Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Boris and his bikes

Thanks to a blogger for the image

Well, Boris is bragging yet again about his bikes. A quarter of a million journeys completed yesterday, so they say, and - obviously - a roaring success.

My thoughts so far? Well, the damned things are chunky enough. I haven't ridden one yet, but did check one over thoroughly on Kensington High Street on launch day. They have motorbike style wheels, and all of the fairings to hide the mechanism and prevent vandalism also add to the mass. They don't seem too slouchy, however, and I have been passed by a couple myself before indignantly (and with much puffing and panting) hitting my pedals and returning the favour. It helps of course that the cycles are the ultimate urban accessory, and so far I have not seen one (being ridden anyway - the little trucks that marshal them during the dead hours have passed Cally Road tube on more than one occasion) outside Zone 1.

Clearly, the intention is for the 'customers' to make short journeys, so a schlep up the far reaches of the Seven Sisters Road would not fit the bill. But I must admit that this also feels a little exclusive, as if the 'initiative' is too good for the ordinary crack smoking, white cider glugging, scooter joyriding inner suburbanites.

I do wonder as well - amid the sabre rattling Boris hoorahs - how many of the metal monsters have been nicked or damaged so far. This information may not be released with the same alacrity as the popularity figures.

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