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Londoners share love of cycling

Hundreds of stories from Londoners across the capital about why you love cycling


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Let’s make sure London’s next Mayor knows just how much we all love cycling

With the mayoral election fast approaching, we’ve been asking you to share why you love cycling and let the candidates for London’s next Mayor know. We’ve received hundreds of emails and letters from people across London to pass on to the candidates.

Remember to email the candidates and share your story before Thursday 2 May

Here are just a few of your stories…


"Cycling has entirely changed my life for the better."

“Cycling has entirely changed my life for the better. My health has never been better and even on a rainy day where cars try to run me off the road, I will still arrive happier and more energised than if I had driven or taken public transport. Every Londoner benefits from more cycling, even those who don’t ride.

“This is THE silver bullet to reduce congestion, improve air quality, public health and boost the local economy.”

"We have cycled since our children were babies. They're now 15 and 20!"

“We have used cycling as our primary means of transport since our children were babies. They are now 20 and 15 and committed happy cyclists. I belong to a brilliant cycling club that enriches my life. I am fit and strong and rarely ill (touch wood). We get to school, work, friends, do our shopping, go to the theatre, go to the movies, go to concerts, art galleries, museums, public parks, visit relatives, attend university.

“Bikes are our transport to and from anything that does not involve consuming alcohol. And by the way, we drink a lot less of that than we might without the need to use ourselves as our own drivers. We have avoided carbon emissions, invested in our mental and physical health, become resilient and resourceful, made friends, supported our local cycling economy and generally had so much fun.

“This city is largely flat and extremely easy to navigate. Please look at the data when answering to pro-car/anti-cycling petitions. Cars are very costly to our community. They do have their place of course but are polluting, dangerous and heavily supported by their industry.

“Cycling makes more sense. For all of us.”

"My business runs a van and my household runs two cars... I’ll only vote for a candidate who commits to cycling."

“I love cycling because it’s a fun and efficient way for me to get around the city. My business runs a van and my household runs two cars, so I’m not anti-driver. The greater the modal split, the easier the vehicular traffic flows too. I’ll only vote for a candidate who commits to supporting and expanding cycling across London.”

"Cycling kept me sane after having children."

“I love cycling because it kept me sane and helped me recover after having children. Cycling enabled me to combine my work commute and the school run for 10 years. I love the autonomy cycling gave me and all the giggles and fun with my kids cycling with them.”

"I lost a size in clothing within 6 months."

“More than 10 years ago I started a new job in a location (Latimer Road) with not great public transport options for me (I lived on Brixton Hill). A neighbour sold me his bike for £50 and I started cycling to work.

“I lost a size in clothing within 6 months and I loved the feeling of cycling, not being reliant on the vagaries of public transport and arriving to work every day in a good mood (a cycle through London is literally the best commute in the world). I never looked back and kept on cycling, to work, to shop locally, to go see my friends, on the weekends with my son, etc.

“But every time I suggest cycling to others, I see hesitation, fear, worries, etc. And I get it. It takes a lot of confidence and expertise to cycle the narrow roads of London. It took me years to learn the ropes. If we want more people to cycle, we need to create the right environment for it.

“If anybody needs any proof of the benefit of proper infrastructure, let them cycle on some of the best segregated cycle lanes (London Bridge to Parliament is my personal favourite) and they will notice one thing: how the “mental charge” of cycling (constantly worrying about being hit by cars) is immediately lifted and how worry-free they feel cycling along the Thames. It is an amazing feeling and we should make sure everybody in London (who may consider cycling) gets to enjoy it (rather than put if off out of worry).”

"I feel so alive on my bike."

“I love cycling because of the freedom it affords me. I can explore all of this beautiful city in my own way, with control, and a connection to the rest of the city I can’t get from public transport or driving. I feel so alive on my bike and privileged to be able to experience the city from this perspective.”

"You never know who you will meet at the bike rack..."

“Cycling is the best way to make use of commuting time to keep healthy and dare I say even fit. There is a fantastic cycling community in London and if you are riding a bike you are part of it; whether it’s a slick road bike, a knackered old sit-up-and-beg, an e-bike or a Boris.

