Today is my birthday – will you do me a favour?

Today I’m celebrating my birthday!

London Cyclist by the River

I’m currently a fair distance away from London in the Middle East exploring Jordan for a week. I wrote this post before I left and I imagine as you read this I’m probably starving to death as it is Ramadan so it won’t be easy to find food!

I was wondering if you could give me a small gift for my Birthday. All I want you to do is share one specific thing that London Cyclist has helped you to do.

I’m really excited about returning to London or getting some time while I’m travelling to read through what you say.

Perhaps its a cool bike cafe you’ve fallen in love with, or a cycling event you felt inspired to take part in or a tip you use every day in your cycling.

Just use the comment form at the bottom of this post. Share a story, a lesson or something you enjoy about the blog.

Can’t wait to read what you have to say and thank you so much for taking the time to comment!


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91 Responses to Today is my birthday – will you do me a favour?

  1. Alex in Manchester 16/08/2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Not a Londoner but I took up cycling a few months ago and have used your guides to learn how to a) fix a puncture and b) clean/maintain my bike. So, for that, thank you.

    Also, I have probably taken stuff from your tips on how to handle the roads. Generally, your blog has had some interesting posts.

  2. Barry in Stroud 16/08/2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Many happy returns Andreas
    Although I have not used the Cycle Hire Scheme yet I hope to do so tomorrow, Tuesday. Since retiring three years ago I have been up to London regularly on National Express (cheap!) and used ‘’ to walk to museums and galleries etc from Victoria Coach Station. Tomorrow I hope to use the Cycle Hire Scheme for the ‘boring’ bits, on less busy roads, and walk in between. I have taken on board your many useful hints and will let you know how I get on as a tourist.

  3. Riley 16/08/2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Not “do” per se, but this San Franciscan subscribes to London Cyclists’ RSS feed as a way of acquiring a perspective on bicycling outside o0f the U.S.

  4. Paul 16/08/2010 at 5:18 pm #

    London Cyclists has helped me get back into cycling 3-4 years away from riding. Plus the info on the phone apps that you’ve published, and the cycle hire info is very good as well. Well written and very helpful!

  5. LTMWB 16/08/2010 at 5:22 pm #

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Andreas

    Only found your Blog last night, but used guide to help me adjust my vee brakes on my cheap Mountain bike so a big thank you

    Enjoy the rest of your holiday

  6. Elena 16/08/2010 at 5:31 pm #

    First, happy birthday! I hope you’re finding Jordan fascinating; it’s hard to imagine a place less like London.
    So beyond boundless daily entertainment and general information, you did a review of cycle cafes once upon a time. One of them was near my work; I wandered over to check them out. Lo and behold, I got along brilliantly with them, and am now building a new bike with the lovely people. Thank you!

  7. Raman Ratnam 16/08/2010 at 7:30 pm #

    Hi Andreas,

    Just to say this is a useful site to find out a good perspective on cycling in London and generally what’s available out there for cyclist.

    Happy birthday ! And keep up the good work.


  8. Peter 16/08/2010 at 8:41 pm #

    Happy Birthday!

    I love reading the stories about everyday London cycling and the great discussions and debates that can arise from some posts

  9. Rose 16/08/2010 at 8:58 pm #

    As someone who has recently returned to cycling after a 20 year hiatus, your articles have been helpful in making me feel that I am not insane to do this (like a number of non-cycling friends have suggested) and your tips on cycling in the capital have been very instructive.
    Many happy returns of the day!

  10. BH 16/08/2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Well done Andreas – a great blog to talk about the joys/frustrations of cycling every day in London.

  11. Claire 16/08/2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Happy Birthday!

    The one thing that the site has helped me with is knowing how much to pay for a bike service and (I know this is technically 2 things but they are related) realise that there are such things as mobile bike mechanics-genius!

