• The evolution of the bicycle

    If you think that proto-bikes survived the catastrophic extinction of the dinosaurs by skidding around in underground warrens, then you probably need to watch this fascinating BBC documentary on the evolution of the bicycle.

  • London Cycle Hire directs cyclists the wrong way down one-way streets

    In the spirit of balanced reporting, I should point out that the cycle hire bikes are generally excellent; but naturally I do think there is an issue surrounding them regarding navigation and mapping. More important than the story that in one instance the accompanying maps are not 100% accurate is that in all cases they only show the area immediately local to the bikes, so it's still fairly difficult to make cycle journeys from one part of the capital to another. It's the same story all over London. People typically know how to get around by bike for the first few miles - cause they're familiar with the area, or they live there, even - but as soon as they get a bit further afield it's unchartered territory. Contrast this with the tube, where you don't need to know the area you're going to: no matter how far it is, the map will get you there, regardless. Something similar is needed for cycling.

  • New gym with 230 parking spaces for bikes

    It's a sign of the cycling times: a new gym in Soho, opening in April this year, will offer 230 secure bicycle parking spaces and 40 showers, to accomodate cycle commuters.

    If your workplace is lagging behind and doesn't provide any facilities for cyclists, then get your colleagues to sign our 'Dear Boss' letter, featured in Cycle Lifestyle issue 1, which is available to download for free.

  • Bicycle phone charger

    I heard about this very canny device yesterday - a Nokia phone charger that runs on pedalling. Running out of battery when you're out and about can be pretty inconvenient; but if, like increasing numbers of Londoners, you're out and about on a bike, you can now charge as you go. Charging starts when you cycle at walking speed (6 km/h) or faster, and at 12 km/h it charges as efficiently as common Nokia mains chargers. That's what I call pedal power.

  • Celebs on Cycles

    What do Paul McCartney, Helena Christensen, Alan Sugar and Vivienne Westwood have in common? They've all adopted the cycle lifestyle, according to this 'Celebs on Cycles' archive...

  • 800 campaign signatures

    A huge thank you to the 800 people who have now signed the London Cycle Map Campaign petition. If you haven't yet, please do - and then tell all your friends! Our vision at Cycle Lifestyle is for Londoners to be able to get easily and safely from anywhere to anywhere in the capital by bike.

  • Should you talk on your phone while cycling?

    ... asks Jorren Knibbe in the Guardian. In my opinion, no; it diminishes my ability to react, and (obviously) to use both my hands. I don't even listen to music on headphones while I cycle, cause I want to hear what's going on around me; not just for safety, but cause it's part of the fun! What do you reckon?

  • Spring issue publishing soon...

    The spring issue of Cycle Lifestyle is publishing on 1 April this year. Advertising space is still available. Don’t miss your chance to feature in the only cycling magazine in the UK that reaches regular people as well as regular cyclists – and to be a part of our growing London Cycle Map Campaign.

    To find out more, contact our Media Sales Officer, Rose Stowell (at rose@cyclelifestyle.co.uk, or on 020 7639 7753), and check out our media pack. The deadline for submissions is 1 March.

  • Safe Cycling

     Tips for cyclists on roads

    • Ride in a position where you can see and be seen.
    • Beware of vehicles turning left.
    • Make eye contact with other road users, especially at junctions – then you know they’ve seen you.
    • Signal clearly at all times.
    • Follow the Highway Code – don’t jump red lights and don’t cycle on the pavement unless it’s a designated cycle path.
    • By law you must have a front white light and a rear red light when cycling at night, and a rear reflector and pedal reflectors at all times.
    • Consider wearing a helmet and bright or reflective clothing, especially in towns, at night and in bad weather.
    • In wet weather watch your speed as surfaces may be slippery and it will take you longer to stop.
    • Consider getting some cycle training. All London’s boroughs provide free or subsidised training.

    Tips for motorists

    • When turning left watch for cyclists coming up on your near side and don’t cut them up.
    • Give cyclists a wide berth when overtaking.
    • At night, dip your headlights when approaching cyclists.
    • In wet weather, allow cyclists extra room as surfaces may be slippery.
    • Cyclists and motorists are equally entitled to use and share the same road space.

    Tips for cyclists on shared-use paths

    • Don’t go too fast - it can intimidate others.
    • Use your bell to let others know you are approaching, but don’t assume they can hear or see you.
    • Give way to others and always be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary.
    • Keep left or on your side of any dividing line.
    • Be careful at junctions, bends or entrances.

    Tips for other path users

    • Keep your dog under control.
    • Keep to your side of any dividing line.

    You can find out more about getting started from Sustrans at www.sustrans.org.uk, the London Cycling Campaign at www.lcc.org.uk – or just phone a friend who cycles.

  • Planning a Route

    lcmc rough on black v cool

    Preparing a good route is essential for cycling, but luckily it’s one of the most fun parts. There are lots of helpful resources, including:

    • Local borough maps. Contact your local council offices to find out more.
    • Google maps. An especially useful resource which uses the Google map interface is www.bikehike.co.uk. You can interactively plot your route onscreen and find out gradient and distance data.
    • Transport for London cycle guides. You can order them online here.
    • LCN+ maps. These can be viewed online here.
    • A good old-fashioned A to Z!

    When you plan your route you should aim for:

    • Quiet roads or roads with cycle paths
    • Low speed limit areas
    • Parks and open spaces which allow cycling

    And you should avoid:

    • Very busy junctions
    • Large and fast roundabouts
    • Dual carriageways
    • Routes heavy with lorries
    • Pavements. It’s illegal to cycle on the pavement, unless it’s signed as a shared-use path for cyclists and pedestrians.

    If any of these are unavoidable, you can always get off and push!

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