Road Cycling

Not Going Underground: 9 Reasons You Should Swap The London Underground For A Bicycle

Sponsored Feature: When getting round London, you're better off on a bicycle

Using the underground to get round London is fine but, if you really want to experience the best that this city has to offer, you really need to ditch the tube and go for a bike ride.

In honour of this idea, we’ve teamed up with Continental Tyres and are offering cyclists the chance to win one of 50 spots on the sold-out RideLondon 100 sportive.

For more information on this epic competition, click here. To discover why cycling is so much better than getting the underground, keep on reading.

1) The Train Delays

Look, the London Underground does its best. When it works, it’s a perfectly acceptable way of getting round London. When it doesn’t work, however, the whole system seems to snowball catastrophically into a horrible delay-filled blob.

To make matters worse, many of these delays are caused by the most ridiculous things you can think of. In 2014, for example, the Victoria Line had to be shutdown because wet concrete had flooded one of the control rooms.

Leave the train delays, and the ludicrous excuses, behind. Get on your bike.

2) The Unwanted Contact With Strangers

Stranger danger! Stranger danger! Stranger danger! If you’ve been on the underground during London’s notorious rush hour, you’ll no doubt have experienced that awkward moment when your body has wedged up against a load of people you don’t know.

Some people, no doubt, are totally cool with this. Some people probably relish this faux-intimacy with unknown humans. Personally, we’re not one of them. We’d much rather have space to breathe, and room to flail our limbs about whenever we please.

Ride a bicycle, instead of getting the underground, and never again will you have to touch people/be touched by people you don’t want to touch/be touched by on your morning and evening commutes.

3) Money! Money! Money!

You don’t need to be a mathematical wizard to understand that riding a bike across London is cheaper than travelling via public transport. Take part in this year’s sold-out RideLondon 100 sportive, and you might even be able to make some money (for charity, we hasten to add).

Money! Money! Money! Money makes the world go round. To win a coveted place on the starting line of this year’s RideLondon 100 sportive, enter the Continental Tyres competition here and maybe make some money…for charity.

4) The Inconsiderate Back-Packers

The inconsiderate back-packers are such an annoying bunch that just thinking about them makes us want to hurl the nearest back-pack out of an open window (preferably with an inconsiderate back-packer still attached).

Who are the inconsiderate back-packers? If you don’t know, and you own a back-pack, you might want to take a long hard look in the mirror. It could be you. You could be one of these inconsiderate back-packers, who think it’s perfectly acceptable to walk onto a crowded underground train in rush hour with a massive bag on their back.

If you’d like to avoid getting hit in the face by some random person’s back-pack on a busy train, get on your bicycle and give those spatially unaware idiots a wide berth. And if you are someone who likes to take your back-pack on the underground, try putting your bag between your legs for once. Trust us. You’ll be a lot more popular.

5) The Confused Tourists

London is popular with visitors for a reason. It’s one of the world’s greatest cities, with more things to see and do than you could ever hope to do in your lifetime. We’d never want to discourage people from coming to London. London is great. We like London. We like people coming to London.

What we don’t like though, and what we have no patience for, is confused tourists clogging up the escalator by standing on the wrong-side, taking group selfies in front of the train doors, and completely misunderstanding the basic rules of underground etiquette.

Avoid the tourists, and go by bike instead.

6) The Leg-Spreaders


We’ve all sat next to a leg-spreader. You know the type. They’re usually male and, for reasons that scientists have yet to explain fully, always feel the need to spread the points of their knees as far apart as is humanly possible.

It doesn’t matter how little room there is on the underground, these leg-spreaders find a way to plonk themselves down on a seat next to you before putting their legs into different timezones. Not only is this a selfish act that invades your space, it’s also a generally annoying thing to observe.

Avoid the irritating leg-spreaders. Ride a bike instead.

7) The Disagreements

When you’ve got millions of Londoners, the majority of which will never meet or get to know each other, all trying to use the same underground system…disagreements and confrontations are virtually inevitable.

Verbal disagreements, physical confrontations; if you’re a regular underground user you’ll have no doubt seen one or been involved in one of these unpleasant scenarios. The underground environment turns men into monsters, and makes everyone feel like they’re soldiers fighting each other for space on packed-out trains.

Take the peace, love, and understanding option by using a bike to get around.

8) The Stress

Stress. Who needs it? Nobody, that’s who. Seriously. Nobody. If health professionals are to be believed, stress can literally takes year off your life expectancy which, when you think about it, is the opposite of what you want. You don’t want stress. Stress is bad.

Minimise your daily intake of stress as much as you can, by avoiding the underground and riding a bike instead. Sure, riding a bike in London can have its stressful moments but compared to being stuck in a dangerously crowded tunnel underground, it’s an absolute joy.

Ditch the train-induced stress, and travel by bicycle. It’s time.

9) The Boredom

Getting the same train, and looking into the eyes of the same disgruntled commuters, everyday can get pretty monotonous. Yeah the underground adverts might change from time to time, and the day’s announcer might be in a particular perky mood for some reason or other, but usually it’s much more fun to ride a bike.

When you’re riding a bike, you’ll see things; things that make you smile. You’ll feel, for example, the cooling breeze on your face as you pedal along at speed. It’s nice. It will make you smile.

Road cycling, of course, is unlikely to give you the same adrenaline rush as a triple back-flip parachute jump from the side of a plane but it’s comfortably a far more enjoyable way to transport yourself across London than the underground.

Want a place on the start line of the sold-out RideLondon sportive? You can win one of 50 places in the RideLondon-Surrey 100 by entering this competition sponsored by Continental Tyres, the official tyre of Ride London 2016.

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