  12. Claire F 16/08/2010 at 9:22 pm #

    Happy Birthday!!
    OK a few things … discovering Wiggle…finding your recommendations for good waterproof jackets…Micycle workshops….bike cleaning ….. buying a floor stand pump (thanks- brilliant!)….bike marking schemes with local police (my local plod emailed me the next day)…the low-down on overtaking and waiting-at-lights etiquette …and also I like your style of writing about bikes so makes me feel good about cycling in London.
    Hope youve found some food…!

  13. Mary-go-round 16/08/2010 at 9:29 pm #

    Happy Birthday…21 again?? I think it’s a great site – lots of interesting bits and bobs. I particularly like the reviews of products etc and the tips about routes and keeping your bike safe have been particularly useful (I bought my first Brompton and despite having good locks and ETA bike insurance have still not managed to leave it out of site….it just looks too vulnerable and cute!!) Have fun on your hols. M

  14. ScintillaPop 16/08/2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Happy Birthday.
    Inspired to take part in critial mass. Saw the RT of date for the last one but couldn’t make it. Did see CM heading down Regent Street tho’ and had to laugh to see folks on BorisBikes.
    Will def be at the next one

  15. JenniM 16/08/2010 at 10:18 pm #

    Halt Birthday Andreas!! Love love love your site! I commute in Edinburgh and enjoy comparing experiences! Especially like all hints and tips!
    Cycle safely and post soon!

  16. Mark 16/08/2010 at 11:40 pm #

    Hey, Andreas – thanks for your regular and very helpful notes about cycling.

    I have moved from London – now living on the Lincolnshire coast – where I am trying to instill some of the good work that you yourself are doing – we are bereft of cycle lanes for a good example – and even though we are on a long promenade (about 8 miles between Chapel St Leonards to Skegness) bikes are disallowed! Understandable – too many dogs and overweight people hobbling along gazing at the beach like zombies……

    However a good cycle route that I can recommend for you and all of the readers – is in the Lincolnshire Wolds – good steep hills and quiet lanes – with much off road possibilities. Just check out the local OS Map for ideas – I recommend basing yourself at Louth or Woodhall Spa for a long weekend – about 3 hours drive from London, strap your bikes on the back, then just leave the car at your B&B and enjoy a few days of excellent cycling in outstandingly beautiful countryside.

    Hope to hear from any other readers who have visited this area

    Mark (Specialized Globe with a rusty chain) – but without any other rust as it is Aluminium framed….

  17. Hilary 17/08/2010 at 2:53 am #

    Happy birthday Andreas ! Thanks for all the helpful info. My daughter lives and works in London and reading your blog actually makes me worry less about her cycling in the Capital !

  18. chris 17/08/2010 at 5:46 am #

    First off,happy belated birthday.
    I don’t live in london myself but i find you site very informative and made a trip to ‘look mum no hands’ when in town a while ago and very much enjoyed the experience.
    i look forward to trying the cycle hire scheme when in london next time…keep up the good work.

  19. Martin 17/08/2010 at 6:00 am #

    Several friends and I tried one of your “London Cycle Routes” – the Jubilee Greenway. It was great fun and it took us to parts of London we had not visited before.

    Thanks and many happy returns.

  20. juleslostinlondon 17/08/2010 at 7:14 am #

    happy birthday and holiday,

    you have given me the courage and conviction to take up primary position – there’s a difference between knowing you’re allowed to be there and actually taking up the space on the road!


  21. Caroline 17/08/2010 at 8:39 am #

    Your blog has not only made me feel safer about cycling but also allowed me to pass on your tips and advice to my boyfriend when he first started cycling to work (and I was worried about him!). So thanks for everything – keep up the good work.

    It was my birthday yesterday too! Hooray for us!

  22. Louise 17/08/2010 at 9:26 am #

    Thanks for the newsletter; I’ve discovered Wiggle through it and bought lots of low cost but great quality cycling gear, I bought my ETA insurance after reading your piece, joined the LCC … keep up the good work!

  23. Emma 17/08/2010 at 9:50 am #

    ETA cycle insurance and the tips about safer cycling – I’m definitely much more conscious of my position on the road, and look over my shoulder loads more.

