I want to ride my Bo-cycle

barclays cycle hire keyI don’t have a proud cycling history, in fact I don’t really have a cycling history at all. Things for me can’t be as easy as riding a bike because I took ages to learn and then hardly rode at all anyway. The last time I cycled in anger was – I checked – 18 years ago when I completely failed to master a basic but somewhat large bike as part of my school’s exchange with Vegesack near Bremen. I may sometime forget how humiliating that felt but “moving on” of sorts happened today as I undocked a Boris bike and let rip (well, sort of moseyed) up and down the mean and silent streets of Belvedere Road and Upper Ground. It was awesome. I may even have a go at turning tomorrow.

Obviously as I haven’t cycled for the better part of two decades I am particularly unqualified to review a bike so let me have a go.

The bike is heavy and the luggage bit at the front couldn’t really handle my rucksack but it is so stable and straightforward that even I managed to stay upright for the whole time I had it. Three gears is enough for novices & short-hoppers and the bell goes ting nicely – docking and undocking is a doddle and you get nice smiles from people as you wobble by. I’m blessed where I work in that there are three docking stations within 200 yards of my desk but from what I’ve seen you’re never that far away from one. It is, basically, all good except for … at 5’5″ I’m clearly not a giant but it is a bit worrying that even with the saddle as low down as possibly my feet were straining to find the ground. I may get more comfortable with confidence but shorter folk (and I do know some people shorter than me) might find it a bit of a deal-breaker.

As this is a London scheme the so-called national press have been all over it. So let’s ignore them – here’s the Londonist’s take on it. And this photo of the key is large here.

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