Since 1999 when I moved here for my first job straight out of uni. It took me 15 minutes to walk to work but I cut that to just 5 on the bike!
I've cycled since the age of 4 and never looked back. Unlike a lot of people - particularly women - I've never given up, not even during the adolescent years. When I was a teenager my rides would involve just taking my rubbishy pink Raleigh 'racer' round the block a few times to blow away the cobwebs and get some exercise.
It's simply the quickest, easiest, and most enjoyable way of getting around. Also during my job at Carry Me Bikes which means sometimes riding cargo ikes for work!
Anywhere I need to go, up to a max of 40 minutes. Most of my journeys are local to East London, but I'm cycling into central London a couple of times a week at the moment too.
Do it! Find a friend or two who already does it and ask their advice, both men and women. Take up the offer of Cycle Skills from your council with a 1-2-1 session because you will learn loads and gain a lot of confidence. Spend at least £200 on a bike and don't be taken in by fancy gears. You only need about 3 gears for most of London unless you'll be carrying kids or heavy stuff frequently. Don't worry about getting sweaty. No-one else will notice. You think they will, but they won't. You will just look fresher and more awake!
It's the best way to enjoy the city and feel connected to it. It also saves you so much money and makes sure you get some regular exercise in a city that's not particularly conducive to sport.
Alive, awake, free, exhilarated, slightly out of breath.
I ride many different bikes, but my main bike is a Bobbin Bramble with a big basket. It's a take on the 'sit-up-and-beg'-type bike that is surprisingly speedy.
Getting involved in my local group of the London Cycling Campaign. I met loads of lovely people who were so helpful with tips about the physical aspect of cycling (better use of gears, better-fitting bike, better-quality bike) as well as showing me great local routes and short-cuts. I made friends then in the early 2000s that I still have today. And we're all still cycling!
I'm normally getting from place to place by myself. It's a useful bit of head space to be honest. Although the Family Bike Rides that we are running as part of our Cycling Grants London project mean some fantastic fun rides with local families including many tiny tots!