I've cycled in London for nearly a year. I can't believe I spent the first six months of my time here without a bike.
I went on a trip to Copenhagen and fell in love with the way of life there. Cycling is obviously a huge part of that, so I decided to take a slice of Scandi life for myself by investing in a bike.
There's something liberating about getting around London quickly in the open air. It also means I never have to do a spin session at the gym ever again. Yay!
I mostly use my bike for getting to work and back. I sometimes use it for popping round to a friend's house for a cup of tea and I like to go on mini Sunday adventures when it's sunny.
You can build confidence by booking onto one of TFL's cycling courses. It's a great way of keeping fit, exploring this amazing city and helping reduce our air pollution problem. Also, think about how much money you will save on transport per year - mine works out at £640 for the commute alone!
I like knowing that I'm being proactive about not adding to the high pollution levels. I also love finding cool side streets that I wouldn't normally pass through, especially ones with dreamy houses and blossom tree lined pavements. I'm currently obsessed with Trinity Church Square in Southwark.
Free! I'm not confined to a bus route or a Tube line. I like cycling to and from work because that is the time when I switch off and focus on the route ahead. Cycling is really beneficial if you live with anxiety or stress.
Millie the Metropole is a Dutch bicycle and a damn fine looking one at that. I bought her second hand from a lovely lady on Gumtree. She's not the easiest frame to manoeuvre through city cycling but I can't bear to even think about replacing her with a nimbler model.
I fractured both my elbows at the beginning of the year and it really knocked my cycling confidence. Once I was back in good physical health, I booked onto a Cycle Skills session through the TFL website. My tutor spent a total of nearly six hours with me over two sessions. We ironed out some of my bad habits and I learnt more techniques on how to be a good, safer cyclist. We also cycled my new work commute, which was incredibly helpful as I was quite scared of cycling through Elephant & Castle and Waterloo. And this was all for free! I cannot recommend it enough.
Nope. Part of the reason I enjoy cycling is because it's a time for me to clear my head and enjoy some solo time. However, it is great that friends and family have the option to hire out a bike with Santander Cycles if they want to come along for a ride to the park.
The Women's Tour arrives in London on Sunday June 11th - alongside the professional race there'll be a host of activities on the day including the Breast Cancer Care Pink Ribbon Tour and plenty of fun for the family in Trafalgar Square.