I am new to riding in London. Everything is going fine so far (and the duke is an incredible and easy machine for filtering) but my biggest worry are cameras. I assume you need to be very careful with no right turns even on quiet back streets as I’ve been stung in a car before but my main concern is speed. Where exactly are all the 20mpg average speed cams? I don’t plan on riding at a silly pace but the 390 duke is a little annoying at 20mph - in second its hard to be smooth due to throttle response and in 3rd it chugs. Hoping it might be better after first service. However its much easier to ride at about 25-27 which I would rather do even in a 20mph zone. Can I generally do this, slowing down when i see a camera? Do invisible cameras exist?
Also I assume I can go in any bus lane but what about little bits of road when it says something like buses and taxis only?
Any other tips welcome as I cant even find this info on the council websites. One thing I did find out recently is that you have to use the “park right” app as when you pay for bays the phone numbers don’t seem to work and its not the “pay by phone” app that the annoying voice recording suggests.
The traffic does not stress me but these complexities do! Any help much appreciated so I don’t get 10 fines though the post on my first two weeks of riding…! Thanks in advance everyone
Can’t answer a lot as I dont ride into London much, but you are only allowed to ride in bus lanes that have a motorbike on the sign. This is most of the red routes, bit not a lot of the others so it’s worth checking the signs.
Bus filters (where the bus lane separates from the road) are the same, some you can (like Holloway and Trafalgar Square) and dune you can’t.
I could be wrong, but to my knowledge (or at least around my way) these are not average speed checks merely a traditional speed camera. Note I saw a car get flashed with one of these and he/she was defo under 30 so these are capturing at 20mph + tolerance
The police have been out in force also with their speed guns so you have been warned!
Bus lanes as Boris has already said you cannot go in all of them, it is about 50/50(ish) so if you have been riding freely in them, expect to get some invoices through the post asking you to contribute to their christmas fund…
Another little quirk there is about 4 different parking apps some are named annoyingly similar but are different, some will charge an admin fee, some will not.
Not all of them. You need to check the blue panels for a motorbike icon. If there is none, then motorbikes and cars are banned from that lane at specific times. You then have to check the times.
I think all bus lanes should be 24/7 for simplicity. Pedal cycles should be allowed. Motorbikes should also be allowed because the constant road narrowings and central pedestrian refuges put motorcyclists in danger. All other traffic should be banned and I include taxis in that; taxis are not public transport.
The good news is, you will probably find most of your riding will be on routes/journeys you do regularly - unless you are a courier serving the whole city - in which case you will learn the idiosyncrasies of it and the boroughs’ rules in question.
I don’t have a working speedo on my bike as I changed the front wheel out. I’ve not got a ticket for speeding yet, but thankfully only the 30mph zones I ride in have speed cameras. I’m not remotely interested in crawling around at 20
The bus lanes as said above, regularly check the blue advisory signs to let you know. These can change. Checking signs while you ride is something that will get much easier with time but bus lanes are stressful to most of us when riding in a new area.
I’d encourage you not to use cycle lanes on approach unless you’re really stuck, as I just think it’s a terrible idea to be undertaking vehicles unless it can be helped. Try to pass on the offside, and if the oncoming lane is clear use it - I mean own it. I think using a cycle lane in the same way you’d approach a yellow box jn is fine (only enter if you can see your exit is clear). Again, this is just courtesy to the intended user. Provided you don’t endanger or inconvenience them it shouldn’t be too bad.
I’d encourage you to use the box in front of the lights reserved for cyclists provided you keep up your rear obs while the lights are red and be courteous to other cyclists and riders. There are few things worse than bikers who obdurately sit in between two lorries just behind the box, just to hold the moral high ground. This screws every single biker behind and it means you are preventing cyclists from progressing forward into it.
Luckily I don’t have to park on the street anymore. If you do, try not to be too precious about your bike as you’ll only be disappointed. It’ll get scuffed sooner or later. If your wing mirrors don’t fold in, be prepared to lose them. Likewise for stalk indicators. A good idea to carry a spare brake/gear levers if you’ve got a long commute home if your bike is knocked down (it happens). You can tape them to the underside of your fairings if tight on space. Otherwise I’m told a pair of needle nose vice grip pliers can do a job.
I have had to meet friends for lunch in the past on the bike, and you can pretty much guarantee that parking bays are full at that time of day. I’ve got away with half hour stints of parking next to the bays and taking off my number plate. Parkies will give you tickets for parking just outside the bays - I wouldn’t do a whole day with my plate off in case it got towed/clamped!
