Aug 222010
Row of Boris Bikes 2

My membership key has arrived in the post and I am now ready to get cycle hiring. However, because I am off on holiday for a week my first hire will have to wait. It also gives me a further week to worry about whether I am going to be tainted by the TfL cyclist brush and lose my urban cycling credibility.

Along with the key and a nice letter from the “Service Director – Barclays Cycle Hire” at TfL, which generously thanked me for doing my “bit to help make London a more cycle-friendly city”, I received a map of London noting all the docking stations.

I have always rather liked maps and have enjoyed poring over this one to find docking stations located next to some top London spots. I don’t mean the docking stations which are useful for London’s commuters but those which will be nice to visit on a lazy afternoon.

The Test Match is currently taking place at the Oval Cricket Ground and there are a couple of docking stations in relatively close proximity. However, in St John’s Wood there is a docking station right on Lord’s doorstep. I’m not sure too many MCC members will be cycling to the Test Match but we will wait and see (certainly don’t think the Barclays blue will go well with the MCC club colours!).

There are a number of docking stations in Hyde Park. The pick of the bunch to me is on the north side of the Serpentine. I could easily imagine dropping off the bike there, hiring a rowing boat for an hour and then rewarding myself with a snack at the café at the far end of the Serpentine.

For those willing to take on tourists you can dock on Portobello and multiple locations in Soho. If you’re after culture you can park on the doorstep of the National Gallery, British Museum and National Theatre (but note there are no docking stations directly on the South Bank itself, which is probably no surprise given the recent uproar about cycling on the South Bank).

In fact the map seems to indicate that there are plenty of docking stations in central London located near places of interest to put together a number of enjoyable routes to be undertaken within the “free” 30 minutes allotted. I’ll have a think about putting together some nice manageable routes, try them out and let you know whether they are worth doing.

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