I rode on a Boris Bike for the first time yesterday.
I have lots of feedback. For a start, why is Barclays sponsoring them? I understand why Barclays sponsors football (I assume they sponsor football as I’m constantly getting asked if I want tickets to matches- unfortunately in order to win said tickets I have to see my balance, so no chance). Barclays sponsors football in the same way that ING sponsors Lewis Hamilton- to seem cool and sporty. It’s only fair, given that their offices are filled with men who ‘pretty much certainly could have played for England. You know, if I hadn’t been interested in annuities.’ But there’s nothing cool or sporty about Boris Bikes. They’re the English version of the Segway.
I imagine they’re ridden by the same people who only swim with their heads constantly above the water. The only physical exertion one gets riding a Boris Bike is the frustratingly difficult initial tussle to remove the bloody thing from its dock. They claim it’s attached magnetically, but as a child I played with magnets constantly and let me tell you, that kind of pull is more likely to come from a crocodile rolling a man over in the water to his death.
(I have long considered the lack of research into ‘death by crocodile’ a disgrace. This Summer I started to complete my research grant proposal, but I’m not sure my assertion that I’m a fully trained epidemiologist was entirely convincing). The Boris Bike reaches max speeds of a steady walking pace. I assume this is so its riders can swerve alarmingly close to the pavement as they chat to their friends. There are 2 rubber handles which are preposterously far apart. I felt like a failed extra for ‘Easy Rider’. To be honest, the only thing I liked about my Boris Bike ‘adventure’ (I use the term adventure in its original sense- to refer to the japes had by the Famous Five, highlights of which include crushed crisps and hard-boiled eggs), was when I returned the bloody thing to a docking station in Regents Park, and smugly rode over the ‘No Cycling Allowed’ sign to get to the dock.