To be clear so you are in the know, this is a fineable offence as the box is for CYCLISTS and every so often the Police have a drive on stamping this out, which again as above is them sending you another invoice for the Christmas party which you’re not allowed to attend…
I’m one of the “morale high grounders” you speak of! I think it is actually completely unacceptable to sit in those boxes on a motorbike unless there is a genuine concern for your safety, if it is just to be 6" further forward why do it, as much as I hate cyclists (and I do) they deserve some respect being the most vulnerable road users out of all of us…
Slow-Rides comment on the own the other lane I do agree with, get out in the middle (as long as safe) don’t ride along their wing mirrors as you’re just sitting in the blind spot(s).
It’s not just a fineable offence, it’s also a 3 pointer, because it is going through a red light. To the letter of the law, I would probably be banned 4 times over for my various offences during my 80 mile round commute. I would be able to tell you every infraction, which highway code rule it breached, and I would also have a very good reason for doing so.
My rationale for moving forward into the box is nothing to do with my own safety as I briefly explained above it is for others - and to be clear I’m not talking 6" I’m talking moving in to the box entirely and making room for others approach from behind and do the same. It is for the cyclists who arrive behind me who want to progress forward, for the bikers who don’t want to be stuck between lorries/coaches with blind spots the size of a small house, for the pedestrians crossing the road so that we can see each other and know if it is safe to move off or not, and so that the driver at the front of the queue sitting there texting can actually see me, because I’ve pulled in front of them, rather than to the side - in seeing me it might just occur to them that there are more to follow before turning without indicating as soon as they move off.
I also don’t remotely hate cyclists, I was one daily my whole life until I rode a motorcycle. I ride a motorcycle the same way that I rode a bicycle, and have a complete appreciation for vulnerable road users - and I hope my logic above displays that the only reason I do it is to protect other vulnerable road users.
I’ve always thought that box should have a section for bikers as well as cyclists. Bikes pull away much faster. I can’t recall the number of times I’ve been stuck behind a group of cyclists who accumulated in that box.
without wishing to hijack a good thread on roadcraft, I don’t think a speedo/odometer are MOT fails - just need to come from factory. I’m sure I’ll find out next MOT. Will need to disconnect the check engine light (deleted the ABS)
@duke390 happy riding! You’ve not future proofed yourself with that name I have to say What’s your route if I see you I’ll wave
I am both a pedal cyclist and Ducati rider (and I’m a pedestrian, bus user, car driver and occasional van driver). This morning I cycled my mountain bike 13 kms.
I think motorbikes using the ASL has to be on a case by case basis.
I remember one of my first rides on the motorbike, having just passed my test, I filtered up to the ASL (advanced stop line) at the roundabout at Lambeth Palace. Two lanes of densely queuing motors. As a long term cyclist I decided not to go into the ASL on a point of principle. The lights changed and the van beside me jumped them before I could move, that left me stranded as others behind him gunned it too. It was a stupidly dangerous position to have put myself in, and rightly gave me an almighty shock. Once bitten, twice shy; I decided then and there that three points or not, being respectful to pedal cyclists or not, I would thereafter put my own safety first.
So now I don’t enter the bicycle box if I can avoid it but when I experience a situation like the above I will enter the box. And yes, you might criticise that and say one shouldn’t filter to the front unless one can see a safe, legal, space but if we didn’t filter while riding in London we may as well use the car.
For me it’s either pull partly into the bike box or stop (as you legally should) behind the first vehicle in the queue.
If I am filtering to the front of traffic I want to be at the front, fully visible and safe. Stopping between two vehicles where they might not see you is too dangerous for me.
Speaking to the cops on my bikesafe days they tend to be pragmatic about cycle lanes and bicycle boxes. Along the lines of “if there are no cycles and it is safe then feel free, just don’t ever do it to the detriment of a cyclist.” Especially bicycle boxes, then they told me you will only ever be fined if you have done something else to annoy them and they will use that as an excuse.
To be honest, this is the point I was making. I’m not saying by any means I’m an angel but the I’ll go into the box regardless attitude is just a bit cavalier.
To clarify my position on cyclists, I am one also, riding generally into the high hundreds if not thousands of miles a year. The general populous of cyclists just seem to think it is ok to move without looking, turning without indicating and then go off on drivers/riders etc because they have not put their own safety first.
Without wishing to sound smug, I feel I’m a better cyclist since becoming a motorcyclist. No one ever taught be to do shoulder checks before now I do them all the time when cycling.
It does all road users a power of good to see it from the other side. I spent a year driving a very slow (old-fashioned non-turbo diesel) white van. That changed my perception of what van drivers sometimes have to do. It’s also worth looking out for the https://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/advice-and-support/safer-roads/Pages/Exchanging-Places-.aspx programme. It’s aimed at cyclists but it’s worth motorbikers popping along too and learning about how easy it is to get hidden from the trucker’s view.