Week 1 – Tell us what you LOVE about YOUR London Cycle Hire

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This topic contains 27 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  shootthecompany 2 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #73798

    Boris
    Keymaster

    It’s been 1 week already? I feel like a changed man! Riding a bike every day has given me so much energy. I just feel happier all over. :D

    I know there has been plenty of problems, and heated debate on helmets and traffic lights, but today I thought it would be nice to hear some positive stories. Have you meet the girl or boy of your dreams while riding a Boris Bike? Have you become more passionate lover? Or are you just loving London like you have never loved her before?

    Please share with everyone your happy stories from your first week riding boris bikes…

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    #75919

    dan
    Participant

    I love my Boris Bike.

    I have used it every day to and from work since launch day. In fact I was very excited on the first day when the nice little man from TFL told me I was the first person to take a bike from the Euston Road stand!

    I have not had any issues, other than the dam over tight breaks.

    I have even managed to cycle on the same bike twice. This morning I picked up the bike I had returned to Euston yesterday!

    I now want to start a campaign to get all Boris’ bike users to wave and smile as we pass each other! :D

    A truly fab scheme, I love it.

    #75920

    andrewg
    Participant

    I’ve now made 30+ trips since last Friday. Overwhelmingly positive. I love the random conversations with people on every trip, in fact I’ve felt like a Cycle Hire salesman at the start of every trip when people ask questions at docking stations.

    The bikes are brilliant (I check to see that the rear wheel freewheels before every trip religiously) and I quite like the sedate ride you get. I did have concerns about the ‘magazine rack’ on the front but my bag fits in quite easily.

    I’m really lucky as I live within the cycle hire zone, and it’s great for getting from A to B, between meetings and to the office. I’ve not been near a Tube train or bus in over a week!

    Best of all though is I’ve lost 5lbs in the last week from all the Boris Biking around town!

    #75921

    parsingphase
    Participant

    I must admit the exercise I’ve got on the bikes has helped pick up my mood – and the upright position, while initially completely alien to me, does work well for cycling in traffic.

    (I rode one yesterday – just before the downtime, apparently – after a particularly heavy pilates session. If this keeps up there’s a real risk of me getting fit).

    #75922

    Walbrook
    Participant

    My normal (walking) commute is twenty minutes and it never seemed worthwhile to use a bike of my own. With the Boris Bikes I have cut that time in half but, more importantly, its now fun.

    Here in the City there seem to be plenty of closely spaced docking stations and availability has been good with only a short walk/ride needed if a station is empty/full.

    I like the bikes, haven’t had problems with sticky brakes, found the luggage rack worked well (would never have got my dry cleaning in a basket) but would like bigger gears.

    I am finding the free Bixou Lite iPhone app very good for checking nearby stations but have noticed the availability data appears to be ten or fifteen minutes old.

    I am not wearing a helmet or any other cycling gear which is all part of the convenience but I am stopping at red lights!

    #75923

    cyclingnewbie
    Participant

    This scheme has changed how I see London. Central London is now a much smaller place for me, as everywhere within a short cycle ride now feels close. I would never cycle my own bike in central London, due to the inconvenience of transporting the bike from outer London where I live, and due to the constant (and justified!) fear of it being stolen.

    The best thing I like about the TfL bikes is the docking / parking process. Cycle in, thunk, 5 seconds, green light, done. Brilliant!

    #75924

    Picklehead
    Participant

    Fantastic. I was a cyclist before, but the bike scheme enables journeys that I couldn’t do before.

    They do need to get a grip with the software, though. Too many docking station terminals are slow/not working and the journey times are off by about 30 minutes on one trip I made yesterday.

    Given that we’ve all submitted out email addresses to them I feel that they could be sending out messages to inform people about what the problems are.

    #75925

    jstreetley
    Participant

    I’ve been loving the bikes so far. Never cycled before, other than for country rides when I was a kid. I wrote up my experiences of the week so far on in this blog post.

