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Cycling routes to/from SE23

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Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 26 May, 2006 - 10:22 am:   

One way of fighting the onset of my advancing years would be to don much dayglo and lycra and cycle all the way into work, liberating myself from the cattle trucks of ntwork / connex / south central / etc. Can anyone offer advice on good routes into the City? I'd rather avoid Camberwell, Elephant & Castle, etc. I've found the rather pleasant cycle tracks that go behind the savacentre, and was wondering if that carries on towards town at all?
Joined 09-09-2005
Posted on Friday, 26 May, 2006 - 10:43 am:   

Where abouts are you travelling from and to? Postcodes - not full adresses - wil do.
I too have recently returned to cycling, after a 29 year absence, and find major junctions like the Elephant terryfying!
I find I prefer to clock up a few extra miles to avoid the traffic and the fumes.
'Happy to share details of my routes with you if that helps.
Joined 25-11-2004
Posted on Friday, 26 May, 2006 - 12:17 pm:   

You can get free maps of cycle routes from transport for London - uides.shtml
Best route (for me, but it depends where you start I guess) that avoids major roads is: through Honor Oak Park and towards Brockley, down past Peckham Rye, then onto a nice cycle route from Peckham to Burgess Park. Then through some back streets via East Street market and across New Kent Road, then... well, it depends where you're going to.
I think the route behind the savacentre will take you to Brockley, so i guess that would work for you too.
Joined 19-05-2004
Posted on Friday, 26 May, 2006 - 01:59 pm:   

The cycle route down the old canal towards Old Kent Road is good and reasonably safe. This is also the flatest route to central London. E&C isn't that bad as the traffic is fairly predictable and you can usually tell if someone is going to switch lanes. Camberwell is worse. An alternative is to go through Dulwich Village, the backroads through Loughborough Juncion and then hit Brixton Road. Back to my preferred route - the Rye can be a bit of a pain as there is no easy route past stationary traffic. Since the redevelopment of the horrid building to the South of Westminster Bridge this area is dreadfully congested and the worst part of my route - redirected traffic flow and the lights are all out of sync. Also the additional security at House of Commons values MPs lives' higher than cyclists. Going through Peckham is
a pain as they are always digging up the street (water/gas mains) but there is always plenty of life round here.

Best thing with cyling (apart from speed and avoiding cattle trucks) is that you can abuse motorists (only the bad ones of course, but the new law making them carry a flag of St George identifies them). But on a serious note one of the biggest threats to me has been road rage (the audience gasps in astonishment). So be careful who you wind up! And you have the moral highground.

If you want to bring your bike back on the train they always seem to be crowded, there is no special provision and you will be unpopular. The trains from Blackfriars are a quiet option but you will have to cycle back from Peckham Rye/Crofton Park/Herne Hill/Denmark Hill

If you cycle round the city you will get pedestrians walking out in front of you without looking.

The web site given by Mandy is a good one. You will see all the routes that we talk of.

And join Critical Mass, Waterloo Bridge on the last Friday of the month - the authority's attempts to close this peaceful event down is being challenged throught the high courts
Joined 16-07-2004
Posted on Friday, 26 May, 2006 - 02:37 pm:   

I also find pretty good as you can search under quiet or direct routes. The routes are good but the online maps are rubbish so use your a-z to map out the route.

E&C isn't quite as horrific as it once was as there is a cycle route which uses the streets behind it so you can avoid cycling the roundabout itself.

If you work east of Blackfriars there is no need to go anywhere near E&C anyway.

