Thames Path and Olympic Park
If youre looking for a way of getting to the Olympic Park without using the bus or tube, you could always hop on your bike. Starting at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich (make sure you make time for a potter around the Greenwich markets), cycle east on the Thames Path, past the Royal Naval College and the Millennium Dome to Woolwich. From Woolwich follow the Capital Ring through Beckton to the Greenway up to Pudding Mill Lane. Head north from here and youll be able to see the Olympic velodrome (where well be trying to bag some tickets to see how its really done).
If you dont fancy battling the traffic on Londons congested roads, then head for one of its most beautiful breathing spaces, Richmond Park. Covering almost 1,000 hectares, Richmond is the largest Royal Park and unsurprisingly it offers some of the best cycling routes in London. There are plenty of designated paths and cycle lanes - particularly since the launch of the skyrides - but the more adventurous should try the Tamsin Trail. The 7.5 mile ride will take you off-road along the steep descents of Broomfield Hill down to Robin Hood Gate and again between Kingston and Wimbledon gates. The whole ride should take around an hour.
Victoria Park to Epping Forest
From one leafy park to another... Although this one starts out east and heads even further out: start at the rather lovely Victoria Park where the route joins the Hertford Union Canal, then travel eastwards past the Olympic Park; the route then continues, joining a road network at Lea Valley Road and keep following the road along to Epping Forest. While this cycling route isnt totally flat, its well worth it once youve reached the leafy surroundings of the forest. Plus, you can return to Victoria Park through Hackney Marsh and the Well Street Common.
Limehouse to Little Venice
For another escape route from the city's traffic noise and smog, head out along one of Londons many canal networks. Start in Limehouse by the yachts in the Marina, then head northwards past Mile End lock (top tip: its well worth a pit-stop at Alannah Sparks' favourite London pub garden, the Palm Tree), then through Dalston. From Dalston carry on along the canal towards Camden Town, past Regents Park and on upwards towards the Grand Union Canal and finally arrive at Little Venice. The full cycle ride is eight miles. From there you could always lock up your bike and hop on one of the canal boats at Paddington Basin - the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the sunshine.
To get a taste for the Olympic road biking track, make a beeline for Box Hill out in Surrey. While the 15.5km route will be covered a total of 9 times by the Olympic male cyclists, we reckon a quick once around the block will probably be plenty for the rest of us. Admittedly, starting at the foot of Box Hill is a bit of a climb, but once you reach the top the views are spectacular. The descent is much more fun and if youre looking to avoid the busy A24 there are plenty of routes that will take you away from the traffic.
Like our pick of the best cycle routes in London, but looking for somewhere to watch the professionals do it instead? Check out our pick of the best places to watch the Olympics in London.