London Cyclist’s first ever open thread – trying something different

nw1 cyclist

Image by: Andrew Novell

I’ve been wanting to try this on London Cyclist Blog for a long time but have been a little scared. However, the time now seems good as I can see that a lot of you are starting to participate in the blog. In the past week alone we have had 57 comments! I love reading through them and luckily I still have time to read every single one.

What I want to do is run an occasional open thread where you can leave any comment you want, absolutely anything that is on your mind. It can be what you’re up to this weekend, anything cool you’ve recently bought for your bike, anything you want me to talk more about, something funny that happened to you while out cycling.

I really don’t mind and would prefer it if the comments were completely random thoughts.

To leave a comment simply visit the blog (a lot of you are on an RSS reader) and fill in the comments box at the bottom of this post.

I’ll start us off…

Join 10,221 fellow cyclists who are subscribed to the London Cyclist newsletter

Sign up for our free newsletter to get...

  • Advice on the best cycling gear
  • A Friday roundup of all the latest London cycling news
  • Exclusive content not available on the blog

Subscribe today, and get exclusive access forever! (It's free)

*No spam, ever!

As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

, , ,

33 Responses to London Cyclist’s first ever open thread – trying something different

  1. Andreas 18/12/2009 at 10:01 am #

    I’ve been discovering Swiss Cottage recently and found myself a great route into central London that avoids busy roads and goes along a nice residential street. Luckily most my recent experiences with motorists have been pretty good, most people wait to let me pass.

    Also I’m looking forward to writing this product review for a bicycle touring ebook and working with the guy to bring some good discounts to London Cyclist members.

    At mo only thing bothering me is what you guys will think of the open post and if it will get any replies!

  2. MarkA 18/12/2009 at 10:12 am #

    Cool idea Andreas – comment is good!

    Recently I’ve been getting nervous about Christmas, due to not having done ANY Christmas shopping yet, and have been getting narky ‘cos I haven’t been able to cycle much recently due to a combination of lots of nights out (Xmas dos), the head cold from hell and, um, snow! Am hoping to get back out there this weekend, and fix my squeaky brakes too.

    I have also been worrying lots recently at the type of blind rage you find against cyclists on the comments section of the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard – it terrifies me that I might be sharing the road with these kind of people.

    I’m a bit of a worrier.

  3. Claire 18/12/2009 at 10:19 am #

    Last night I gave up on trying to battle in the gales and sleet from Canary Wharf to Kensington and put my bike on a Thames Clipper – they have a couple of bike racks athe back of the boat, not that I was going to leave my Wilier out in the cold on its own.

    I have lost my wind jammer gloves and so had to contend with frozen white fingers in half finger gloves – absolute sheer agony. With a Buff wrapped over my head and up over my cheeks, fleece head band, thick Altura Night Vision tights, ski socks and Helly Hanson base layers, I was pretty toasty other than the ice fingers.

    Must wash all the salt off Madame Wilier this weekend – pronto!

  4. Chris 18/12/2009 at 10:42 am #

    Indicators for a bicycle (trendy fixed gear or otherwise) are never a good Christmas present. Even if they are wireless!

  5. Bathory 18/12/2009 at 10:53 am #

    Peoples, I need new gloves. My accessorize fleece one are not cutting it. What should I look for?(howevermy primark yellow rain wind breaker thing and waterproof over trousers are suprisingly great!)

  6. Mike 18/12/2009 at 11:05 am #

    Although I only commute 5 miles each way on my bike I see a fair few people with minor mechanical problems, mainly punctures.

    I know my way round a bike, so I was thinking of carrying a range of spare tubes of different sizes to help people out, and give them an address to send one back to me.

    Do people think that’s a good idea, and if so, do you think people would send me a tube back?

  7. Andreas 18/12/2009 at 11:55 am #

    @MarkA – Thanks Mark! Can’t believe you’ve still not got round to any christmas shopping! In all honesty I’m pretty much the same, have been very slow, but tend to combine with others for presents luckily so I have one less thing to worry about. Re: Daily Mail – it does tend to bring out the worse in people, I find most are courteous but you get the odd exception that stands out.

    @Claire – Thanks for your comment! Canary Wharf to Kensington is a decent cycle! How long does it take you? I agree that cold fingers is absolute agony when cycling, have you tried putting some latex gloves underneath them? Most pharmacies sell them and they may help a little. Love the bike name!

    @Chris – Agreed!

    @Bathory – I’ll try and put together an article on winter cycling gloves soon for you! You want some kind of wind and water resistant ones. One tip that I suggested to Claire aswell was to put latex gloves on underneath, the extra layer adds water protection and a bit of extra warmth. It is a cheap solution but works surprisingly well like your primark wind breaker!

