City cycling clinic

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  • Taking bikes on the tube

    This writer has been an avid road cyclist for the past 15 years. Or at least that was the case until last summer when I became overcome by irrational thoughts of death by bendy bus. So I put my prized Bianchi into storage and began a flirtation with a folding bike instead. The plan was to cut safely across Cricklewood’s Gladstone Park in north-west London to Dollis Hill tube, where I’d pick up the Jubilee Line to Bond Street and change to the Central Line for the two-stop trip to our offices in Tottenham Court Road. Frankly, I haven’t looked back. As a rule, non-folding bikes are restricted to surface lines outside peak times. Folding bicycles, though, are permitted on any part of the tube, and at any time. Most folding bikes will be suitable for off-peak periods. Where it gets tricky is in the middle of rush hour, which is when you’re most likely to be travelling. From personal experience, folding bikes with protruding handlebars and pedals do not go down well with testy passengers, especially if it’s standing room only. With that in mind – and having ridden and reviewed every folding bike on the market – I’ve narrowed the choice down to two models that will cause neither embarrassment nor stress during rush-hour travel: the Brompton (www.brompton.co.uk) and Mobiky (www.foldingbikes.co.uk). Both of these bikes fold into tidy packages that take up no more room than a small suitcase. Derek Adams

    Route rating

    Miles 7 miles in all; 1.5 miles by bikeAverage cycle time 8 minsCalories burned Around 50Hacked off commuters None

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