City cycling clinic

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  • How to beat bendy buses

    So, bendy buses will face the wall if any number of mayoral candidates have their way. Though I suspect the candidates of political opportunism, while cycling the route of the 38 along Essex Road this morning, I find myself agreeing with them. It seems that the transport genius behind bendies cared little for the safety or comfort of cyclists. Rounding Holborn is perilous in itself. But the problem is particularly bad heading west on New Oxford Street towards the turning for Tottenham Court Road. Because driver visibility on the left of the bus does not extend along its entire length, I’m forced into the centre of the traffic lane instead of the safe left-hand side. Then the dreaded moment arrives: up ahead I see another bendy approaching. Marooned in the centre I try to speed up to outflank the first bus before the second bus reaches me. Too late! Sandwiched between the two, sunlight vanishes in a seemingly endless red wall of doom. For bendy buses the margin for error on London’s narrow roads is hairline thin. While a shorter style of bus gives cyclists the option of speeding up or dropping back to avoid being trapped, the length of a bendy bus does not. And when you consider the consequences if a careless bus driver were to narrow the gap even further, it’s no surprise that cyclists are so keen to see the back end of this bus.

    Route rating

    Miles 3.1 (Essex Rd to Tottenham Court Rd)Average cycle time 30 minsCalories burned Around 180Metres of buses dodged 36 end to end

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