    @Mike – I think that would be a good gesture especially at this time of year! I don’t see why people wouldn’t send you one in return, they could easily order one online and have it delivered to you. If you see someone struggling with their puncture definitely give them a hand.

  8. Jon 18/12/2009 at 1:18 pm #

    As I was walking to work from the station today I saw a guy on a bicycle undertake a 4 axle concrete mixer on the approach to some traffic lights in a gap perhaps not even 2 feet wide. The guy on the bike just made it past the mixer and turned left after the lights turned red. Thank goodness the driver didn’t have the same intention and stopped. It was such a dangerous manoeuvre I couldn’t help myself say out loud “For God’s sake” – he wouldn’t have heard though. I’m a cyclist myself and I know most cyclists have better road sense than this one I’ve described. Please everyone, ride safely.

  9. Claire 18/12/2009 at 1:41 pm #


    Ken – Canary Wharf takes about 35 minutes if the lights are being kind – I choose not to jump reds. It’s a great workout and I’ve been doing 5 days a week for about a year. I take the main roads all the way and make sure I’m visible and ride a good 3 feet out from the kerb wherever possible.

    Apart from once being pushed off the road onto a raised kerb by a massive lorry, an ancient taxi driver cutting a corner and practically taking the skin off my hand as he swept past, and another seriously big lorry squeezing past me on Upper Thames Street so close that I heard another cyclist scream out loud behind me and then stop at the lights to see if I was ok because it had scared him – I was, but if I had wobbled as he went past, I’d have been mince, it’s been pretty uneventful

  10. Andreas 18/12/2009 at 2:25 pm #

    @Jon – agreed, overtaking vehicles should mainly be done on the right. You see plenty of such hair raising manoeuvres when out cycling.

    @Claire – Sounds like a decent commute, great exercise. Riding 3ft out is definitely the correct way to go about it. The only other thing I can suggest is trying to make eye contact, not that you really want to be looking as a massive lorry screams past you! I hate the noise and rush of polluted air it creates.

  11. Michael 18/12/2009 at 2:42 pm #

    Recently came across and now following and loving it! I work from home but want to use my bike to get out and experience the city of London when the spring is hear.

    Just wanted to give you a cheer for making the site and keeping it update. Thanks!

  12. Andreas 18/12/2009 at 4:10 pm #

    Michael – Thanks very much for the comment! Glad to hear you like the sort of things I keep posting up 🙂

  13. Angi 18/12/2009 at 4:53 pm #

    This weekend may be the weekend I finally get some waterproofs…oh and new proper cycling gloves…my fluffy angora mittens just don’t cut it any more…the wind and rain pass through!

    Today was also the day I called up to book a place on a cycle maintenance course (free of course…subsidised in my borough…yet they choose not to make any decent road provisions for cyclists…ironic really). Only problem is I’m in the west of London and the course is in Bermondsey…hum…hope the weather is not too bad by February.

    Totally unrelated to cycling…I gorged myself on chocolate today…it is the festive season after all…I now have belly ache and nausea!

  14. Andreas 18/12/2009 at 5:49 pm #

    Angi – let us know which one’s you get and whether you recommend them!
    Please to hear you are doing a cycle maintenance course, I’ve heard good things about them and I think it will make you a lot happier been able to maintain your own bike.
    As for the gorging – best idea ever! I just wish I bought an advent calendar to have an excuse to gorge every day!

  15. Patrick 21/12/2009 at 2:55 pm #

    Great idea, the recent weather has made me blue because I haven’t been out on the bike, walking to the tube station this morning, I saw some guys on bikes and felt jealous, I’m going to give it a try tomorrow.

    I’ve been reading the book “Bad Science” and one thing I’ve got from it is a more skeptical approach to the “nutrition advice” in the cycling magazines, and make sure there’s rigorous evidence before trying them.

    Finally, I’ve just got a new pair of winter gloves and leg warmers, can’t wait to get out and about. Public transport just doesn’t cut it. The freedom I get from cycling is incomparable.

  16. Patrick 21/12/2009 at 2:57 pm #

    Forget to mention, I’ve really noticed the benefit of regular bike cleaning in recent weeks, I’m sure most or many of you would say ‘well, duh’, but as a lazy man I’ve found it one of the easiest jobs to put off, however, with regular cleaning, the time it takes to clean the bike gets less and less, and the bike looks fabulous when done…

  17. Andreas 21/12/2009 at 3:19 pm #

    Patrick thank you very much for your comments! Completely agreed with the bike cleaning thing – little and often and you are onto a winner! Also agree on the bike blues – I’m not cycling today but will be cycling tomorrow doing some research for the next blog post and I’m thoroughly looking forward to it no matter what the weather is! My dislike of cycling magazines comes mainly from how recycled most the information is – I feel like I’m reading the same as last year which is why I currently only get cycling plus.

