Quietway 1 helped me conquer my fear of cycling in London: Ken's story

Ken on his bike
Quietways are designed to appeal to people who prefer quieter cycle routes

Quietways are designed to appeal to people who prefer quieter cycle routes

Ken works in Central London as a Digital Marketing Executive for a lobbying organisation. A native of Ireland, he has lived in London for six years and started cycling the Quietway 1 route in October 2016. In this post, he tells us about the benefits and experience of cycling to and from work, a distance of around five miles each way, every day.

Ever since moving to London I have felt that cycling was something that other people did. While most of my cyclist friends would regale me with stories of how great it is pedalling around London, I just shrugged it off. If I’m honest, back then I was terrified; London is a hectic place at the best of times, the prospect of commuter traffic was frightening.

Cycling motivation

It wasn’t until I got a job in Cannon Street that I started to consider the possibility of cycling. My housemate in New Cross is an avid cyclist and my jealousy of his money-saving and fitness due to cycling to work every day got the better of me and I decided to give it a go.

London Quietways

I found that using Citymapper was a lifesaver as it mapped out the quietest route. On my first ride to work my fears quickly subsided. After 35 minutes (only five minutes longer than the quick route) I had reached my destination. The app had helped me avoid all major traffic by directing me down Quietway 1, a new cycle route that avoids the busy main roads.

Quietway 1 has a completely new section of purpose-built cycling path and links through housing estates. I was expecting to reach traffic but I didn’t until London Bridge, at which point I walked.

The benefits of cycling

My confidence has improved significantly since that first ride in October; I’ve started cycling on main roads and even over London Bridge (something I genuinely never thought I’d see myself doing). Having a Quietway route to cycle on has been a turning point for me as it has meant I no longer worry about traffic and it's helped me realise that London is actually a great city to cycle in. 

Cycling regularly has been a revelation; not only have I lost weight, but I’m saving about £80 a month and feeling much fitter.

I believe that if I can start cycling anyone can. Making the change to cycling is something I recommend to everyone. Take it from me, you’ll be delighted when you do.

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