The Manual - How to ride in Central London

Cycling in any city (bar Amsterdam) is a pretty risky business, but in London, you're dicing with death at the turn of every bus. So in a bid to prevent any unsightly bike-based scenes, we've put together our guide to cycling in Central London. Pay attention now.

1 Before saddling up, make sure you check your brakes - you need to be able to stop! And here's some science: to be truly efficient check your seat is at the right height. Too low means putting much more huffing and puffing into your pedaling.

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2 Confidence is key in the capital. Own the road, be assertive, but not aggressive and - especially if there is heavy traffic - try to make eye contact with drivers where possible so they know you're there. You never know where it may lead.

3 Never cycle on the left hand side of a lorry that has stopped at a junction or is about to turn. Their blind spot can be the full length of the vehicle and cyclists who do this are risking their lives.

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4 Think ahead. It's easy to get lost in the joy of the ride. But if you can spot hazards, like a pedestrian stepping into the road, early enough then you will be able to find those extra few seconds to allow yourself enough time to avoid them.

5 The easiest way to take to two wheels in London is set to be the Mayor's new Cycle Hire Scheme. Thousands of bikes will be available at hundreds of locations across central London. Be safe, be confident and join the capital's cycling revolution.

For more, see www.tfl.gov.uk/cyclehire

Words by Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London's Transport Advisor