I vary my route a bit but generally I go up London Road, along Wood Vale and down through Peckham and the Surrey Canal park to Old Kent Road and then zig zag the back streets toward Tower Bridge. There is a flatter route through Nunhead and Queens Road Peckham but I don't enjoy it as much so don't go that way very often.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 30 May, 2006 - 09:54 am:   

Wow, a veritable plethora of options! I'm starting off from the far end of Perry Vale and work on the City side of London Bridge. I got on my bike on Monday and tried the Savacentre route (22 on cycle network) through to Peckham and beyond on the way there, and thought it was a little long. On the way back, I cut across from Peckham up Friern Road and onto Lordship Lane which was much quicker, but my poor body was in not much shape to face the climb up to the Horniman (pathetic, I know). What was interesting was that the return journey took under an hour, and that was with 2 detours for poor signage.

Baggydave - the old canal, where's this? Obviously I am not senior enough to remember fihing in it with a stick and piece of string.

Thanks to all, I'm pretty clear from Peckham Rye onwards, so if we can come to a consensus on the best way there, preferably with as few hills as possible!
Joined 16-07-2004
Posted on Tuesday, 30 May, 2006 - 01:14 pm:   

PvP - sounds like your cycle is pretty much the same as mine - once you get used to it it should take in the region of 40/45 minutes and that hill won't be a problem! Once you've tried a few different routes you'll find the one that suits you best and you enjoy most. That said I wouldn't bother with the Savacenta route - it's going all round the houses!
Joined 09-04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, 31 May, 2006 - 04:24 pm:   

Fellow cyclists,
I too have just taken it upon myself to cycle into the City. I work near Tower Bridge area and have found that the best route in a morning is through Honour Oak Park, Crofton Park, Brockley, to New Cross. Then dissect New Cross down Lewisham Way and through Fordham park to join up with Sanford Street. This connects down Trundleys Road and will take you up to Surrey Quays. You then just follow signs/ main road in (Lower Road then onto Jamaica Road) I have found this is the flatest way in to town - only real hill is where you dissect New Cross.

Hope this helps.
Joined 09-04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, 31 May, 2006 - 04:32 pm:   

Oh, and that route only took me 20 mins once! Although, admittedley I was wind assisted and really pushing for the fastest time. Probably average cycle would take 25-30mins door to door.
Joined 16-07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, 31 May, 2006 - 05:56 pm:   

Depends how comfortable a novice cyclist (to London cycling at least) is with cycling the main roads though Djnever - agreed that's prob the fastest route but I'd recommend using the quiet routes first to get uised to the ride and once you're more confident then take to the highways if you feel like it
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 01 June, 2006 - 11:45 am:   

Bosco - you see my yellow colours correctly! I imagine within a month I would have developed the kamikaze attitude. For the moment, I shall delight in discovering out of the way pubs, eerily quiet industrial estates and colourful council estates.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 08 June, 2006 - 08:12 am:   

Update - the cycle is wonderful, and believe it or not, quicker than the train. Already down to 40 minutes. If only every week was as sunny as this.

And (aching) thighs like Hercules.
Joined 19-05-2004
Posted on Thursday, 22 June, 2006 - 10:56 pm:   

The old canal runs by the library in Peckham down towards Burgess Park with other cycle routes from their.

Cycle routes to Blackfriars that avoid E&C fine but on to Westminster I don't bother
Joined 24-11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, 05 December, 2006 - 11:04 am:   

About 8 pm last night, my flatmate was cycling home from work along Grierson Road (at the junction with Holmesley Road) when two young white men on bikes approached him and started to pick on him and threaten violence. They cycled with him to the Old Bank, continuing to be abusive. When he got to the OB, there were lots of people coming out of the station so the numbers of people scared them off and they cycled off. Gladly he had the sense to ignore them and 'rise above it' however it was clear that they were looking for a fight. He phoned the police when he got home but they were worse than useless by making it clear that they were only interested if he had been actually phyically attached or had been threatened with a weapon. The whole thing was very distressing. Grierson Road may be easier for cyclists because cars rarely use it, but there are very few street lights and the darkness and isolation can make a lone cyclist vulnerable. Helpful and constructive advice will be gratefully received.
Joined 21-12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 06 December, 2006 - 01:48 pm:   

Lola: perhaps your flatmate could try contacting your local Safer Neighbourhood police team? see ghs/lewisham/saferneighbourhoods.htm

I've never had to deal with them but hopefully they'll be more sympathetic than the emergency response police.