“How many times have you cycled past a group of smokers standing outside their offices with the cleaner sharing a crafty fag with the managing director, and thought to yourself, ‘I wish I could have access to my boss like that?’ Well with cycling you can. You never know who you will meet at the bike rack – so it’s like being a member of the smoking club without the bad bit.”

"I simply love cycling!"

“I have been cycling since I was 7 years old. I cycle not because it’s good for fitness , not because it’s good for the environment, not because I can get around the city much easier with a bike , not because it’s green but simply because I love cycling!

“There is no better feeling and I hope that whichever candidate wins that they recognise that there is a large and growing community that loves cycling in London. The cycling lobby isn’t just a ‘woke’ green loving nuisance. We are real people who deserve a safe space to commute and cycle in.”

"At 68 years old I regularly ride 5000 miles each year."

“I can choose my route home from work according to which shops I want to shop in, which friends I want to visit, which parks I enjoy riding through. The journey to work always takes the same time so I am never late. I keep fit at 68 years old I regularly ride 5000 miles each year.”

"I’m a dog walker and I cycle around the borough everyday."

“I’ve lived in London for nearly 30 years. I now live and work in Waltham Forest. I’m a dog walker and I cycle around the borough everyday. I love the freedom that cycling gives me, I like the exercise and I love that we now have many cycle lanes. I would like to see the next mayor of London continue to invest in Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and cycle lanes and to continue to support public transport and cycling as a first option for as many people as possible.”

"In the early 80s I would wipe the black grime from my face. It's great that the air is getting cleaner now."

“I’ve been cycling in London for more than 40 years. In the early 80s I would wipe the black grime from my face when I got to work, so it’s great that the air is getting cleaner now.

“The ULEZ expansion has cost us a lot having had to replace our car but it is a move in the right direction. Anyone planning to reverse this progress will NOT get our vote.

“I cycle every day, mainly in South West London, and have noticed an increase in the size of cars and large delivery vans. They leave little or no space for a bike to pass a line of stationary traffic. When traffic is flowing, many of these larger vehicles frequently risk a “quick squeeze past” adding to cyclists’ vulnerability. Therefore, any addition of cycle lanes and priority for cyclists will be most welcome.

“Having experienced the reduction in traffic during the Covid-19 epidemic I can see what a decent cycling environment could be like.

“Cycling is affordable and good exercise. Sadly I know many people who will not cycle because of the traffic – but almost every cyclist is one less car on the road so please encourage them by making the cycling environment safer.”

"Cycling opens up my neighbourhood."

“I love cycling because it opens up so much of my neighbourhood for me. On my bike, I can nip out and do local shopping, get to a park for a walk, visit a friend or see a museum without getting stuck in traffic. I also feel energised when I get off my bike, rather than drained by frustration of sitting in a car in traffic.”

"I hopped off my bike and gave her a hug!"

“I love cycling because I can arrive anywhere at the time I expect. No delays, no jams. It makes me feel part of the city instead of just passing through in a bubble. I can hear, see and smell the city and just stop if I want to see something closer or talk to a friend.

“Last week I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen since lockdown. I hopped off my bike and gave her a hug. In the spring if I’m out early I get to hear the dawn chorus. Can’t get that amazing experience in a car. It keeps me fit and active. As I get older (in my 60s) I go slower but still get the benefit of being outdoors and moving. I can also carry much more than on foot. And chat to people at traffic lights. So many benefits!”

"Cycling helped me afford my mortgage."

“I love cycling because it has given me freedom to travel around the city and visit businesses without spending money on a car (including maintenance, fuel, tax and parking) leaving me more money so I can afford to live in my flat and spend money locally to support businesses.

“The measures that have been introduced over time have allowed me to gain confidence (especially fully segregated cycled routes) culminating in me starting to cycle for the first time almost a year ago, heading to work and around my area and learning about my community with the connection only walking and cycling can give.

“This has enabled me to encourage my 70 year old Dad to take up cycling, which has helped ease the chronic pain in his knee. His knee gets worse when walking or pressing the pedals in a car, but the cyclic movement of the pedals on his e-bike help to ease the pain. This has allowed him to be more active when caring for his 1 year old granddaughter.

“I have tried to encourage more of my friends and family to cycle, but the overwhelming reason for not doing it is that they don’t feel safe (though they love cycling around Victoria Park).

