London Moves: I got a bike! But I don’t know how to ride it yet!

I bought a bicycle yesterday–the first step in a big transition towards shifting the way I travel through London.

But I need to learn how to ride it.

I purchased the bike at Waltham Forest Bike Recycling Centre, and at £65, it was a good price, although I’m going to get the seat changed as soon as I can–I rode it around Walthamstow yesterday and a little bit down Green Lanes and the bones in my ass are sore. Also, I got a little tired cycling even just for a little bit; I have no stamina!

Once I get myself a helmet and a pair of locks that may cost more than the actual bike, I’m going to sign up for Cycle Training in Hackney so I can get comfortable cycling and I know what to look out for when cycling on the road.

I’m excited! But after having a look at all the cycling accessories one can get for one’s bike, I also feel quite in over my head. Still, this is going to be a great learning experience that will eventually save me a good deal of money on travel costs, as well as let me move around quicker and see parts of the city I’m not normally familiar with.

Prior to getting my bike, I’ve spoken with friends who cycle and have gotten a lot of insight into cycling. One very enthusiastic friend told me at the Jolly Butchers that getting a bike “will revolutionise your life!” She cycles from Stoke Newington all the way to Kensington to attend lectures at university. I’ve gotten considerable help from other friends as well, who have suggested various places for me to get my bike (it was Laura who tipped me about Waltham Forest Bike Recycling–ta!), and I imagine I’ll be asking more questions as I become more involved in getting things for the bike and cycling around.

For now, though, I’ll still be getting my Oyster card out to go places. But it’s nice to know that, if all of London transport decides to completely collapse under Olympic strain, I can still keep moving.

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