If someone had said to me 4 years ago that I'd be a bi-cycling around Oxford and loving it, I would have told them to go fuck themselves, as it turns out, they would have been right.
Since I moved to East Oxford, I discovered how truly awful driving around the city is (I already knew it but thought it might be ok-ish), also walking is fantastic fun but sometimes takes up to much time. So after discussing this very matter with my friend Emily, she offered me her old bike. One afternoon a few weeks later, a bike arrived for me, thanks to her uncle for dropping it off and so my love for bi-cycling and for Flo (full name being "The Fluorescent Wonder") began.
After a few cycle rides, I took to it like a duck to water...remembering how to use the gears and to up my ante when on a hill. I would do as I used to on hills by standing up and swaying side to side but that isn't Oxford bi-cycling etiquette, not at all. From what I can understand when approaching a hill, drop down a gear, then one should stay seated and make it look as easy as possible...which of course it is and I do all the time.
It's amazing how much of Oxford is designated to bi-cyclists. I'd never noticed being a driver, so it was a pleasant surprise to discover. There is parking and lanes for bi-cycles everywhere and it's hella good fun to bi-cycle around, especially when plugged in to a good album.
One of my favourite routes when bi-cycling, involves Longwall Street and then up Holywell Street, as Holywell is a slight relaxing pace and very pretty, I take this route everytime I cycle in to town. One of the others is the traffic lights at the High St./Longwall St. junction, over Madgelene Bridge and down to The Plain, I love racing the other bikes and the buses...love it!!! Also bi-cycling up to Summertown is beautiful and lovely to potter on around. Generally i'm well in to the bi-cycling and love being one of those annoying bastards in the way of all the traffic.