Saturday, 22 August 2009

Cycling sites and blogs


Since the tube strike earlier on this summer, I've taken up cycling to work. From door to door it's just more than 5 miles which gives me a good 30 minutes exercise each way. I'm really enjoying cycling; the fresh-ish air, the freedom, I save money plus get a good work out. But as with all things, there are also downsides. I've been inches away from a car bonnet (driver turned out on main road and didn't see me), door (driver chucking open a door without looking) and mad pedestrians who risk their own lives and others by stepping out from pavements without looking.

So whilst it's fun to gain experiences offline, it's nice to share them online.

Here are some of my favourite (London focused) online cycling sources:

Bikeradar.com
This site is a mecca for any cyclist with news, forum, shopping links etc conveniently split into commuting, family, road and mountain biking sections. Now few sites bring out the forum geek in me, but bikeradar.com does. I'd recommend the commuting forum where the 'your rants here' boasts an amazing 76661 views. A few days ago I posted a question on a certain bus lane and had 10+ answers half an hour later! This site and forum in particular is definitely worth visiting. Better to take any rant out to an understanding community than to your friends and family!

The Guardian's bike blog
Trust the Guardian to deliver good quality content and an abundance of hot tempered blog comments! The blog concists of posts on different subjects (safety, racing, commuting, politics etc) by a range of cyclists. The blog is quite 'us' against them which is kind of enjoyable and indulging to read. But the comments often spiral out of control and depart from the initial subject which makes for good and amusing reading.

Recent posts cover exploding tyres (yep happened to me), Copenhagen (lovely city with ideal cycling conditions) and how police should police roads not pavements (216 comments and counting - personally, I think bikes should stay on the road). Classic Guardian good stuff.

TFL's Cycling
Transport for London's cycling section is particularly useful to those new to cycling as it contains handy maps available to order for free and advice to get you going. Before I picked up the courage to hit Lillie Road, Piccadilly and other roads I ordered some of the free maps which contain colour coded cycling routes depending on level of difficulty. You can get 10% off bikes, equipment and clothing at Evans via TFL (voucher here) but the voucher expires end of August so good time to get your stuff now.

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