I’ve moved from Düsseldorf in Germany to London in October 2009. One of the things I’m missing most are my after-work rides on the bicycle. In the center Düsseldorf – a city which is normally not known for its cycling credentials – it was fairly easy to do a 15 or 20 miles bike ride without almost any car traffic. All you had to do was getting to the river Rhine.
In London, things are much more complicated. For months, even my best cycling route here had been much worse than the worst one I had in Düsseldorf. Recently, however, I’ve worked out a route which is – judged by London standards – just brilliant. (Even judged by Düsseldorf standards, it’s fairly ok!). It’s a circular route in north London and about 20 miles (30 km) long.
The biggest sensation is that at least 50 % of the route (probalby more) are completely car-free and much of the rest is on quiet roads. It follows abandoned railway tracks, goes through magnificent parks and follows beautiful canals. The downside is that it includes some significant climbs (in Highgate and Hampstead Heath). Neither of them is extremely long so you can easily push your bike (and they are doable on a 6-speed-Brompton!).
The tour even includes some interesting sights: You’ll pass the famous art deco Highbury stadium which has been converted into flats, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium [Tottenham supporters can do a detour…] Hampstead Heath, Camden Lock and the headquarter of “The Guardian” at King’s Place.