When traveling to a new place, one of your main concerns may be, What is the best way to see the city or town? London, with its cosmopolitan flair and its iconic sights of the River Thames and Buckingham Palace, is a dream destination for many that can still be enjoyable on a budget. It is also filled with lush parks and tiny winding streets, which is why a bike tour is a fantastic way to make your way around the city.
Since you’ve got a lot of ground to cover, here’s how to plan a bike tour of London:
A bike tour is a great scenic mode of transport as you don’t travel too fast and it counts as a form of exercise while traveling. This also means that prior to your ride, you need to fuel up to help sustain you throughout the route. If you’ve had a big English breakfast – which is a generous amount of fuel to get you going – perhaps allow yourself some time to digest before you hop on the bike. Even a quick energy boost or caffeine kick can get you pumped. And if you have had too much morning coffee you will easily be able to find a healthy alternative. Pretty Me’s review of Lean N Green coffee highlights how it has less caffeine than regular coffee beans but is packed with powerful antioxidants. These can give you an unexpected dose of nutrition alongside protecting your heart health while biking. If you foresee yourself getting hungry, Cyclist recommends good old Clif Bars to tie you over and keep you stimulated until you can finally dig into some fish and chips at a local pub.
Basic Rules Apply
Basic cycling rules apply in London, so if you are booking a tour with a company, be sure to inquire if helmets come with the bikes. Opt for reflective clothing so that you are easily spotted. Stay alert throughout the ride – and try not to get too distracted by all the beautiful sights!
Choosing a Path
Alas, you know what to do prior to your bike ride – but do you know which tour you will be taking? There are numerous bike tour options in London, depending on what angle of the city you wish to see. You will usually have to allocate three to five hours of your day to do a tour as well. First timers may benefit from guided tours that take you around all the postcard-worthy sights such as Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Tower Bridge, among others. Guided tours also ensure you get your dose of history while riding, and if you want to go off the beaten path, there are also tours that take you through some of the artsier and more cultural spots that are bustling with action and noise. Evening tours can give you a taste of the vibrancy of London’s nightlife in all its lit up glory.
Adventurous travelers may want to take a self-directed tour, and a guide to cycling in London by Vogue advises asking locals or friends what their preferred routes are. Chances are, you will discover lesser known parks, waterways, and back streets that can give you a shortcut around the city while still remaining in the bike lane. This way, you might even feel more like a Londoner on a commute, than a traveler on a mission.
Exclusively for travelingboy.com by Pearl Welch.