With the dominance of those iconic red buses and the Tube roundel, you could once have been forgiven for forgetting about the humble old bicycle in London.
Fast forward a few years, though, and across the city 670,000 cycling trips are being made every single day. At rush hour on Blackfriars Bridge, 70% of all vehicles are now bicycles. More people now ride bikes each day in the capital than use the Bakerloo, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines combined.
Quite simply, cycling in London has never been more popular.
And with the Surrey Hills, Kent countryside and Chilterns all within pedalling distance, there are plenty of opportunities to escape the hubbub of the city too.
“The first time I rode in London was back in 2011. I’d just got back into cycling that Easter when I dragged my dusty old bike from the back of the garage, blissfully unaware how addicted I was about to become. It’s great that cycling has been embraced so much in London. You see the city from a whole new perspective by bike, and there are always plenty more discoveries to be made.”
Susan’s favourite route:
“I love the ever-changing scenery along the canals and the Thames. This route takes you through the heart of Canary Wharf, past the O2 and City Airport and then on to the wide open space of the Greenway.
There’s plenty of time to catch up and chat as you pedal back to the start, where we usually stop for a post ride cuppa overlooking the Olympic Park at the View Tube café.”
After opening in 2010, Look Mum No Hands! (LMNH) became one of the UK’s first cycle cafes, combining great coffee and fresh local produce with a bicycle workshop, bar and exhibition space. We caught up with Community Manager Alex Davis to find out more.
Tell us a bit about LMNH…
A passion for quality and friendly service guides everything about Lmnh. Our coffee comes from local roasters Square Mile, cakes come from nearby bakeries, and craft beers come from great breweries in London and beyond.
What else do you have going on?
A packed programme of exhibitions, film screenings, live cycle-sport and even cycle speed dating ensures that LMNH is always buzzing.
We also have a fully-functioning bicycle workshop with five full-time mechanics, which means we have the capacity to take on anything from a flat tyre to a complete re-build.
If we were planning a ride from LMNH, where would you suggest that we go?
I’d recommend rolling along to Hackney City Farm along Broadway Market, then heading to Victoria Park to grab some breakfast at the Pavilion Cafe. Then you could head to Hackney Wick for a beer at Crate, Grow or Howling Hops.
Signature dish – LMNH burger (42 day aged beef with avocado, bacon, fried egg, American cheese and crispy onions. So good we named it after ourselves).
Favourite cyclist – Jens Voigt
Fun fact – We’ve sold over 28,000 flat whites in the past year alone.