04 August 2010

Free to go: Dr Bike tomorrow at Oval, Clapham

Dr Bike sessions are pretty regular things round London: council-subsidised roadside stalls where you can stop off on your morning or evening commute.

You get your bike checked over, and any simple maintenance work such as brake adjusting or gear tuning, all done for free.

There are two (extra ones, by popular demand) tomorrow in Lambeth on Cycle Superhighway 7: a morning one at Clapham Common from 7.30am-9.30am, and an evening one at the Oval from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

We were at last Thursday's very well-attended Oval one (above and right), and it's the best site we've seen for a Dr Bike: right on a major commuting route, and prominently visible to cyclists stopped at the lights just beforehand, giving them plenty of time to see the stall and decide to stop.

It's also the ideal application for an underused, and not particularly otherwise usable (below), triangle of concrete sheared off from casual use by three fast main roads. So we think this is a good candidate for a semi-permanent, or at least more regular, showpiece Dr Bike location.

These are popular. The wait for a free mechanic can be half an hour in peak time. While waiting, you can stroll across to Oval station and pick up your free Evening Standard to read cover to cover. Still leaves another twenty-seven minutes to fill, though.

So we think a session here could be a candidate for a bike-powered smoothie-maker stall, catering for the captive market of cyclists queueing for their free work to be done. There's a small fortune to be made by someone. As ever in life though, it helps if you start with a large one.


  1. Excellent article and great locations thanks to the Sustainable Transport Team @ Lambeth

  2. This is a great service, and Clapham Road is probably one of the busiest cycle routes in London. Thanks to all the team, I will be stopping by!