    Happy birthday and many thanks for writing such an enjoyable blog! :o)

  24. Sarina 17/08/2010 at 10:00 am #

    All your cycle safety tips, I love it! And happy birthday – we’re a day apart.

  25. Geoff 17/08/2010 at 10:10 am #

    Happy Birthday Andreas! Cool site. It is good to know there is a community of cyclists in London. I hope to get some time to do some of those 25 recommended tours and learn more about this great city

  26. Lee 17/08/2010 at 11:32 am #

    Just yesterday I cleaned my bike with the help of your bike maintenance guide before fitting some mud guards.

    The blog is great, very informative and I really enjoy reading what other cyclists have to say, as they are the people I am cycling the streets alongside.

    hope to see you out there some day, happy birthday!

  27. Dani Riot 17/08/2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Happy Birthday.

    I am pretty new to this site, I joined after seeing you on the news when they were talking of the launch of the boris bikes.

    I find it really informative, with lots of great tips. The free eBooks are well worth paying for, and would sit amongst others on whsmith shelves with ease.

    • Mark 17/08/2010 at 1:50 pm #

      Another London tip for you guys there – I used to live in Walton on Thames and took a great ride out one Saturday – along the river to Kingston, then Richmond and across Wimbledon Common (didn`t see any Wombles that time…..or tennis players…)

      The good thing about that ride was it was all off road (apart from a much needed McDonalds in Richmond). And, after 35 or so miles I got the train home with my bike for free!

      Once I had a puncture (Twice – but only one spare inner tube) so had to beg a lift off a bus driver…..this is another story.

      Thank`s Andraus for your site – I agree with an above writer that your maintenance tips and guides are very useful…..Now to deal with that rusty chain on my Spesialized……

  28. Douglas 17/08/2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Happy Birthday Andreas

    I discovered your blog recently and it has helped me maintain and clean my bike – the freePDF was great.

    Keep up the good work,


  29. Jonathan 17/08/2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Happy Birthday.

    I downloaded your London Cycle Routes on the special day. It is great … going to do the Crystal Palace to Hyde Park route this weekend.

  30. Ruth 17/08/2010 at 6:53 pm #

    A very happy birthday Andreas.

    Not a resident Londoner but visit regularly with work. Cycle cafes – I’ve followed your leads with great success. And cycle routes for my weekends in London have been really helpful. Plus the general craic on the personal and the political of cycling in the big city.


  31. Iain 18/08/2010 at 8:48 am #

    Happy birthday, the one thing for me would be the 55 mile round trip on the bike to do one of your routes around London (which included a few stops to tweak the bike thanks to your guides!)

  32. Frank 18/08/2010 at 11:07 am #

    Been a regular visitor now since first finding this site.
    Has helped me in many ways so far, but to name a few;

    The basic maintenance dowlnload has been a great help.

    Recommendations for kit that I may not have looked at previously.

    Found BikeAde through this site – came round to our office yesterday to give a few bikes some much needed attention.

    Finally, tips on general road saftey.

    All great stuff :o)

  33. Justin Rolfe 19/08/2010 at 8:45 am #

    Happy birthday and great blog. Love it and your newsletter.

    Your blog is great for the less politically correct “real cyclist” views on London. e.g., is jumping lights rude? is overtaking rude? I love those crowd-wisdom questions you put up.

    And it was you who reminded me to get my Boris bike key, which is brilliant.

  34. kevins299 20/08/2010 at 12:56 pm #

    You helped me review my bike security and fit locking wheels nuts to my bike, and upgrade my bike lock. this have given me some peace of mind but as we know a determined theif will get the bike. next step for security is a tracking chip….

  35. femi 22/08/2010 at 12:37 am #


    Your blog is truely a god send. Great features and very informative. Product reviews have been spot on and the maintainence tit-bits well received. I started commuting a few years ago and discovered the blog soon after. It has certainly added to my overall toolkit for surviving the commute in London town and I continue to spread the word about it to colleagues at work. Keep up the good work.

