After a summer break the London Blogger Interviews are back with a blog who's theme is close to many of our hearts - cycling in London. Andreas' excellent London Cyclist is a great resource for cyclists in London, as well as brimming with news, personality and passion for cycling.
If you had to describe your blog in less than fifteen words how would you do it?
A blog about the best way to travel around London containing inspiration for those who already cycle and guidance for those who want to start.
Why did you start blogging?
Cycling has always been a major passion of mine. So when I moved to London to work I knew it was going to be the way I got around. I soon fell in love with the London cycling scene and noticed there were not many blogs out there covering the information I wanted. I was looking for more lifehack/improvement style posts such as how to lock your bike, which bike maintenance book to buy and things that may interest me as a casual cyclist. So I thought, if I can't find it, I'm going to start it. I'm glad I did because the site has proved very popular.
What about London inspires your blog?
Everyone always says the same thing about London: there is always something happening and something new to discover. I like to blog about all the London happenings such as the naked bike ride, the Skyride and the bicycle film festival. I think London is a lively, energetic city and it provides me with more than enough inspiration to blog and live life fully.
What's your favourite London cycling moment to date that you've blogged about?
Well, I recently cycled from Birmingham to London along the grand union canal which was absolutely fantastic with beautiful scenery. The canals near and in London are a great place to cycle and I think more people should use them.
What's the best and worst thing about cycling in London? What would you change to improve London for cyclists?
I think there should be a lot more love for London's cyclists. Were not noisy, we don't pollute, we don't take up a lot of space and we are usually a pretty friendly bunch. Yet, we are called Lycra Louts! I won't get into that, but if you want a fantastic article on cycling then read: cycling should be a dull, not extreme sport.
If I was Boris Johnson for a day I would get a better haircut first, then travel to Copenhagen and see how they do it there. Take for example the two versions of cycle superhighways. In London we will soon be getting a tiny cycle path next to the road that is painted blue instead of red. Yay! Not. In Copenhagen they will be getting true cycle superhighways. With wide cycle lanes, bicycle service stations along the route and separation from the main road. Which of these two is taking cycling seriously? Anyway, enough ranting!
Would you feel less connected to London, or have missed out on things without your blog?
I think I love London as much as everyone who writes or reads Londonist does so I would always be discovering it even without my blog. However, it is definitely encouraging me to always be out there discovering new things and connecting with great people I may not have had the chance to meet. That's what its all about really isn't it?
How has your blog connected you to another community of bloggers in London? The world?
I have actually been fortunate to meet a few journos. For example the BBC asked me recently about my opinion on cycling in London. In fact, at the time they called, I was in Cambodia and on a night out with friends so I'm not quite sure what I said!
Tell us about some other London bloggers you like
I'm hoping to get in touch with many more London bloggers soon but a couple of people have stood out. Anthony Lau who I interviewed for Londonist and has the I bike London range of t-shirts is a great guy. A few other quick mentions: Caz who runs Cycle Chic is ace, the guys from Velorution who also blog about cycling in London and Tom who writes Tired of London, Tired of Life.
And for some general London chat
Where do you live and why do you love it?
I'm actually currently homeless as I'm in-between houses but I'm moving very soon to Swiss Cottage. I have not yet really had a chance to look round but I know its near to Regents Park and there is a cinema. That's all I know. So any thoughts on the area would be hugely appreciated!
What's your favourite place in London?
One of my favourite places in London is right by Tower Bridge, I love sitting on the grass near the mayors office and watching the world go by. Also there are a lot of nice restaurants near there where you can eat by the river Thames in the evening.
What do you know about London noone else does?
That cycling is not as scary as it seems! Seriously! Also, if you ever need somewhere to chill away from everyone in London there is a little known tiny park that I like to cycle to after St. Katherines Docks on Wapping High St and you usually have it completely to yourself. Great place to collect your thoughts.
Have you ever been sick on the tube?
Never! I think the reason why is that my favourite part of nights out in London is the drunken walk back. It is the time when I laugh the most with my friends.
Anything else we should know?
Blog wise, I have a couple of big things coming: a weekly e-mail series with London route ideas, a get started with cycling in London guide and I'm redesigning the blog soon. So make sure you check all that out.
Cycling wise, one, if you are buying a bike in London or England you can get 50% off as long as you are employed, get in touch with me for details. Two, anyone can cycle in London. Three, I don't wear Lycra
Finally thank you very much for asking me to do this interview!