Barclays bikes

by GREGJONES   December 28, 2013  

I've just used boris bikes for the first time.

Contrary to what I'd expected it was a wholly good experience, the drivers were a hell of a lot more considerate than in my native Manchester, especially the taxi drivers. Hardly any drivers were using their mobiles amd only one vehicle in an ASL.

In Manchester it's the norm to use the Asl as a start line for the race to the next.

Just thought that since cycling in London gets such a bad name from what I can see it's a thousand times better than Manchester.

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If London is really that much better than Manchester, I think I'll avoid cycling in Manchester ;(

Boris Bikes are fab, though, agreed. Unless it's raining cats and dogs,cycling's immeasurably more pleasant than cramming yourself on tube or bus.

posted by kraut [23 posts]
28th December 2013 - 23:13

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Can only assume your experience has a lot more to do with the location than the type of bike you were riding.

posted by morethansonglyrics [50 posts]
30th December 2013 - 12:46

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28th December is not the busiest time to be trying it either... but, I love the Boris Bikes also. The trick is not to be in a hurry... just bimble along and enjoy being able to see parts of London you'd usually rush past in a hot sticky tube 30 feet underground.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [640 posts]
30th December 2013 - 12:58

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Agreed. The timing of your trip was the reason for such a pleasant cycling experience in London - it's always lovely and quiet over Christmas, so much so that I make a point of going for a relaxing city centre spin compared to the usual commuting chaos for the other 51 weeks of the year!

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

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posted by sm [329 posts]
30th December 2013 - 19:21

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Fair enough, although I was genuinely impressed by seeing no drivers on their mobiles in the five days I was travelling aroubd. The Taxi drivers actually waited at junctions, perhaps there is something to be said for the knowledge instilling a sense of professionalism not found elsewhere.

Perhaps it's because there seems to be a fairly large number of police in central London compared to other places.

On a separate note the bikes are really rather good, I thought they'd all be scratched, grinding drive chains and out of true wheels. In fact all the bikes I sae (hundreds) were in remarkably good condition. They've obviously put a lot of thought into the design.

Overall it was all good, I'm just dreading my commute on Monday past those dark satanic mills and the far more frightening mancunian traffic.

posted by GREGJONES [87 posts]
30th December 2013 - 20:36

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They do maintain the bikes, but there are various ways to pick a 'good' one before you undock it - lift the rear wheel and check it spins freely, lean sideways against to check that the tyres are pumped up. Higher numbered ones are newer, too.

I had one this morning that was brand spanking new, rode like a dream. A slow, heavy dream, but still.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [640 posts]
31st December 2013 - 12:52

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GREGJONES wrote:
Fair enough, although I was genuinely impressed by seeing no drivers on their mobiles in the five days I was travelling aroubd. The Taxi drivers actually waited at junctions, perhaps there is something to be said for the knowledge instilling a sense of professionalism not found elsewhere.

This was London, England, not London, Ontario, correct?

Just checking Wink

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7467 posts]
31st December 2013 - 13:55

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