If you are one of the pioneering users of the cycle hire scheme then the rest of us owe you a pint! As a pioneer you’ve struggled with bikes that don’t dock, over tightened bicycle brakes that require extra pedalling effort and call centres that won’t call you back.
Here are some of the tips from those pioneers of the scheme that have been leaving comments on London Cyclist and on sites such as the Boris Bikes forums that should make your cycle hire experience as smooth and as pleasurable as possible:
Check that your chosen bike has a rear wheel that spins smoothly by lifting the bike and spinning the back wheel.
If you need to do a journey that is longer than 30 minutes you can dock your bike. Wait 5 minutes. And then undock the bike again to continue your journey for free.
The members key is money well spent. For £3 you can quickly undock bikes.
Be careful as to how you use multiple cycle hire keys system. People are reporting that activating one key will activate all four thus costing you money. Also people are reporting each key requires an annual fee and is not covered under the initial key.
Be sure you get the green light from the docking station when you return the bike. Check to see the bike has been correctly docked.
Print a receipt of your journey to check that the bike has in fact been docked correctly.
Be aware that popular terminals such as Waterloo and Kings Cross are likely to suffer from poor bike availability. The chances are you may have to walk or cycle an extra 5 minutes to find hire docking stations in less popular locations.
Leave any tips you have for first time users in the comments below.