Olympic countdown - Reasons for a London Cycle Map, #70: Get visitors cycling.

#70: GET VISITORS CYCLING. As a visitor to London – whether from another continent, country or county – how would you know where to go when you got there?

Perhaps you’d carry an A to Z, or a smaller map just showing the central areas, and keep referring back to it while you wander.

Or perhaps you’d drift on and off buses and Tube trains, staring into your smart phone, waiting for it to show you where you are (you brainless balloon, you), and following your progress on the greasy screen, ignoring the actual world as you went.

Or perhaps you’d head to one of the Cycle Hire scheme’s 570 docking stations, collect a bike, check your pocket-sized London Cycle Map to decide which of the well-signed, coloured routes you wanted to follow, and get going. You might have a specific destination in mind, or you might just want to explore. You might even ride all day, until it was time to hang up your bike as the sun sets (or even rises).

With a London Cycle Map, there’d be no need to work out exactly which streets you’d need to follow, either in advance or at every possible turn in the road; the coloured signs would do the navigational work for you, so you could just sit and enjoy the ride, noticing all the interesting sights along the way. Freed from the limitations of public transport (and the need to memorise the geography of the whole city before you set off), exploring London would be exciting, invigorating and relaxing all at once – the perfect combination for a city break.

With millions of visitors converging on London this summer, we should be making it easy for them to cycle while they’re in town. Clearly, the biggest impediment to cycling for people who don’t know their way around the capital will be navigation. A London Cycle Map would be the biggest welcome a bicycle-loving tourist could hope to receive.


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