We are always willing to advise people who cycle, or who wish to start cycling, on anything to do with cycling. Within the group, we have a wide range of cycling experience and knowledge on a variety of topics so if you have a question, get in touch. If we don’t know the answer ourselves, we’ll probably know where to find it!
Below, we’ve included some basic bits of information that we think are useful for cyclists to know.
Sadly, bike theft in London is a common problem with over 17,000 reported stolen last year.
You are strongly advised never to leave your bike unlocked in any public or semi-public place even for a few moments. Locking the bike to itself may be adequate if say stopping to buy a newspaper. However, it is much better to secure your bike to something else, preferably with two locks, especially if you will be away for more than a few minutes.
LCC recommends the following:
1. Ideally, use TWO secure-rated locks for maximum security
2. Lock both wheels and the frame (or wheel and frame with one lock)
3. Always lock the frame to a solid object such as a bike stand
4. Two types of lock (chain/cable and D-lock) are harder to break
5. Remove all your bike accessories every time you leave it unattended
1. Don’t leave your bike locked in a secluded location
2. Don’t lock it so it can be lifted over a post (signs can be unscrewed)
3. Don’t let your lock lie on or near the ground as it can be smashed
4. Don’t leave space inside a D-lock where tools can be inserted
This video by Barry Mason, a former Southwark Cyclists co-ordinator and good friend to many Lewisham Cyclists, gives further details on good locking practices.
As part of their move to improve cycle security, the Metropolitan Police’s Cycle Task Force regularly set up engagement stalls offering free security marking and advice to the public on how to register their bike details. Security marking your bike deters potential thieves as your bike can be easily traced if it is stolen.
You can also register your bike at bikeregister (this is the one recommended and used by the police).
If the worst comes to the worst…….
You may be able to trace your stolen bike at bikeshd which scrapes photos of London bike sales from Gumtree and eBay onto its home page. Clicking on a bike photo takes users to the original advert.
You can add details of your bike to Stolen Bikes.
Transport for London (TFL)’s fourteen cycle maps cover the whole of the Greater London area street-by-street. Traffic-free and Traffic-lite streets and roads are colour coded and you can thus plan the safest and most pleasant route to your destination. The maps are mailed free of charge.
OpenStreetMap includes up to date mapping of the London Cycle Network (LCN), Cycleway and Quietway routes if you select the Cycling ‘layer’. App versions of this Open Source map are also available for phones e.g. OsmAnd (for Android).
Bikes on trains
Bikes are allowed on certain London Underground lines (the ‘sub-surface’ lines – District, Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City), the London Overground and DLR at off-peak times and at weekends. This can be useful if you are travelling across central London with children & bikes or trying to get between London termini stations with a bike and luggage. Please check here before travelling for the latest details.
Bikes are similarly allowed on National Rail trains at off-peak times and at weekends. Please check with your local train company for any restrictions as these do vary between operator.
LCC has launched a website where London cyclists can indicate where they want cycle parking. The site was created with the help of the Cyclestreets.net developers, with support from Trek. Please use it by clicking ‘suggest a location’ and following the instructions here
The London Bridge site has closed permanently for ‘redevelopment’. There is however, just to the west of Tate Modern, a supervised site at Hopton Street run by Better Bankside
The committee members do their best to make Lewisham Council and TfL aware of problems that people cycling might have. However, we can’t be everywhere all the time and there are plenty of ways that indivduals can make the relevant authorities aware of problems and difficulties. Things can’t be fixed unless the fixers know there’s a problem in the first place. But it can be difficult to know who to tell.
Here are a few links to useful online systems for reporting problems:
Local problems – including street lighting, overhanging trees, flytipping or glass on street, blocked cycle lanes as well as potholes – can be reported at fixmystreet.com.
Potholes and road defects are more than just a nuisance; they’re a danger to cyclists and other road users. You can report them to Lewisham and other councils at fillthathole.org.uk.
Bad bus driving can be reported using TFL’s on-line complaints facility. The exact date, time, location, bus number and/or registration number and route number are essential.
Dangerous driving can be reported using the Metropolitan Police’s Road Safe London reporting form.