Posted by: annmucc | August 15, 2010

Boris Biking

I ‘Boris biked’ and I liked it
The look of her blue colour
I ‘Boris biked’ just to try it
I hope my old bike don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I ‘Boris biked’ and I liked it
I liked it

Yeps! I ‘Boris biked’ yesterday, or more accurately I tried out the ‘Barclay’s cycle hire‘ scheme. Michael had ordered two keys last week which arrived home earlier this week, so we were both keen to use them (Unfortunately, buying two keys is definitely not a good idea! For some stupid reason the way they work is that if you buy an access period on one key, the access period will also be opened on the other!).

We were at Portobello Market and according to Michael’s bike docking map there was a docking station at Little Venice just up the canal. Unfortunately when we got there we couldn’t find the docking station (when I looked online it seems like it hasn’t been built as yet) so we went over to the other side and voila’! Our first bike!

As per the advice of other users we checked that the back wheel turned smoothly before undocking a bike, and off we went! I was impressed. On first seeing it I thought the bike was a bit too big for me. However, getting on it I felt quite comfortable and safe. As a not-so-confident cyclist I found the bike great. It ran well and was not too clunky. I also liked the fact that so many other people where on the roads with these bikes! I was surprised. This however allowed me to satisfy my ‘friendly side’ by waving at every other Cycle-hire person out there :).

Our plan was to get to London Bridge for the Unseen Tour led by homeless people I wrote about earlier. We couldn’t do the trip all in one go, but we easily managed to do it by 3 bike changes, waiting 5 minutes between each bike change.

As you can see from the map above, we started from Eastbourne Terrace Mews, from where we cycled through Hyde Park to Green Park. There we only found one docking place free, so I left my bike there while Michael hopped back to the other side and left his bike on that side. When he returned we got another pair of bikes and cycled through Green Park and down The Mall, to try and drop our bikes at Embankment. This time there were no free places so we cycled a bit further down and left our bikes there. We then walked over Waterloo Bridge (original plan was to walk over the previous bridge) and stopped for some refreshments at the National Theatre. After a bit of a rest we cycled the last part to London Bridge. Returning home we then decided to get the bikes a bit of the way again, and grabbed the bikes from near to London Bridge all the way to Holborn from where we could get the bus home (Jubilee line was down – of course). This part of the trip also resulted in us using the Cycle superhighways (but which I was DEFINITELY underwhelmed! It was just a few blocks of blue paint!). And all this for just £1 each as access fee!

Now all’s that left is that I actually get my own key (and Michael can then cancel his second one). I was having problems registering online as Michael had already registered with our address. SO I had to call through the call centre. I got through yesterday, and after around 20 minutes on the line with one of the people there, the person at the other end managed to sort it out for me…it seemed like some higher being definitely did not want me using the scheme! After managing to registering I again had problems, this time with my password, and I called right back. This time they reset my password and told me they would call me in around an hour. In that time the account started working. They still did call when they said they would, which was nice, and during that call I asked some other questions we had.

All in all a successful first ride. I hope I actually get myself using it more. I can see how hopping onto a bike and avoiding Oxford Street on the bus by getting the bus at the other end might actually save me so much time! Wish me luck…and ‘hegga’ :).


  1. Sending ‘hegga’…I hope I get ‘hegga’ to start going to the gym in Dublin haha

  2. Thanks for the ‘hegga’ 🙂

  3. i need some hegga too 😀 where can we buy some?

  4. Hmm – wish I knew!

  5. That is just silly! Why did they link the two keys like that???

    It looks like you had fun! I haven’t cycled since about 2001 when I had reason to believe that I have in fact forgotten how to ride a bike!

  6. I had fun! Though I haven’t cycled much since then as I fell ill.
    Yeah – even the guy at customer care agreed with me! It seems like whoever planned the software missed some very crucial points, as it doesn’t seem to be something which will be fixed anytime soon!

  7. […] been cycling more and more as I gained more confidence on the road. Recently, when the ‘Boris bikes‘ came into being, cycling has become that much more easier. Michael’s parents also gave […]

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