August 13, 2010 at 11:04 am #73886
It’s hard to believe two weeks have passed since the Boris Bikes arrived in London Town! Despite all the problems there have been over 100,00 journey’s by over 40,000 members. Amazing stuff!
These forums, your forums, have gone way beyond my wildest expectations. 250+ active members writing 1000+ posts! Site traffic has grown roughly 20% per day since it launch. Very impressive.
But I think the most impressive thing has been you guys. The willingness to help your fellow BB’ers is so overwhelming. People come hear to ask question and you lot provide helpful answer. I can’t thank you enough. We even have a group of techhies beavering away building incredible things to make our BB experience that much better.
The Boris Bike community isn’t just online either. It’s in the street. Londoners that don’t talk to strangers are now chatting at traffic lights while straddling with pride their lovely big blue borris bike!
With all this going on I think an FAQ is called for. To kick things off I have prepared the bare essentials below based upon that fantastic contributes you have all made to these forums.
Please post and suggestions/corrections below and I will periodically update this post.+++++ Boris Bikes Community Forums Frequently Asked Questions +++++
How much does it cost?
Membership + Usage charge = Cost
Membership is either £1/day, £5/week or £45/yr
Usage charge is £0 for the first 30 minutes of each ride then up to £50 for 24hrs
Why does it cost so much?
It is only expensive for trips over 30 minutes. This is by design. There are not enough bikes for everyone in London to keep a bike all day. It is probably better to think of the scheme as bike sharing and not bike hiring. If you need to hire a bike for longer periods see here.
RULES AND SAFTEY
Do I need a helmet?
There is no law requiring you to wear a helmet however you may want to consider on. Read these links:
Am I allowed to jump red lights?
No. It is against the Highway Code (section 71) to bicycles to go through red traffic lights. It is also a breach of the TFL Barclay’s Cycle Hire Terms and Conditions and you may loose your membership if you bicycle number is reported.
How do I lock the bike?
You don’t. It is against T&C’s section 9b.
You will hover be liable for £300 should the bike be stolen while you have in un-docked. If you need to get off the bike then re-dock it at your nearest docking station. Remember, dock it, don’t lock it.
Also if your bike is not docked correctly and someone steals it then again you may be liable for £300 fee. To avoid this, make sure you get a “green light and click at the end of every trip”. If you don’t then wait a follow these instructions -
BIKES & DOCKS
The saddle is loose, how do I tighten it?
You need to tighten the seatpost adjustment clamp. This video demonstrates how to tighten this type of mechanism:
In short; the “knurled knob” is the nut with the raised ridges on the opposite end of the seat bolt from the lever. The knob is used to fine-tune the amount of force that the lever will put on the seatpost when closed.
The lever should ideally be reasonably stiff, but not hard to push. On a seat, it’s easier to tell than on a wheel; if the seat sinks, it’s too loose; if you struggle to close it, it’s too tight.
How do I change gears?
The inner 2cm of the right handle-bar grip is a “twist-grip gear shifter”. Rotate it towards you to shift down and gear and away to shift up.
The bikes use a “hub gear”. Having pressure on the pedals whilst changing gear will mean it is not smooth.
The trick is to stop pedalling for a second, change gear and then start pedalling again.
What do I do if there’s a fault?
If your cycle’s lost or stolen call us on 0845 026 3630 or 020 8216 6666 (open 06:00 to 24:00)
If your cycle breaks down
- Return it to the nearest docking station and secure it in a docking point
- Press the fault button on the docking point within 10 seconds
All the docks are full and my 30 minutes is almost up, what should I do?
If the docking station’s full. When you return your cycle, check the terminal to see where there are free docking points. You can get up to 15 minutes extra time if you need to cycle to another station.
How long do I have to wait between returning a bike and starting a new journey?
5 minutes. The exception to this is if you are at the start of your journey you have a few minutes in which to swap bikes over incase there is a problem.
What Apps & Maps are available for London Cycle Hire?
- http://www.londonbikeapp.com/ (59p)
- http://www.layar.com/ (once installed, search for “TFL Cycle Hire”)
- http://www.uidroid.com/ (59p)
- http://www.bixou.info/ (59p)
- http://londontransportapp.com/ (£1.99)
Mobile Web Apps
- Docking station use in the last 24 hours *1
- BikeGrid: Docking station viewer *1
*1 These were produced by the giCentre at City University for analysing docking station usage and the geographic distribution of bikes around London.
What bike books can you recommend?
Why Boris Bikes?
This independent online community is called Boris Bikes simply because it’s the name that many people refer to the scheme by. i.e. the white van driver that passed by me the other morning saying “there’s one of those bloody boris bikes”.
@parsingphase suggests its because the vehicles in question are unwieldy, stubborn, and a dodgy shade of blue. Plus they have a habit of costing more than they promised.
How do I set my forum avatar?
These forums are using the very popular Gravatar system. You can get yours here – http://en.gravatar.com/
Make sure you use the same email address as you used to register on the forums.
Can I get email notifications when someone replies to my post?
Yes, click the Add this topic to your favourites link at the top of the page and make sure you have enabled Favourite Notification in your profile.
How can I jump directly to the latest post for a topic?
Don’t click link in the Topic column, instead click the link in the Freshness column.
How do I add an image to my post?
You first need to upload you image to an image hosting service such as http://imgur.com
Next insert the full URL of the JPG using the IMG button then click OK. After you submit your post the image will now be displayed inline.
LAST UPDATED 0810h 10th July 2012
p.s. New Hints & Tips sticky and TFL Wishlist sticky will be coming very soon.Don't forget to add your own signature! 1) Click your name in the top left (under Home once logged in) 2) Click Edit link on the left menu 3) Fill in "Your Forum Signature" 4) Click Update ProfileAugust 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm #76542
Nice overview.August 13, 2010 at 5:36 pm #76543
thanksDon't forget to add your own signature! 1) Click your name in the top left (under Home once logged in) 2) Click Edit link on the left menu 3) Fill in "Your Forum Signature" 4) Click Update ProfileAugust 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm #76547
Nice overviewAugust 13, 2010 at 6:20 pm #76548
[attachment=1146,7]August 16, 2010 at 11:38 am #76549
Great stuff. MIght be worth adding http://cyclehelmets.org/1019.html to the helmets section.August 16, 2010 at 3:18 pm #76550August 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm #76551
FAQ updated. Thanks for the suggestions.Don't forget to add your own signature! 1) Click your name in the top left (under Home once logged in) 2) Click Edit link on the left menu 3) Fill in "Your Forum Signature" 4) Click Update ProfileAugust 18, 2010 at 9:58 am #76552
FAQ updated – added additional online maps built by giCentre at City University. Thanks @jwoAugust 18, 2010 at 11:10 am #76553
FAQ updated – added addional info on “How to change gears” from this post.August 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm #76554
It was developed by the company behind the Barclays Cycle Hire’s technological platform, and it also works in Montreal, Minneapolis and Melbourne with more cities coming soon.September 3, 2010 at 8:45 am #76555September 6, 2010 at 9:19 am #76556
Can’t seem to edit my post above. cyclehi.com is working again now!September 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm #76557
People will work it out for themselves, but it’s rotate towards you to go UP a gear and away from you to go down.September 13, 2010 at 6:51 pm #76558
This might have been said 100 times already, but it would be helpful if they didn’t show bikes available at a docking station that are faulty.
Quite a few times I’ve seen 1 or 2 bikes apparently available, then I get there and the bikes are faulty.
I’ve learned not to get too hopeful.
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