It’s been over a year since London’s very own cycle hire scheme was launched, and with over 8 million journeys recorded since the launch, we decided to take a look at how the scheme has been received across the capital.
The scheme was originally dreamt up by Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London, but the cycles have taken on the affectionate name of “Boris Bikes” after Boris Johnson, the current mayor, who launched the scheme in July 2010.
Boris Bike Dating
The scheme hasn’t only changed the way we get around the capital, it’s even changed the way one singleton Londoner goes about dating.
Meet PJ, a 26 year old project manager working in advertising. He created My Boris Bike Date, a one-man mission to offer dates to willing female Londoners aboard Boris Bikes.
The selling points are:
2.You’ll get fit
3.You’ll get to explore London
4.You’ll meet at least one new person (me)
By his own admission he’s had 5 and a half dates with varying success. On his most recent date with a girl called Victoria, she described the experience as “the most mind blowingly awesome date you have ever been on”.
Bike scheme expands eastward for the Olympics
East London Lines, a blog run by students at Goldsmiths University have the scoop on the £50m investment.
But the London Cyclist blog points out that further expansion should be implemented alongside the addressing of ongoing technical teething problems with the scheme:
“Despite this success, the scheme has continued to experience technical issues. Many users having to call up the Cycle Hire centre on more than one occasion after facing issues undocking the bikes. Most of the issues appear to remain for casual users rather than those holding a cycle hire membership key.”
What happens when cars meet Boris Bikes
The Londonist reported on what’s believed to be the first collision between a car and a rack of Boris Bikes.
Needless to say, it seems like the car may have come off better from the crash (thanks to ZeFrog on Twitter for snapping this on Shoreditch High Street).
When the London scheme launched back in 2010, many were quick to compare it to Paris’ already established Velib scheme.
When London blogger Ian Mansfield won two free tickets to Paris aboard the Eurostar he decided to bring London’s version to the French capital.
Accompanied by French blogger Tom, from Tired of London, Tired of Life, the duo packed their hired bikes onto an early morning Eurostar and headed over to Paris.
Boris Bike rentals are limited to a maximum 24 hour rental period, so they went on a whirlwind tour of the city, documenting the trip on Ian’s blog.
The duo also had the opportunity to compare their London bikes to the popular French scheme, known as Velib. Check out their diary of the experience here:
Rise of the Boris Bicyclist
Having an extra 6000 cyclists pedaling across London’s streets appears to have had further-reaching affects than originally imagined.
For many Londoners, taking a Boris Bike out was their first experience of cycling in the capital and it’s got them hooked. Milo is just one of many Londoners who’s taken the plunge and switched to two wheels of his own.
He says over on his blog:
“Of course – the biggest influence on my decision to at least try out two wheels has been the ‘Boris Bike’ scheme”
If you’re thinking about trying the scheme for the first time, remember you only need a credit or debit card to take a bike out. You can also register for a member’s key at the Transport for London website.
Bikes do tend to get snapped up quickly, especially during peak hours as commuters head central in the morning and then take the bikes back out in the late afternoon. To avoid disappointment, take a look at this live map of where you can find available Boris Bikes across the capital:
Have you tried a Boris Bike in the capital? Think the scheme has been a success for London, or a waste of already stretched taxpayers money? Tell us your thoughts.