    I’m sure this is going to help get me fitter as well! :)

    #75926

    ChrisD
    Participant

    The whole experience has been enjoyable. Quicker than the bus, cheaper than the bus. There is something very liberating about docking the bike (having checked for a green light, natch!) and then simply walking away. The fitness thing is an unintentional side benefit as well.

    All good so far….keep on pedalling 8)

    #75927

    davidq100
    Participant

    I’ve also used the bikes to get to/from work every day for the past week, and I’m finding it a fantastic way to get around town. My annual Z1+2 travel card has 5 months to run, and I really think it’s becoming redundant. No chance of renewal in Jan, although Boris Bikes in the snow could be interesting.

    I am fortunate that there’s 3 docking stations within 2-3 mins walk of where I live, and there’s a couple of relatively quiet ones 2-3 mins from the office, so it really could not be more convenient. I love how easy it is to get to precisely where you need to be in Central London without the rigidity/heat/faff of the tube and the randomness of waiting for buses.

    I’d often thought about buying a bike, but in many ways for me the cycle scheme is so much better: there’s no need to worry about leaving the bike somewhere it might get stolen; repair is someone else’s problem and there’s no need to find a place to store the bike during the day or at home. I even like the way the bikes are designed: reassuringly sturdy ‘Boris Tanks’ as someone called them on a thread the other day.

    My only real worry before using the scheme was the threat from being crushed at major junctions or busy roads, but in practice I’ve found that high-speed cyclists are more likely to cut you up than cars. I like the fact that the bikes don’t go particularly fast. To my mind its beneficial as it gives you a better chance to keep an eye on the traffic/pedestrians/bikes around you, and there’s no need to take a shower on arrival at the office. I’ve avoided using a helmet so far, and I think by taking it easy, being observant, observing red lights and keeping to quiet streets where possible it’s possible to greatly minimise risk.

    For sure there’s been plenty of teething problems, and I’m sure they will continue for some time to come. It’s irritating to have had to create a new password 5 times for no reason for instance, and Serco clearly need to work on the stability of the system. Hopefully they are busy soaking-up the huge volume of feedback from this forum and twitter to quickly make this already great scheme even better.

    I just hope they open Southampton Place docking station soon!

    #75928

    Paulos
    Participant

    So far I’ve only used one for about 10 mins but it was the first time I’ve ridden a bike since I was in my early teens and I’m now 40! I plan to cycle to meet my mrs for lunch next week, normally a 20-25 minute power walk. If the scheme is extended east to Canary Wharf I’d certainly use it on occasions to and from work.

    #75929

    Trikeman
    Participant

    It’s a brilliant scheme. I have a Brompton, so suspected I’d be a pretty occasional user, but the freedom of carrying nothing, just walk up to a docking station, insert key, take bike, ride to destination, dock bike, walk away unencumbered – and no need to keep half an eye on a bike in a pub, etc. I suspect I’ll be using Boris Bikes more often than my Brompton.

    #75930

    Stu99
    Participant

    I love the Boris bikes, its the best thing to happen in London for ages. About 15 trips this week. No glitches once I got hang of docking the bike. Plus and I’ve not seen this mentioned but the free map is brilliant. Are these generally available mine aint gong to last too long. Today Friday I noticed loads of Boris bikes ot and about.

    #75931

    cyclingnewbie
    Participant

    @benlovejoy I am actually a bit worried about this scheme destroying the market for Bromptons. It would be a real shame if that great little company were to go under because of this.

    #75932

    se11_lurker
    Participant

    I like the ease of use (at least once you get used to tugging them out and hoiking them back in), particularly because it enables me to ride a bike during the day, even if I decide to use public transport to and from work.

    I like not having to worry about the bikes once they’re docked. I’m not afraid to turn the corner in case my bike has been stolen because they seem (right now) rather secure at their docking points. (What happens during a power cut??)

    Best of all, I enjoy the conversations with completely random people within (and outside) my neighbourhood. London seems a much pleasanter place with people prepared to stop and chat, and ask about the bikes.

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