  18. tim 21/12/2009 at 3:24 pm #

    @Mike love the road knight idea, i always try to stop and ask if people are ok but find mostly on the way to work rather than trying to get home on time. maybe have some little cards printed with paypal details or something so people can just do it online rather than go to the trouble of buying and posting (have you seen the queue at the post office at lunchtime..?) just a thought…

  19. Teresa 21/12/2009 at 3:29 pm #

    I’ve made a discovery. Not only are baby wipes good for cleaning the bike, but they are also fabulous for chain cleaning.

    Merry Christmas everyone. 🙂

  20. Joe M 21/12/2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Snow! Not great for cycling, but pretty…

    Anyway – do londoncyclists know what’s going on with bike lights stuck on helmets and backpacks, rather than actually on the bike. It’s annoying. Blinded by eye-level flashing red lights when you’re behind someone; can’t work out where oncoming bike traffic is going cos there’s no fixed light…

    Anybody else noticed this? Anyone else as picky as me to get annoyed by this?

  21. Griff 21/12/2009 at 7:49 pm #

    I don’t live in London anymore, (was a cycle courier 16 years ago), but it’s really cool you have this blog going. Some great ideas too. Road Knight thing sounds really good. I should start taking my bike in on the train when I have meetings in the city, I really dislike the tube so I end up walking.

  22. Andreas 21/12/2009 at 10:59 pm #

    @Teresa – thanks for comment! Merry christmas to you too
    @Joe M – the snow was a little tough to cycle on down streets that had not been gritted so it was a case of not picking up too much speed. I’ve noticed too Joe, guessing people just more keen to get seen especially at winter. Can be little annoying if your right up behind someone.
    @Griff – Thanks for visiting and the positive feedback, it’s cool to have a former cycle courier on here. Hope you manage to squeeze bit more cycling into your day!

  23. Patrick 22/12/2009 at 11:18 am #

    Didn’t get to cycle in, boo, but pleased to see that the streets of central London around Holborn/Oxford Street appear to be clear. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. I really want to cycle on Xmas day this year!

  24. bathory 22/12/2009 at 12:10 pm #

    @Patrick – Me too! I don’t celebrate so I’m hoping for clear weather so I can spend the day exploring the abandoned London streets on my bike!

  25. Andreas 22/12/2009 at 12:27 pm #

    @bathory – that sounds like quite good fun actually. Too bad I’m not in London on xmas day 🙁

  26. bathory 22/12/2009 at 4:11 pm #

    I just found out that some douchebag stole my wheels (even though my bike is locked up inside my building right outside the door to my flat) so my plans might be scrapped either way. ugh. I hate people.

  27. Andreas 22/12/2009 at 4:21 pm #

    Very sad to hear that, can’t believe someone would go to the trouble of doing that inside the building. The inconvenience to you is so much bigger than the financial benefit to them. Hope you get some time to grab some new ones 🙁

  28. bathory 22/12/2009 at 9:14 pm #

    Ugh totally can’t afford to buy new wheels right now which really screws me since it’s how I get to work (only really icy days I don’t ride). BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO on bike thieves! I hates them.

    • Paul 23/09/2012 at 5:30 am #

      @ bathory – I have a sun rhino 26″ I can give you – very decent FRONT wheel if it was an MTB or sucjlike you lost from (unable to help with 700)….

      Just wanted to comment and say I am really hoping the weather is nice on Tuesday when I plan to take my new road bike for the LAST open cycle for road bikes at the Herne Hill Velodrome….

      And there’s a thing to blog on Andre – the Herne Hill Velodrome! TOP TIP to put in your blog – they have a bicycle jumble sale regularly and the next is on the 6th October.

      Keep it up Andre – best wishes

  29. MaryNO 12/12/2010 at 5:54 am #

    Hi there, Just saying hello to the forum.


  30. Paul 11/04/2013 at 10:52 am #

    I think you should delete the previous spammy link post Andre…. so long as you are administrating this blog for comments….

    • Andreas 12/04/2013 at 1:07 am #

      Thanks for heads up Paul – have deleted 🙂


  1. elfbot waypoints - 14/01/2012

    elfbot waypoints Webmasters are under appreciated, keep up the great writing….

    Webmasters are under appreciated, keep up the great writing….

Leave a Reply