Cycling in Europe has long been a popular pastime with whole families out and about on a weekend, and during the week. Amsterdam has been known as the cycling capital of Europe for some time now and in 2007 Paris introduced it’s city-wide bike rental scheme.
On 30 July 2010 London followed suit and introduced the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme.
If you are thinking of visiting for 3 Days in London this summer, consider hiring one of the ‘Boris Bikes’ – cycling is fun way of getting around London. And of course, we all know that cycling can be good for us but that doesn’t necessarily mean we want to go through the bother of identifying a suitable bicycle and the expense of buying one. And now you don’t need to!!!!
In conjunction with Transport for London, The Mayor of London; Boris Johnson and Barclays Bank PLC, London now offers the wonderful Barclays Cycle Hire scheme – aka ‘Boris Bikes’.
Barclays Cycle Hire was introduced in 2010, initially only for residents of the city, but now open to everyone, which means that you! Yes you too, can hop on a bike and ride around our fabulous city.
Londoner’s and visitors alike have taken to this brilliant scheme like ducks to water!! Well maybe not exactly to water! But you know what I mean.
I went walkabout through the City of Westminster on 25th April 2011, to cover the Royal Wedding Route for my blog and everywhere I looked were visitors to the city riding these bikes. On the weekend of The Royal Wedding there were even more people riding these bikes, they were everywhere!!
Here are the ten top reasons to encourage you to get on one of these bikes this Summer and enjoy London from a different perspective.
1. Ride for FREE: The first 30 minutes is free, so you could be a little bit cheeky and just for the fun of it…..cycle from dock to dock, getting around the city and swopping bikes as you go! There is one drawback to this though…. there may not be any bikes available at the next docking station, so why not just go the whole hog and hire the bike for the day!
2. Keep fit and have fun: Well now you can combine the two: get to see many of our historical attractions, enjoying the sights along the way and keep fit for your next adventure.
3. Convenience: There are Barclays Cycle Hire docks around just about every corner of the city, from our ancient historical ‘City of London’ to the ‘City of Westminster’ you can find a bike at any one of dozens of docking stations. There are new docking stations being added, so check the site to find one nearest to you. No need to lug a bike home after an active day!
4. Easy to find: Many of the main London Attractions and Stations have Cycle docks nearby, so no long walk to find one. For a visual map of where to find them, go to: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/11682.aspx
5. No Hassle: Great for family days out; you can use the Barclays London Cycle Hire Scheme for excursions in the city this summer and leave the bikes behind when you go home….no hassle!
6. Go Go Green: As we are becoming more and more aware of helping save the planet, it makes sense to use a bike instead of a car. Save your ‘eco footprint’ for other trips. And we all want to do that, don’t we?
7. Save Time and Money: The cost of parking in city centre streets combined with the Congestion Charges makes it more expensive to travel in by car. Travel in by train, hire a bike and you won’t have the bother of trying to find a parking space.
8. Cost effective: The average price for an adult bicycle in the UK in 2009 was £545 (Source: Mintel, Bicycles 2009), although it’s possible to get a 2nd hand bike for a lower price, you still have the inconvenience of carrying the bike around and perhaps you won’t be able to store it safely between uses. With a Barclays Bike you just park it at the next docking station and go!
9. Keeping up with the ‘Jones’s’: With the increase in funding for cycling initiatives and the expansion of the Cycling Towns Programme for cities in the UK over 2.5 million adults and children will benefit, London will be equivalent to some of the best European cycling cities.
10. Cycling is addictive: as with most forms of exercise, cycling stimulates your adrenaline, releasing ‘happy’ hormones, so the more you cycle, the happier you should be….. or so the theory goes! Many of our great parks are ideal for cycling in; especially Hyde Park.
There are a lot more points we at 3 Days in London could add to this list, but for now, why not hire yourself a ‘Boris Bike and………. get on ‘yer bike and ride!!!
Tip: take lots of water with you, London in summer can be sizzling and you want to keep yourself hydrated.
Top tip: observe and take note of the rules of the road in London (or anywhere you cycle) – there will still be trucks, cars and buses on the roads, so take the usual precautions and remain observant at all times, and wear a helmet!
for more information on the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme and how to hire these bikes, go to: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/14808.aspx
for more about London and some photos of the various docking stations, join us on facebook