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Bicycles for hire in central London

Tigard, Oregon
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Bicycles for hire in central London

Any advice on whom to use or not to use would be helpful.

Feel free to tell me I'm daft for considering riding a bike in the center.

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Bicycles for hire in central London

You will find Boris bikes at a great many docking stations throughout much of central London: www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/14808.aspx

If this will be your first visit to London then you should think very carefully before setting out on unfamiliar streets with considerably more traffic than you may have dealt with when cycling elsewhere.

Suffolk, United...
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2. Re: Bicycles for hire in central London

If you cycle in Central London and you are a very competent city cyclist you will not see any London sites as you will be concentrating very hard on keeping safe.

If you are not that competent you will be in danger.

Bob

Harrow, United...
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3. Re: Bicycles for hire in central London

Boris bikes to me are great for cycling along the canal toe path or through the parks (where allowed) but unfortunately with a number of serious accidents involving cyclists riding on the main roads in London I agree with the posts above that you need to be noth competent and keep your eyes on the road at all times.

Oxfordshire
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4. Re: Bicycles for hire in central London

No-one's going to tell you you're daft because no-one but you knows how good you are at navigating a traffic-filled real city.

But can you tell us why you think it makes more sense to use a means of transport London's not designed for when practically everyone else uses their own feet or public transport? Which are two of the three ways of getting around London really was designed for - and horseback really isn't an option any more.

For fully experienced urban cyclists, bikes are a great way of commuting if they don't want to walk.

As travelbob points out, though, they're ALWAYS (except on Christmas mornings) a daft way of sightseeing.

Edited: 01 February 2014, 09:10
London
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5. Re: Bicycles for hire in central London

And don't think you'll stay safe by cycling on the pavement (as I've seen Americans doing recently, until they were nabbed) - that's illegal

London
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6. Re: Bicycles for hire in central London

Feel free to tell me I'm daft for considering riding a bike in the center

----------------------

OK then you're daft!

I'd say it's hazardous for experienced cyclists who know their way round London like the back of their hands (as the constant bleating about needing proper cycle lanes shows). For anyone not used to our crowded road, bonkers road layout, suicidal pedestrians (many of them, ahem, tourists) and buses/trucks competing for space, you might as well book med-evac now. Walk, use extensive and easy public transport. If you must cycle, you can join a guided cycle tour or hire a Boris Bike and stick to the parks or towpaths.

London, United...
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7. Re: Bicycles for hire in central London

Boris bikes are intended for transport from point A to B and the pricing is structured accordingly. If you are after a leisurely cycle, there are companies (one advertises extensively around London Bridge) that are better positioned with more reasonable hourly charges for a day/half day's trip.

Some parks allow cycling on some paths and these are nice places to cycle. Victoria Park in east London is a particular favourite of mine for this and Richmond Park (southwest London) even has a bike hire place inside -- book in advance if possible. In Hyde Park and Regents Park, some paths allow cycles and others do not. These tend to be clearly signposted.

Tow paths can be nice, but when they are crowded with pedestrians (rush hour and weekends), cycling can be as hazardous/unpleasant as a busy London road.

Kent, UK
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8. Re: Bicycles for hire in central London

Got this book a little while ago, it's produced in conjunction with the London Cycling Campaign: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-London-Cycling-Guide-Bogdanowicz/dp/1847739342/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391263660&sr=8-1&keywords=the+london+cycling+guide

Haven't used it in anger yet, but it is well reviewed. There's plenty of quiet cycling to be had in London away from the busy roads.

UK
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9. Re: Bicycles for hire in central London

"Towpaths can be nice"

Technically you need a permit to cycle on canal towpaths unless special conditions apply (e.g. the towpath has been surfaced appropriately using Sustrans money and is therefore designated as an official cycleway.)

Kent, UK
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10. Re: Bicycles for hire in central London

>>Technically you need a permit to cycle on canal towpaths unless special conditions apply (e.g. the towpath has been surfaced appropriately using Sustrans money and is therefore designated as an official cycleway.)<<

The permits were done away with some time ago, when the Canal & River Trust was formed I believe.

It's a nice ride I have done along the Grand Union Canal from Paddington Basin right out of London to King's Langley in Hertfordshire, and the train back.

Another nice ride I've done is along the Thames Path from Putney to Hampton Court.

Edited: 01 February 2014, 15:36