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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What a GOOD idea

Many of you, knowing my predilection for cycling, might be surprised that I hadn't tried the TfL Cycle Hire Scheme (Often known unfairly as Boris Bikes, as it was Ken who kicked off the idea). The reason being, most of the time I'm on my own bike so have no need of a second. But recently, I found myself in town without my bike and needing to get about. I thought "Time to hire a bike!"

I rolled up to a machine, inserted a credit card, followed the instructions and minutes later was wheeling away my bike, only £1 poorer for a full day bike hire! Is there better value to be had anywhere in the London Transport system? The first 30 minutes are free, so most times you will pay no more to travel anywhere in central London. The bikes themselves initially feel heavy, but are remarkably comfortable and sure footed. What a good idea they are.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 6

Comments on "What a GOOD idea"


Blogger Steve A said ... (00:40) : 

Boris Bikes is a lot catchier than Ken Bikes which rather sounds like a "Barbie" accessory package.


Blogger Mozette said ... (02:03) : 

We have similar bike hiring system here in Brisbane, Australia, however not many people use them. I see lots of them sitting in their bays unused all locked up. It's a pity seeing how Brisbane City is such a great place to cycle around; and being a person who doesn't own a credit card, it would be great to hire one at least once in my life... just for the fun of it all.


Anonymous CornishCockney said ... (16:27) : 

Didn't realise it was that easy, or cheap!
What happens if you don't have a helmet? I think I'd be too scared to ride on the road regardless!


Blogger Ham said ... (07:44) : 

CornishCockney - it's quite clear that if you ride a bike without a helmet you will instantly vapourise, which is why the population of the Netherlands now comprises only 1,324 geriatrics unable to move and several thousand babies not big enough to ride bikes.

There is a huge amount of misinformation about helmets and their usefulness, they are just not magic hats, and if not having one makes you ride more carefully, the chances are you are better off without.

A helmet is designed for falls where no other vehicle is involved (you can read the science here:, in the vast majority of accidents causing death or severe injury helmets would not have helped one jot.

I wear a helmet all the time because there are a small number of accidents where the helmet will help and in those incidents there is a risk of brain damage, one of my worst fears. As such the minor discomfort seems a fair bet, and I do not think wearing a helmet modifies my behaviour at all.


Blogger Paul @ Leeds Daily Photo said ... (09:17) : 

Maybe Boris borrowed the idea from Ken but Ken got it from Paris at a guess. One thing I do know I agree with the current campaign in the Times about bike safety. Last time I was on a busy road in a small town, the traffic scared me silly.


Anonymous Raoul Duke said ... (15:21) : 

Really looking forward to trying these next time I'm in London. Love your blog, by the way!


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Name: Ham Location: London, United Kingdom View my complete profile