As soon as I had bought myself a bike last week, after three years of unexplainable abstinence, three bike related notable things happened.
First my friend does a 206 miles in a day race, which totally humbles my Camden to Tottenham night ride the other day (well done Sarah!). Then a Sunday cyclist races not quite as classily into the River Lee literally behind me, makes a big splash and, soaking wet, has to be helped out by my heroic self. And finally, today London opened the Barclay Cycle Superhighways and all over TV everyone is shouting about blogs and cycling…blogs and cycling….blogs….and…cycling.
Alright alright – I get the message.
But, frankly apart from zooming up and down Seven Sisters road (and not feeling too intimidated by it) and going on the odd Sunday cycle along the river Lee myself, I cannot claim to have a colossal history of cycling in Haringey at all. I plan to have one soon though, which left me researching cycling routes, tools, shops and stops etc online. So here is my humble Haringey summary for the London wide hype. Please comment to let us know about stuff I’ve overlooked like a ruthless lorry driver.
Unfortunately there are no Superhighways or Hire a Bike Schemes in Haringey yet. However, there are two CS planned – by 2012 from Hornsey to the City along the A1 and from Tottenham to the City along the A10, which I shall be very thankful for…in 2015. You can look at the plans and a map of all routes on the TFL website. In general the TFL website is not a bad place to start planning your route to anywhere in London really. However, it tends to choose the most efficient route rather than take cyclists’ experience or preference into account.
Another good site for planning your bike commute or pleasant peddle is the London Cycling Campaign’s maps. You can select the Haringey view and then plan a route that is either fastest, quietest or balanced. They also mark several London Cycle Network routes.
The more tour de force interested of you can track their day’s trek at G-maps Pedometer, which also allows you to count the burnt calories and save your routes. The good thing about this one is the terrain feature though – useful for gear-challenged people with stylish single speed bikes. I have seen said 206-miles-Sarah additionally checking and memorising crucial or potentially dangerous bends on Google Earth – genius.
Bike shops are scarce in Haringey (I really hope this is not a repeating characteristic of this blog) and I still need to see whether the few are actually any good. There is Two Wheels Good in Crouch Hill, which I only know as the slightly overpriced Stoke Newington version but will check out the Crouch Hill version soon. Halfords has branches in Muswell Hill and Tottenham. And there is Auto Cycles in Tottenham…well.
Haringey Council offers free cycling training and bike fixes on various weekends in Downshill, Finsbury and Priory Park. Check here for upcoming dates.
If you prefer riding in a group be it for racing or family trips, you might want to check for local rides at Sky Ride with the easy Finsbury Park Family Ride coming up on 1st August 2010 and the North London Escape for strong cyclists on 8th August 2010 .
The London Cyclist Campaign subsection for Haringey also has a website, yahoo group and meets every 2nd Saturday of the month at 7.30pm at the Salisbury – not quite a Look Mum No Hands but a Haringey classic! Another nice stop for bike tourists is the café in Markfield Park just off the River Lee route, which is very popular among cyclists.
I will definitely try to continue my quest for beautiful and practical routes through Haringey and updates will be shared on iheartharingey’s twitter account.
Until then, please mind those blind spots and rivers.