Also suggest he informs your local councillors - find out who they are here: ctedRepresentatives/Councillors/

They all have e-mail addresses.
Joined 20-02-2006
Posted on Saturday, 21 July, 2007 - 05:44 pm:   

I just wanted to bring this back up. I will be traveling, hopefully cycling (I'm kind of new to this) to a new workplace near Old Street. Tried a route to London Bridge today and got a bit lost but I think it was reasonably direct. Anyway, it took me 45 minutes! I know I'm not in great shape, but adding another 20 minutes on that seems like a long commute.

SO, best suggestions to London Bridge please once again? I am just trying to get my bearings. Thank you very much.
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Saturday, 21 July, 2007 - 09:36 pm:   

A lot of cyclists seem to use the train from Forest Hill to London Bridge! I can't see the point of having a bicycle and bringing it on the train to central London!
Joined 31-10-2006
Posted on Sunday, 22 July, 2007 - 08:45 pm:   

Your best route does depend where you live but a good route from the Honor Oak Road area is down Forest Hill Road/Peckham Rye/Rye Lane to Peckham. From there you can take the combined footpath and cycle path between Peckham Pulse and Peckham library down to Trafalgar Avenue and the Old Kent Road. You can cross the river either via Tower Bridge or by London Bridge. I would recommend Tower Bridge as it means you spend the minimum amount of time on the Old Kent Road and you avoid the dangerous Bricklayers Roundabout. To go via Tower Bridge turn off the Old Kent Road after Tescos down Dunton Road then left down Willow Walk, right down Page's Walk, left on to Grange and then right onto Tower Bridge Road. Across the Bridge then up Mansell Street up towards Liverpool Street and Old Street.

I reckon that once you have found the most direct route you should be able to do the journey in under 40 minutes.

Coming back be careful on the section between Trafalgar Avenue and Peckham Pulse as there has been at least one bike jacking in the last six months and you may find obstructions across the path.
Joined 19-05-2004
Posted on Sunday, 22 July, 2007 - 10:00 pm:   

Woody - see BD's route at the top of the thread. No problems with muggings (thought this was a Norff London phenomena from what I read in the LCC mag). Clearly the hoodies are not interested in attacking cyclists as they are on there way up to HOP to have fun there. More of a worry pedestians walking across you (we don't seem to be used to sharing paths in the UK unlike Germany and Holland). Also road rage (ie careful when you shout at a dodgy motorist as three times in my life they have taken serious exception). So when they run you over always remember to apologise.

Sherwood - what parallel universe are you on? There is no dedicated cycle space and when are the trains empty enough for a bike?
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Monday, 23 July, 2007 - 02:21 pm:   


That is precisely my point. There is no room for a bicycle on a train!
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Monday, 23 July, 2007 - 04:33 pm:   

See BD route up above, I cycle to Old St from the wrong side of the tracks and much more pleasant than the train. In brief; past the Horniman, to the end of Wood Vale, down past Peckham Rye, along the canal path (it starts just after the gap between the pulse and the library so walk your bike over the traffic lights). The cycle route is pretty well marked from there. If you want to be tough, then you can go down the Old Kent Road, I prefer the quieter cycle route which emerges in Bermondsey St. See the TFL website and order some cycle maps:

They're very useful.
Joined 19-05-2004
Posted on Monday, 23 July, 2007 - 05:39 pm:   

