You can get discount in many cycle shops
The LCC as well as the CTC website lists many local bike shops that offer discounts if you are a member. These include Evans Cycles and Cycle Surgery shops. If you frequently buy a lot of cycling gear then it can be worth joining these groups. Of course you can also usually get discount if you brush up on your negotiating skills.
You can legally claim the lane
Whilst it is likely you will get some abuse from motorists you are well within your right to cycle in a prominent position on the road. In fact in many cases this is actually much safer and is advised by many safety groups. Examples of where it is a good idea to do so include junctions so that you can pull out before the car, smaller roads with many parked cars and when overtaking vehicles. Claiming the entire lane prevents cars from completing a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre when there is not enough room to do so. It is also a fantastic way to be seen.
When it comes to using cycle lanes the law is a little hazy. As a general rule if you feel safer using the road rather than the cycle lane then you are free to do so.
The back-roads are often faster and more pleasant
As a cyclist in London the bane of my life is traffic lights. In the majority of cases I end up sitting there while no cars or pedestrians pass. It majorly slows down my journey and the effort required to get a bike up to a good speed from the stopped position is frustrating.
Most of London’s major roads are riddled with traffic lights. So when I know I’m going to be cycling somewhere I like to seek out quieter roads.
A good place to start is a post I put together with a list of cycle route websites that will help you plan an alternative route.