Every time my mother waves me goodbye wailing about bike lights and for God’s sake be careful darling please I could use some grandchildren, I tell her the same thing. On my threadbare list of talents riding a bike around London is up there. Being a bike messenger for three years gives you a good understanding of the way the city works when you’re on a bicycle. To assuage her maternal fear, I remind her of this:

After some brow-furrowing over the years, I’ve grown to believe it. It comes down to a simple truth. Don’t do dumb shit on a bike, and cycling in London is not dangerous. It’s about learning not to put yourself in dangerous situations. Like a 38 year old Paolo Maldini making up for his lack of pace by knowing exactly where the ball will go. The more you cycle, the more you know how to read the road.

With spring in the air, a whole lot of bicycles that have lain dormant over the winter will be dusted off and oiled up for the coming months. So I came up with 6 Cycling Commandments to bear in mind every time you get on your wheels and go for a London-centric spin.

These are the most important things I’ve learnt over a decade of cycling around the city.


I made it into a dinky little leaflet, and hung it on a bunch of people’s handlebars, so they could throw it away without looking at it and annoy street-sweepers already reduced to tears by all the plane-tree seeds fucking shit up everywhere.

R I d E S a F e P e O p L e