Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Paris-style 'Boris bikes' arrive in July

London's promised "revolution in cycling", based on the Paris velib bike-hire network, will begin on 30 July, Boris Johnson will announce today.

Londoners and visitors to the city will be able to pick up and drop off one of 6,000 hire-bicycles at 400 locations across the centre of the capital.

The scheme, originally proposed by Ken Livingstone, Mr Johnson's predecessor as London Mayor, hopes to avoid the problems that have plagued the popular Parisian velib network, where half the bikes have been lost or stolen.

Users will pay an initial membership fee of £1 for 24-hour access, £5 for seven-day access, or £45 a year. They can make unlimited journeys and the first half-an-hour will be free. On top of that, the London Cycle Hire charge for members will be £1 for a journey of between 30 minutes and one hour, £4 for up to 90 minutes, and £6 for up to two hours. Cyclists will use a new smart-card – similar to an Oyster card – to unlock the bikes.

Mr Johnson, said: "In just four months London will glitter with the twinkling dynamo lights of thousands of shiny hire bikes, zipping around the streets unfettered from timetables, queues and crowds."


Sunday, 28 March 2010

35 Miles and Growing

That was a great ride I had today. I am slowly pushing the distance back up again and covered 35 miles. I am doing this by the book this time round and adding 10% to the distance each time I go out. That should give me plenty of time to get up 60 miles before the Essex Countryside Ride for the Little Havens children’s hospice. The weather today was rather windy with 40 mph headwinds coming from the west. This meant a headwind for the first 4.5 miles. Still, I did the whole 35 miles in 2.5 hours, averaging 14.4 mph.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Useless Stats

Oh the joys of having a bike computer and being able to churn out meaningless statistics. Apparently, over the past 12 months I have

Cycled 1,035 miles (the distance from Los Angeles California to Auckland New Zealand)
It took me a total of 72 hours and 49 minutes
Which works out at an average speed of 14.2 mph
I have burnt 62,033 calories doing so
The average distance on any one ride was 32.3 miles
and the longest I cycled was 62 miles

It goes on but that is probably enough for now!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Essex Countryside

Well that’s that done, signed up for my first sponsored ride this year - The Essex Countryside. So I now have 8 weeks to overcome the enforced lay off because of the crappy weather over winter and get ready for a 60 mile ride.

Mind you, this has always been my least favourite ride. I don’t think it’s because it’s the first of the season, just that there have been some really bad parts of the route – last year going across a broken down disused car-park and round the back of Chelmsford shopping centre. Then getting soaked and frezzing cold in a downpour. And both years going virtually off-road which is not good news for road wheels and tyres.

Mind you, this year’s route will be different as it is starting in Chelmsford. And it has to be done and I am itching to get a descent ride and back into the groove. This will give me something to train for.

And it is for a very good cause – last year I raised nearly £800.