Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My First Boris Bike Ride

Off message but today I finally did it - and after months of faffing around I bought a helmet and cycle clips then hired a Barclay (Boris) bike and rode from Holborn to London Liverpool Street station.

This is the London cycle sharing scheme. 

Of course they should be called "Ken's Bikes" since it was actually the idea of London Labour Mayor Ken Livingstone in 2007. Like a lot of Ken's ideas - Boris nicked them.

It took me about 20 minutes to work out how to log in and release a bike. The instructions on docking stations for first time users are pretty rubbish. Luckily for me some helpful staff were about relocating bikes. You have to set up a charge with your credit card and get a receipt then you have to reinsert your credit card to get a slip with an unlocking code. Once you know what you are doing then it is quite simple.You can order a key online to make things quicker.

The bike itself is pretty easy to ride and feels surprisingly light considering it is quite a big bike. The gears need a little getting use to but it is stable and being high off the ground gives you confidence. The front carrier basket is rather small but its better to store stuff here rather than a rucssack on your back. If you are not use to cycling in London it would be best for you to try out in quiet streets and at quiet times to get use to the bike before hitting the high road in peak traffic. 

I was on the whole, well impressed and will definitely give this mode of transport a try in coming months. Tomorrow I will be going to Mordon and may be able to cycle some of the way back to Islington.


Anonymous said...

How about getting them in Newham?

John Gray said...

Good idea anon, I spoke tonight to the Newham Cycling Tzar and he suggested the best way is to "persuade" the LDC to pay for bikes in the Olympic Park.

Which would then be a toehold into the borough.