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Where are the London bike commuters? Infographic reveals: Hackney, mostly

London cycling hotspots visualised

We hear a lot lately about the risks that London bike commuters face every day. In the last few weeks no fewer than three people on bike have been killed in collisions with trucks, and just this morning a 44-year-old man was in serious condition in hospital after being crushed by a tipper truck.

However, in analysing where the popular places for bike commuters to live and their commuting routes, renting advice site rentonomy points out: “Cycling in London is generally quite safe. While it's true that last year 16 people were killed cycling, Transport for London estimates that people make around 540,000 bike trips every day in the city.”

Blue areas indicate the highest density of bike commuters (Graphic courtesy

“The number of cyclists on the Capital’s major roads has more than doubled since 2000 – up nine per cent in the year 2008-09 alone,” writes rentonomy’s David Butler.

The stereotypical view of London cycling is that typical bike riders in the capital are fixie-riding Hackney hipsters. Rentonomy doesn’t have any data on bikes and lifestyles, but Butler says the the top five areas where bike commuters live include Dalston, Stoke Newington and Clapton, all in the borough of Hackney, plus neighbouring Highbury in Islington.

Butler says that 12% of all commuters cycle into work from Dalston. “Others in the top five are Stoke Newington (10%), Highbury (9%), Clapton (9%) and Herne Hill (8%), according to the 2011 census.”

The money saved by commuting by bike is substantial. “With annual Travelcards costing £1,200 (zones 1-2) and £1,400 (zones 1-3), these savvy cyclists could be saving between 8% and 15% of their rent,” says Butler.

And where are these commuters going?

Butler says: “We used data from the 2001 census to see where people from these top 5 cycle areas are cycling to in their daily commute, and created the map at the bottom of this article. With the exception of Dalston, by far the most popular commuting destination is Victoria and St James. This is to be expected as this area is the most common commuting destination of all methods of transport. Dalston residents are most likely to cycle to Haggerston, Bloomsbury or the West End.”

Bike commuter destinations (Graphic courtesy

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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