27 July 2010
Rush hour: Sign up for the bike hire scheme now
There's still time to register for the London Bike Hire Scheme. As it isn't available to casual users for another month, becoming a member is the only way to try out the scheme when it launches at 8am on Friday.
It only costs £3 - which isn't even the price of the not even a full pint most London pubs try to fob you off with - and you get a magic key providing instant hire through the post the next morning. (Assuming your posties haven't had to switch from bikes to trolleys and are therefore a day late.)
Some 5,760 people had signed up by Monday evening, TfL have just told me. So by Friday's launch, there will be well over 6,000 members. As there are only 6,000 bikes, that could make for an entertaining stampede when it all goes live.
To add to the excitement, we won't know exactly which docking stations will be live until the morning of the launch. The TfL website has a map which will be updated with working docking stations on Friday morning.
I'll be first in the queue at our local docking station. We're very positive about the scheme. I bang on about it in my Cycling Plus column this month.
One handy use for the hire bikes, even for regular cyclists like us, will be as emergency machine in case of mechanical breakdown. Having to carry a spare wheel - like this chap, spotted on Kennington Road the other day - will be a thing of the past.