Friday, 30 July 2010

The London Cycle Hire scheme is here!

Hooray! today is the first official day of the London Cycle hire scheme for those who have registered. I set off on my virgin voyage from Old street station, cycled up to our warehouse and then docked it back in Shoreditch Park. Apart from a little panic at the funny noise it made at me when I docked it back in it was all plain sailing.

A few tips on getting started
1. Register - To be one of the first to get involved you need to register for an annual membership through TFL's website. It is fairly straight forward. You need to pay £45 and then an additional £3 for the key. I registered on Saturday and the key arrived promptly on Tues.
2. Activate - you need to either phone or go online to activate the key before you use it.

3. Find your nearest docking Stations - You get a map of all the Docking stations when you register, as long as you are in the catchment area there are lots of them and you can't miss them. Apparently there are a couple of good apps out there though for locating the docking stations.
4. Push key in - wait for green light and then pull out your bike.
5. Check the time - Your first half hour is free so its a really good idea to check the time just as you release the bike.
6. Helmet? - It entirely up to you if you wear a helmet or not. personally I prefer to wear a helmet when cycling in central London so I brought my nice lightweight Nutcase with me in my bag and popped it on before I began cycling
7. Bags? the bike has a bag holder with a bungee strap to secure it. I managed to get my Kate Sheridan handbag in there but you may require a rucksack or messenger bags if you have a lot to carry.

8. Adjust your seat- The saddle is easily adjustable and has a number system so you can remember which height works for you and off you go.
9. Gears and lights - The bike has 3 gears which are very easy to adjust on the right handle bar and there have automatic dynamo style lights.
10. Dock back in - by pushing the bike into an empty docking station, You don't need to put the key back in and please do ignore the funny noise... this is just the bike saying hello to the docking station apparently!

Cyclechic's accessory suggestions for getting started on the cycle hire scheme

Lightweight Nutcase helmet £45

Fjallraven vintage laptop messenger bag £61.99


Lady Vélo said...

Excellent post - thank you for sharing this with us, as I was interestied to hear how it went today!

Seems very straightforward which is ace - and loving the accessories too :)

Lady Vélo.

Velouria said...

That Kate Sherridan bag looks good up front; can probably brighten up any rental bike!

Campfire said...

It seems like a really good idea Caz.

Nathalia Ferreira said...

I put a link of your blog on mine!
Hope you liked it!

Anonymous said...

Hope the Montreal-based scheme, transported to London, will work out okay in the long run. I live about 8 hours from Montreal and have never tried the Bixi bike there, but have heard good things.

Here's to London making it their own to be successful.

Bespoke Weddings said...

I only just noticed that the bikes don't have pannier racks :/ how much stuff can you get on the front?


Caz said...

Thanks Lady Velo, yes pretty straight forward thank goodness and the bikes are nice to ride especially if you are used to a heavier bike as us Pashley riders are!

Caz said...

Hi George

The bag holder type thing at the front is good for a small/medium sized bag but if you have excess luggage you would need a a messenger bag or ruck sack.

joven said...

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Anonymous said...

The Bixi program has been successful beyond expectations and has been expanding out of demand in it's second year. I can't see how it could fail in London.