London Underground Cycling Routes

I have an idea for cycling.  The idea probably isn’t original but I think it will be fun.  The idea is based on the London Underground.

There are many ideas based on the London Underground, such as the Tube Challenge which is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records, and there is a smaller scale Tube challenge is based in solely in Zone 1.  There are also people who walk the routes of the Underground takes ‘overground’ because the places the routes take are really interesting as well, but they’re generally missed due to them being on a train and not paying much attention.  Also, the Tube has changed the development of London more than anyone can imagine.  This can be illustrated by what happened to places where it didn’t go (a nice short documentary here about the never-built Northern Heights here on youtube Unfinished London)  This is because a railway line, or any form of transport that has a ‘permanent way’ brings a guaranteed transport link; unlike buses, they can’t change routes.

Anyway, so my idea is that I want to cycle the routes on the Tube above ground.  And here is what I intend to do.  It’s nothing too ambitious:

I want to cycle from one end to the other of all the London Underground, Overground, and Docklands Light Railway lines. My route will be planned out in advanced and also GPS tracked whilst I ride and uploaded onto RunKeeper.

Each route shouldn’t take more than half a day. I’m doing the shorter routes first so hopefully by the time I get to the longer routes I’ll be a bit fitter and faster. The branch lines on the District, Northern, Metropolitan, and Central Lines will be done on separately, either on the same day if I’m feeling up to it, or on another day, possibly with others who want to join me as they’ll be much shorter.

To begin with, the easiest one to do (in my opinion) is the Circle Line. Journey time from Hammersmith to Edgware Road via Aldgate on the Circle Line is approximately 80 minutes.

Circle Line

Start point: Hammersmith
End point: Edgware Road via Aldgate (clockwise/Outer Rail)

A serious purpose to this is to see how easy or how hard it is for people to cycle to and from various different places instead of using the London Underground, especially for commuting. With Spring and Summer coming up this is the perfect time to get on a bicycle and get fit whilst getting from A to B.

I did a test run today round the Circle Line. The route I took was 17miles through rush hour traffic. I took two 10 minute breaks and with that included the whole journey took just over 2 hours.
It’s a bit like a morning workout before work.

If anyone wants to come with me then you’re more than welcome. I am doing all Tube lines in order of what I judge to be easiest to hardest, and then the Overground and Docklands Light Railway. Feel free to contact me if you’re interested.
Finally, I am not very fit at all and I am a very safe and considerate cyclist. Don’t think that I’ll be blitzing any of these routes. We’ll be going a nice leisurely pace and finding the quieter routes where possible.

I won’t be doing very many before June but I hope to do some as I’m very much looking forward to it, as demonstrated by going out today on a test run on a whim.

Cycle safe everyone!


5 thoughts on “London Underground Cycling Routes

  1. linyangchen

    This sounds really fun. I used to cycle around my city exploring the many intriguing things one finds in urban environments, but unfortunately I can’t commit the time at the moment. Be safe and have fun!

  2. cascade21

    Great idea. Definitely something I’d like to try out at some point, maybe when the weather’s better and I have a bit more time 🙂

    1. Lap Chan Post author

      It would be great if you wanted to join me on parts of any of the routes. Or all of one of them, or more!
      I’ll let you know when I’ll be riding the routes. Hope you can come along.



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