with the park on one side and lovely buildings on the other).

If you're going to be here on the weekend, Boris Bikes are a great way to look around the City as traffic is minimal on Sundays. Another pleasant route (on weekends) is meandering from Islington to Bloomsbury. It's downhill, and you must take care to avoid the Pentonville and Euston roads. You can get spectacular views across to the BT Tower from some of the quiet squares off Amwell Street. North of the Pentonville Road, there are some quiet, pretty streets around Barnard Park.
posted by tavegyl at 4:01 PM on September 2, 2011

Picking a couple of places you'd like to stop at and getting cyclestreets to plot a route between them might work--it automatically offers a choice of quickest, quietest, and 'balanced' routes. Of course, this being London the quietest route might still be pretty busy, but worth a try.

Or get straight down to searching for cycle routes on the Sustrans website.

I cycled three miles across central London yesterday without doing either of these things first, so I was on extremely busy roads all the way. Some taxi drivers are fast, mean buggers, but the bus lanes helped a great deal and a number of other things make life a bit easier for cyclists too.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 4:04 AM on September 4, 2011

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