“Many people I know in outer London do not want to drive, but they do because of the overwhelming dominance of cars with no room left for them to cycle.

“Not owning a car has allowed me to be fortunate enough to be able to own my own home. If I had owned a car, I would have not been able to afford my mortgage now that mortgages have gone up. Yet my flat was more expensive than necessary because it was built with underground parking despite being in Tower Hamlets where we have the joint 2nd lowest car ownership (around 33%) yet the highest hit and run statistics of all the boroughs.

“We need to give people the choice to live in well-connected car-free developments to create truly affordable homes.”

"I love seeing the nooks and crannies that London has to offer."

“I love cycling because I can get to work more quickly and cheaply, while doing exercise and improving my mental health. I love seeing the side streets, parks, high streets and nooks and crannies that London has to offer- you just can’t do this on public transport!”

"I love cycling because I’m pregnant."

“I love cycling because I’m pregnant and it’s an easy way to stay fit and get about London avoiding busy tubes, but I’m worried about the pollution from the buses and being knocked off by a motorist . I want you to prioritise cycling when you become mayor, clean up the dirty buses and invest in infrastructure!”

"As a Community Nurse cycling enables me to carry my kit and visit my patients efficiently and reliably."

“I love cycling because I am a Community Nurse and it enables me to carry my kit and visit my patients efficiently and reliably. Also, as a health professional I feel that I can role model active travel and demonstrate to my patients that the easiest way of incorporating physical activity into daily life is by cycling.”

"I love the freedom to make my own destiny rather than being stuck in traffic."

“Along the river, through the park, through town. I love the endorphins I seem to get and the freedom to make my own destiny rather than being stuck in traffic or at a signal failure. It’s just fun!

“I really hope you’ll make it easy and safe for more people of all sorts to discover the fun for themselves. And that includes people in wide bikes full of children or stuff.

“Weirdly I would be sad if I had children because given the current facilities, I would probably have to stop cycling when I needed to get them places. Let’s give more road space to bikes, trikes, cargo bikes, scooters, pedestrians, people pushing prams. People drive as a privilege and we should encourage those who don’t need to drive to take up cycling and walking instead.”

"Cycling is one of the only chances I get to exercise, running my own business, and with two children."

“I cycle everywhere – I don’t have to jam into packed tubes, or worse, add to traffic with my car, making journeys for those who need a car – the disabled – workers – the frail – emergency services, even worse in a crowded city.

“More recently, I have started cycling my daughter to nursery and back every day. A 9 minute car journey, or a 5 minute cycle. Without the safe, properly segregated cycle lanes, I just wouldn’t feel safe doing this. It would be impossible.

“Not only that, but it’s one of the only chances I get to exercise, running my own business, and with two children – it’s otherwise hard to fit dedicated exercise time in, and staying fit and healthy is critical. London does love cycling, and many more will love it too, as it becomes more and more accessible for them, with more infrastructure, and safer cycling streets.”

"I drive a car, yet never use it just to drive inside London."

“I have cycled in London for more than 45 years.

“I drive a car, yet never use it just to drive inside London. I am fitter because of that (except for my lungs due to pollution).

“People like me reduce congestion and reduce pressures on the NHS.

“But can my daughter cycle to school? NO! We should be like Paris where more journeys are made by bike than car. We must make it SAFER and MORE INCLUSIVE for everyone – not just experienced cyclists. Our city and our people will be healthier with this.”

"My 7, 11 & 13 year old children all cycle alongside me, and we far enjoy it over other ways to travel."

“I love cycling because it is my primary means of daily transport for me and my family. Visits to the dentist, scheduled sporting and extra-curricular activities, meeting friends and going for a day out – my 7, 11 & 13 year old all cycle alongside me, and we far enjoy it over other ways to travel.

“Cycling offers a freedom of movement that no other transport provides, but it does need to be made safer. We all cycled to Paris last year and we want more of what they have – where 11.2% of trips are now made by cycle, compared to 4.3% by car, because of safe & protected infrastructure, and we want all the associated benefits to health, environment, business, social life and community.”

Thank you so much to everyone who has shared their story so far. Pass on the message to others and add yours before Thursday 2 May.

Let’s show London’s next mayor how much we all love cycling.


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