The (Oops! Late!) Weekly Cool Down: Boris Bikes!

Grr!! Sorry I didn’t post yesterday! I worked a kids’ party on two hours sleep, then had a four-hour (!) trek back to my flat due to crappy Sunday train service and crashed!

Anywho, for this last weeks Weekly Cool Down, I did something very “London” that I have never done before: I hired a Barclays Bicycle (“Boris Bike”)!

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For those who don’t know, the Barclay’s Cycle Hire, also known as “Boris Bikes” after Mayor Boris Johnson, is a bicycle renting scheme in the City of London, proposed by former mayor Ken Livingstone in 2007. There are 8,000 Barclay’s bicycles and 570 docking stations within London. Londoners or visitors to London can hire a bike by visiting the TFL website and purchasing access for 24 hours, 7 days, or one year. Usage for up to 30 minutes is free. Users are then posted a key to use at the docking stations. The keys cost £3. I borrowed a friends’ key to bicycle from the theatre in Earls Court to his house (for a Sunday afternoon barbecue) in Elephant and Castle.

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It was a perfect day for bicycling. Sunny and warm with just enough of a breeze! We rode along the Thames for the majority of the journey, which was spectacular.

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(Mayor Boris Johnson on a Boris Bike.)

Pros: Good for the environment. You can find them everywhere in London. Great if you don’t have space in your flat for a bike or don’t use bikes enough to purchase one. Studies have shown that Boris Bike riders get into less accidents than regular bike riders. You look like a proper Londoner riding one.

Cons: Kind of heavy. You must have a key to rent one. It rains a lot in London and I will never get on a bike in the rain.

So, if you’re in London, cool down with a Boris Bike with me this week! If you’re somewhere else in the world, find a bike and a sunny day and get out there for a ride!

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