Day 166 Boris Bikes

There are so many ways of getting around London now. In addition to the usual bus or tube journey, you can also travel by river or using the Barclays cycle hire scheme, also known as Boris Bikes.

I used the cycle hire scheme yesterday for the first time, and I learnt a few things about cycling on the road.

1) “Ride with confidence”. I was told this by a lovely lady on a scooter after I apologised to her. If you ride with doubts, then you’re more likely to wobble all over the place.

2) Try not to crash into anyone. It was a fairly quiet evening, considering it was a Friday night in central London. I have to admit that I almost crashed into a group of people, but they were so nice about it, and didn’t get grumpy with me. If they had, I would have felt ten times worse, so if anyone on a bicycle has a near miss with me in the future, I won’t get grumpy with them.

3) Keep to the left side of the road. I’m pretty sure that buses, cars and taxis won’t deliberately crash into you if you do ride in the middle of the road, but keep on the safe side, and cycle next to the pavement.

4) Always stop at a red light. It’s so rude to just keep going, especially if there are people trying to cross the road.

5) To remove the Boris Bike from its stand, lift up the bike at the back by holding on to the saddle or the back wheel. Tugging it out in a straight line won’t work, as I quickly learned.

6) Change bikes every 30 minutes, so you won’t have to pay anything other than the access fee (currently £2 for 24 hours or £10 for 7 days).

7) Have fun! It’s a good workout, and even if you last cycled when you were 9 years old (e.g. yours truly), you’ll still remember how to ride a bike.

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