So you get on after a couple of beers at Charing Cross, OK there, but then at London Bridge, even though it is 9.30 in the evening the train fills up. You are standing with the bike on the wrong side close to the doors, then have to move out of the way when you stop at NXG and Brockley. Not exactly encouraging hence I only do it about twice a year. Now all those lovely lines coming out of Waterloo, thanks to Union bashing Stagecoach (nothing to do with unions but I like getting my point across about this dodgy company) have empty trains because our friends in the even posher SW suburbs go to bed early and they also have space dedicated for bikes. So back to my original point - whilst I would like there to be room for bikes on our line, there isn't.
Joined 20-02-2006
Posted on Monday, 23 July, 2007 - 06:02 pm:   

Thank you all very much. I know it's old ground but I really do appreciate the suggestions & links. I've now tried different routes twice and I'm glad that it's going to be feasible.
Joined 29-07-2007
Posted on Thursday, 06 September, 2007 - 11:54 am:   

I just thought I'd reignite this old discussion on cycling.

I recently got the shock of my life playing football after work when I discovered that I am the least fit of all my colleagues by a considerable margin. So I have decided to start cycling in to work from FH to the City (I work in the Gherkin).

I've read the preceding posts with interest, ordered the cycle maps online as suggested and I just have a couple of questions, which if anyone has any insight into I'd be pleased to hear it:

1) the route that recommends goes through Peckham, which my girlfriend is a bit nervous about (she'll be cycling as well). Is this hesitation to cycle through Peckham justified and if so, what are the alternatives; and

2) which route is the least hilly?

Sorry if I'm retreading the previous discussion a bit.


Joined 05-07-2006
Posted on Thursday, 06 September, 2007 - 02:30 pm:   

I cycle to Finsbury Sq (not that far from you) from HOP and find that the flattest/safest route (so far/touch wood) has been to go through Brockley, drop down to Deptford and get on to Creek Road. From there it's a flat and straight run to Tower Bridge/London Bridge (whichever you prefer). Mainly cycle path (tho on some reasonably busy roads) and the only really hilly (and quiet) bit is getting from Brockley to Deptford - I normally go via Friendly St.

Any others?
Joined 16-07-2004
Posted on Friday, 07 September, 2007 - 11:03 am:   

Ciej - I work near the Gherkin too and cycle to work - the ride through Peckham isn't in the least bit scary, and I am a big wuss (and a girl) - in fact, it's quite a pleasant section of the route in daylight hours when you can ride through the park on the old Surrey canal Route. Others may say it's also fine to cycle through the park after dark as the path is lit but I never do. The roads are all safe and while there may be parts of Peckham that are a bit dodgy, they're not on the cycle route as far as I'm aware.

As for the flattest route - where in FH are you cycling from?
Joined 29-07-2007
Posted on Friday, 07 September, 2007 - 11:44 am:   

Bosco - I'm cycling from Derby Hill, which is just off Dartmouth Road (the turning opposite "Question").

Monday is my first cycling day so I am looking forward to experimenting with various routes.
Joined 31-10-2006
Posted on Saturday, 08 September, 2007 - 09:13 pm:   

Good luck Ciej, I am sure that once you start cycling you will never want to venture back onto the train or bus. Don't worry about the hills, drop down into a low gear, slow down and enjoy the journey. As for Peckham take Bosco's advice.
Joined 19-05-2004
Posted on Saturday, 08 September, 2007 - 10:24 pm:   

And mine
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 11 September, 2007 - 09:56 am:   

And mine. Been cycling alot over the last year on BD's route and must say much preferable to the train. I'm even investing in a new bike.

I work at Moorgate and apart from the hill by the Horniman and before Peckham Rye, the journey is a breeze. I initially was worried about the old canal path though now use it regularly, even when getting darkish. If you are travelling at usual commuter times have no fear, it is very busy so you should never be left abandoned to roaming youths.
Joined 02-01-2007
Posted on Friday, 28 September, 2007 - 12:45 pm:   

Anyone cycles from HOP to Mayfair and can offer tips?
Joined 16-07-2004
Posted on Friday, 28 September, 2007 - 04:55 pm:   

I've said it before and it bears repeating -

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