How safe is it to park the bike at tube stations?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by aleksei, 15 Apr 2010.

  1. aleksei

    aleksei New Member

    Hello, everyone..

    First post here =). It turns out I'll need to start commuting from Heathrow to the city soon, and that means I'll have to start using the tube =/.

    Anyway... I don't want to give up cycling altogether and was thinking of cycling part of my commute, from Heathrow to Turnham Green station. But that means leaving my Carrera Subway 1 out there on the street and although it's not a fancy bike, I do love it loads, and don't like the idea of a chav having a go at it in any way!

    So how safe/unsafe would it be? or what would the wise community recommend?

  2. redjedi

    redjedi Über Member

    Welcome Aleksei.

    Heathrow to the City is a good distance to cycle all the way. If you have changing facilities and showers at work then definitely consider cycling all the way, especially now it's getting warmer, I can't stand tubes in the summer.

    But if you want to tube it then Turnham Green isn't a bad place to leave your bike.

    There's a couple of places to leave your bike

    Here which is covered by CCTV and here

    There's always lots of bikes left there throughout the year, and it's quite a safe area.

    I wouldn't leave a fancy road bike there, but if you've got a older or less flashy bike that blends in with the rest then go for it.

    And if you see me on my green and white Bianchi say hello :biggrin:
  3. How amazing is the internet!, you couldn't have offered that reply a year ago let alone 10 years back.

    Aleksei. I second Red's comment on taking the plunge, Heathrow to the city is 17.8 miles and really, really flat...looks like a dream ride to me that would take under an hour to on the way in the wind will be on your back all the way!!

    take a look at bike hike to plan a route

    good luck
  4. redjedi

    redjedi Über Member

    Except this week ;)
  5. theclaud

    theclaud It's teeceegawnmaaaad

    He'll hear you before he sees you...
  6. skrx

    skrx Active Member

    Depending exactly where you're going to and from (and what time), you might save time by cycling to one of the larger National Rail stations on the line from Waterloo, e.g. Richmond or Putney. (There's probably very little in it, maybe they'd be nice for a change.)

    I wouldn't like to leave my bike in the same place every day for most of the day, although it'd probably be fine really.
  7. OP

    aleksei New Member

    ;) Whaaa? under an hour!? Hehe.. I barely managed to do 40 minutes to Turnham Green the other day I did a reconnaissance ride. Keep in mind I'm a beginner, on a hybrid, and still a confessed gutter hugger, I just don't feel that confident out there yet.

    The other thing is, I should have been more specific, I have to go all the way to Canary Wharf...

    Thanks for the link to bikehike, though, that certainly seems pretty useful.

    Thanks everyone for your input so far.
  8. redjedi

    redjedi Über Member

    You'll soon be cycling all the way, and even taking little detours to extend your ride home, Richmond park is very nice for a quick spin on a summers afternoon. :smile:

    How about taking the SE train line to Waterloo and riding a bit at either end (bikes are allowed on that train line, you may need to a little early to avoid the peak hour). Perhaps ride to Richmond or Barnes - train to Waterloo - cycle to Canary Wharf.
    Then as your fitness improves (and you buy that new bike you've got your eye on ;)) you can reduce the train journey until it's easier and quicker to avoid it altogether.
  9. OP

    aleksei New Member

    :smile: So that mind reading ability comes with the jedi thing right?? :biggrin:

    Just checked on bikehike, and it's only 17.6 miles... I'm starting to feel more tempted to ride the whole way now.. hmm... :smile:
  10. redjedi

    redjedi Über Member

    I'm afraid all cyclist think alike


    mmmmmmmmmmm........New Bike !

    What about train all the way in the morning, and ride all the way home. Although your idea is a much better one, just don't burn yourself out and stop enjoying it.
  11. yorkshiregoth

    yorkshiregoth Master of all he surveys

    Turnham Green tube station is one of the stations that I occasionally work at. There are normally dozens of bikes chained to the railings opposite the station next to the park. The area is covered by CCTV (council run not TFL) but there was a few nicked from there about 18 months back. Not heard anything since then though. (I keep my bike in the office just in case)
  12. Sorry, that may have sounded arrogant, I didn’t mean it to...but you may be amazed at how your fitness improves once you get into a good body rhythm.

    You are right to take it easy though or you simply wont enjoy it and will find it easier to roll out of bed and onto the train instead.

    That said, 21 miles to the wharf is still do-able either a few days a week or one way each day…worth thinking about, you will feel on top of the world the first day you arrive at the office having ridden in all the way.

    Some riders on here do that distance every day ….am I convincing you??

    At the end of the day, you are doing the right thing by riding any of the journey so good on you.

    Have fun

    PS, if it helps, I ride just under 20 miles (40 return) around 3 days a week on a very old MTB (with slicks), and I am not what I would call super fit or even "cyclist shaped"…so it can be done…;)
  13. XmisterIS

    XmisterIS Purveyor of fine nonsense

    Aleksei - try the whole journey by bike; go for it! It won't take you long to get used to it. Make sure you load up on complex carbs before each ride and you'll be fine. Complex carbs make the difference between being totally exhausted (i.e. not enjoying the ride) and having bags of energy to spare and arriving at work/home feeling great! Also, pace yourself. Ride deliberately below your normal pace so you don't knacker yourself by the time you're half way there.
  14. OP

    aleksei New Member

    Jonny, no worries it didn't sound arrogant to me, just showed me I have a long way to go ;)... either that or that I definitely need the roadie.

    Now, you and XmisterIS are actually making me think it's not that difficult. And me being cheap, I would love to pay £0 in tube fares. Maybe this weekend I'll do the whole trip just to explore the route.

    XmisterIS, could you expand a little on the complex carbs? what kind of food has them?
  15. XmisterIS

    XmisterIS Purveyor of fine nonsense

    Complex carbs are carbohydrates that take a long time to be metabolised, so that they release energy slowly, so that you don't get a big energy "high" (cycling fast with bags of energy) followed by an energy "low" (no energy left to push the pedals round).

    As a general rule, brown rice and brown pasta are good complex carbs, white rice and white pasta are not.

    Additionaly, if you feel like you're starting to flag en-route, resist the temptation to stop and get something super-sugary like a can of coke or a mars bar - these will just flood your blood with sugar and enable you to ride like Superman for about 3 miles - but after that you will feel even more exhausted and will probably start getting muscle cramps too! Instead, take a bag of dried mixed fruit and nuts with you - e.g. Trail Mix from a health food store and have a nibble when you need a bit of energy.

    The best way to keep yourself from needing to eat en-route though is to have a big meal of complex carbs 20-30 mins before you set out - e.g. a big plate of pasta and sauce. Or, if you ride in the morning, a big bowl of museli with honey rather than sugar. And go easy on the honey!

    Eating the right food makes the difference between having an enjoyable ride and having a ride where you are exhausted and hating it. If you arrive home with energy to spare, then you've eaten the right food.
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