With over 10,000 members, the London Cycling Campaign is easily Britain's biggest. It has the ear of Transport for London (TfL) and the London boroughs, and has recently started campaigning for Dutch-style segregated bike lanes. Perhaps its greatest strength is its local groups, whose terrier-like tenacity ensures that no highway development goes through without the cyclist's voice being heard. Member benefits include an excellent professional monthly magazine, discounts at bike shops, and free legal advice.
Nowhere has more; from large, well-respected chains to back-street mechanics who've been servicing local bikes for 30 years. The larger groups all stock a range of big-name brands and the usual accessories. Some also have their own bike brands, such as Evans Cycles’ Pinnacle.
Even if your needs are fulfilled by one of these, do explore the capital’s quirkier independent retailers, if only for the experience. There are specialists in vintage bikes, in Japanese-style fixed wheel bikes, in classic Dutch bikes, in recumbents, and so on. The smaller retailers generally tend to be located in Zone 2 and further out, while the big chains have branches everywhere.
Check out our full listings to find your nearest.
In print, TfL produces a series of free area maps. You can pick them up from local bike shops or libraries, or order online (maximum six maps per order).
We believe that the streets of London should be made safe enough for anyone to ride without training. Until that happy day, cycle training is worth considering if your ride to work regularly takes you along busy roads. Courses are also available in bike maintenance, if you’re not confident in replacing an inner tube or adjusting your brakes but would like to learn.
Most London boroughs organise free or subsidised training. You can find out what’s available in your area via the TfL website. You can also book your own training through commercial providers and bike co-ops; check out the listings on the TfL site and in your local bike shop.
London probably has more blogging cyclists than the rest of Britain put together: informative, campaigning and angry in equal measure. We couldn’t begin to list them all here, but I Bike London and Cyclists in the City are two excellent starting points; check their sidebars for more links. The London Cyclist blog is another good, regularly-updated roundup of all things cycling in the city. For the dedicated fixie rider, the LFGSS forum is a lively virtual café.