London Cycle Hire Review

Sorry to have become Bicycle-centric with the recent articles on the Mayor’s Skyride, and the report on Friday’s completion of the cycle round all London’s cycle hire stations (a fun and imaginative way to raise money for Water Projects which has already exceeded their £1500 objective!), but with a triple whammy for London’s travellers:

  • London’s traffic about to grind to a halt with the start of the new school term,
  • Heavy rain forecast (which doubles car journey times in Central London),
  • A tube strike starts this evening

now seemed an appropriate time to publish a review of using the London Cycle Hire Scheme, and we asked Andrew of Cabre for his experiences of commuting into London and using the scheme. This is what Andrew told us ……….

On the Wednesday of the first week of operation of the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme I gave it a go. l bought the key and membership for £4 plus a £1 day pass at the sign up page. That bit was easy and the key arrived a couple of days later in the post.

Here is how the first day went:

  • I drove up from Alresford and parked below the Ibis Hotel near Euston. £11 for 5 hours.
  • A short walk down Cardington Street brought me to the Drummond Street docking station. Unfortunately the six bikes there would not release. A red light came on, not the green one.
  • I walked on to the next docking station on Euston Road and I think the second bike I tried worked. Undocking after the green light comes on requires a vigorous tug. My computer bag fitted in the front carrier and the straps held it in firmly
  • I cycled ten minutes to Red Lion Square. Docked got the green light. Why do the bike lights keep on flashing! I had a pleasant chat with the guy in the photo. His experience in Paris was good. Went to a nearby office and discovered I was in the wrong place! It was raining heavily so I took a taxi down a hotel near the Tower of London. Never assume next month’s meeting is in the same place as the last one.
  • After the meeting, I walked to Crosswall Street where I could not find the docking station shown on the printed map and instructions that come with your key (the on-line map does not show a docking station). I walked on to Aldgate Street where there were several bikes. The first one undocked immediately.
  • Started cycling back to Euston. After 28 minutes I was at Endsleigh Gardens and I docked to stay within the 30 minutes for free deadline. By now I was rather sweaty even cycling in lightweight trousers and a shirt. I walked the remaining 500m to the car park. These bikes are heavy at 23kgs. My 70s steel road bike is 15kg. If you want to arrive at a meeting without needing a shower first cycle 10-15 minutes rest for 5 and then take another bike.
  • I found the three gears to be appropriate. You need the low gear everytime you start from the lights and the highest gear is enough to do 15 mph which is enough in the centre of London. They twist the opposite way to my own bike :)

Would I use it again – Yes, but I have not been back to London since then. It seems a better proposition than bringing my road bike on the train from Winchester (I have been doing this twice a month) or leaving a bike in the rack at Waterloo (I did this a couple of years ago but the bike gets damaged on the rack and was nicked one day).

Some photos from the day:

My cycling background: I started when I was 11. Someone nicked my Sturmery Archer 3 speed Hercules when I was 18. I did the London to Brighton 12 years ago (tip: use a road bike). I motor cycled in London for three years as a student. I know the roads. My road bike is probably from the 70s and was bought at the tip for a tenner. Probably spent another £100 on it – wheels and a Brooks leather saddle. Now at 53, I cycle 20-40 miles a week in the Hampshire countryside and to Winchester railway station 7 miles away. I cycle around the City and the West End a few times a month.
Andrew Wilcox Signature
Andrew Wilcox, Director, Cabre Limited
Tel 01962 738534 – Mob 07813 211451 – Skype ajwilcox
Email me on Twitter

Cabre MindManager Day – Principles and Master Class
Winchester | Bristol | London

Applications of MindManager | Cabre Community | Search Cabre
MindManager 9 , Mac 8 and JCVGantt Download Free Trials

conferenceREACTION Records and Publishes your event on the web

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Join The Guild of Landlords

Guild Square Logo


To View please phone Phil on 07788 370528

July 2015


1 Bed Studio Flat £1000 pcm

2 Bed Flat £1800 pcm

Short stays £150/Night
The Landlords own
1 Bed (Double) Flat


More details of our vacancies

Pick a Topic