  36. Brian 26/08/2010 at 4:01 pm #

    Hello, I only joined today and am sorry to have missed your birthday. I thought I would share with you a personal cycling story that has a birthday theme. A very good friend of mine recently got me to start volunteering at the All Abilities Cycle Club in Victoria Park as an able bodied cyclist helping those with learning and physical disabilites enjoy a saturday afternoon of bike riding in the park. Its the best thing I have done all summer, but that’s another story.

    This very good friend also sent out a message to all her friends that she did not want any birthday presents this year… but donations to a nice charity. I really wanted to give her a gift, so I plotted out a birthday greeting, rode it one evening with my cyclemeter (GPS App for Iphone) running, posted the route to googlemaps and then to facebook on her birthday. It took me 2 hours and 16 minutes and 12.6 miles to cycle-spell Happy Birthday Mandy! I felt like a human etch-a-sketch and produced a message straight from my heart without any carbon emissions!

    Had I know it was your birthday a week ago, I might have done it again! Email me back if you want to see it. i cant seem to upload it to this box.



    • Anna 26/08/2010 at 4:23 pm #

      @ Brian: that is the most amazing thing ever! I want to be mandy!!!!

  37. Anna 26/08/2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Hey, this is a bit late but Happy b-day!
    Your blog
    – has helped me get over myself and learn about maintaining my bikes myself and even doing small repair works. And yet I’m still a total girl about it… nothing without gloves!!
    – has taught me how to NOT overtake lorries. I was so flabbergasted when I read a post about the most common mistakes a cyclist does. I’ve been a city cyclist for decades, since i was a wee child, but I never had any proper lessons. And since I’ve never done a driver’s license I just used common sense on the roads.. anyway, thanks for the wake up call!
    -I found out loads about cool cycle related events and other great bike blogs. None of my friends understand or care for my bike obsession so I need my daily online bike blog reads to satisfy my cravings!
    – I love the cycle routes download and yet haven’t tried a single route out yet. DOH ME!!!!

  38. Andreas 27/08/2010 at 10:15 am #

    Patrick (We’ll do cycle challenge again next year!), Dawn (I did find food!), Ann, Mike (happy to rejuvenate!), Nigel (glad your enjoying the maintenance guide!), Lea (welcome!), Jessie (enjoy LMNH!), Anthony (stay safe!), Claudio (welcome to cycling!), Wendy (thank you!), Marc (7 mistakes – good choice!), Maria (Great to see cycling is doing so much for you!), Liz (Welcome new cyclist!), Ors (Yes, you can!), Pete (Glad I’m encouraging you to cycle more!), Mark (I enjoy the community feel to it too!), Sally (glad I’m keeping your bike safe!), Tim (more of those freebies soon!), Noyan (Happy to be handing out cycling confidence), Liz (Thanks for eBook and happy to keep recommending good products!), Nick (Pleased to hear it about newsletter!), Samantha (I’ll keep the recommendations coming!), Russell (Thank for for very kind words), Nigel (Glad to see you’ve given up on the tube), Samuel (Thank you!), Nath (thank you!), Kate (happy to hear it!), Diana (I’m sure if you follow the tips your bike will stay safe!), Juliette (I will keep it up!), Sandra (D-locks are crucial!), Tina (glad my safety tips have been well read!), Sarah (Thank you!), Amy (thanks, I need to catch up with you!), David (thank you!), Will (Share the road!), Shamus (thanks for trying my eBook and glad to hear you’re enjoying it!), Arlene (those cycle safety courses are excellent!), Kathrin (thank you!), Tim (thank you!), Andrew (happy to recommend good products!), Nopy (enjoy the routes!), PQ (happy to inspire!), David (like the sound of that island!), Mark (I won’t!), Philip (I’m sure you can find a bike parking stand – I know its not perfect but with a two or even three! good locks you’ll be safe), John (glad to hear you follow me on Twitter also and are getting good information), Kelli (pleased to hear it!), Phillipe (Always happy to learn that no-londoners are benefiting), Nick (happy to read your comment, glad you enjoy!) and BikerTed (Thank you and glad you’ve enjoyed looking around London!)

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