Cycling in London

In London, even rainy rides can be blissful

My last visit to London was in 2003 and so much has changed since then that I can’t begin to capture it all here. It feels cleaner, newer, more diverse, and more vibrant in every dimension.

For me, the biggest factor in this improvement has been the massive changes in street use and public transport since 2003. Transport for London was just three years old during my last visit, but since then the capital has added road pricing, bike sharing, hundreds of miles of bike lanes, and — not least — numerous rail extensions, to name just a few.

The streets are safer, the air is cleaner, the neighborhoods are quieter. It all adds up to a city that’s much nicer than the last time I was here nineteen years ago.

The London mayor’s goal is an 80% mode share for cycling, walking, and public transport by 2041. That’s nineteen years from now and very ambitious but given what they’ve accomplished in the last nineteen I have confidence they’ll achieve it.

London hallmarks: Big Ben, red double-deck buses, Boris Bikes