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Top 5 Benefits of Boris' Bikes: The London Cycle Scheme

Updated on April 5, 2012

Cycle 'round the City

Considering the growing concerns regarding the state of the British nation's health and impact on the environment, it is hardly surprising that London Mayor Boris Johnson teamed up with sponsors Barclay's Bank in 2010 in order to set up endless cycle-rental docks around the capital city.

There are currently more than 6,000 'Boris bikes' and 400 rental docks. There really is no excuse to not get in on the two-tyre action!

To learn more about the Bicycle Sharing Scheme, you should read this Wikipedia page and visit the official website for the campaign. You can also watch the video in the module below.

Read on to find out what I consider to be the top 5 benefits of Boris' bike rental scheme.

How the Cycle Sharing Scheme Works

Benefit #1: Improved Health

In this technology-laden age, inactivity is becoming an increasing problem. Health experts recommend that each person over 18 years gets a minimum of 2.5 hours of aerobic activity each week but too many adults fail to achieve this. As a result, the average waist measurement is on the up, as are obesity-related diseases and ailments.

Riding to work can add lots of extra cardiovascular-benefiting activity into a person's life and according to the infographic included in the module below, the average person will lose nearly a stone (14 lbs) in weight when they take up the routine of riding a bike to work. Exercise is also great for combating stress and depression (due to the release of natural endorphins) - exactly what one needs before they arrive for a hard day at the office!

Benefits of Cycling Infographic

This infographic from is a great visual explanation how cycling can benefit both your health and the environment.

Benefit #2: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Carbon dioxide emissions stemming from the burning of gasoline is putting the earth at great risk because such alters the natural O-Zone layer and causes global warming. Although using shared public transport can see you greatly reducing your carbon footprint, riding a bike does so to a dramatic degree.

See the infographic in the next module for more statistics about how cycling could save our humble planet.

Another Infographic: How Cycling Could Save Your Life

This infographic was designed and produced by the good folk at

Benefit #3: Saving Money

Travelling on the underground, red London buses or train networks on a daily basis can become really very expensive, even when one purchases monthly or yearly tickets. Whereas an all xones travel card could cost you in excess of £10, hiring one of the docked bikes will cost a fraction of this.

When hiring one of the bikes, it is important to remember that both an 'access' fee and 'usage charge' will apply. These are comparatively nominal though.

Riding one of Boris' bikes can save you money in other ways too. Not only would you avoid the cost of purchasing your own bike but the contingency of bicycle insurance can also be avoided. Health care expenses - both now and in the future - could reduce dramatically too if regular cycling stops you from contracting an ailment such as heart disease.

For more information about the charges for hiring one of the Barclay's bikes, take a look at this page.

Benefit #4: No Reliance on (Often Late) Public Transport

London might be one of the best-connected cities in the world when it comes to public transport options but this doesn't seem to prevent buses, trains or tubes from being late - or completely closed for maintenance - on regular occasion. Waiting around for transport that is seemingly "...never going to arrive" is frustrating for most of us, less alone those (like me) who do not have patience as a virtue!

Thankfully then, there are many Barclay's bike docks located around London and one should be close by should you ever find yourself playing the Waiting Game.

Benefit #5: Avoid Other Commuters

Let's face it, you are sure to pass more than a few commuters whilst riding a bike through the centre of the city to reach your place of work or meet friends. Zipping past those in cars and riding behind other cyclists is however, far less annoying than standing on a crammed tube, forced to smell the nasty odour emitting from an armpit that is uncomfortably close to your nostrils!

Riding one of Boris' bike will also mean that you won't have to bury your face in a book or stare at the floor with your iPod headphones blasting in order to avoid eye contact with other equally uncomfortable tube-riders. The same level of awkwardness can be found on London's trains and buses too so do yourself a favour and get peddling!

The Cycle Poll

Have You Ever Used a Boris Barclay's Bike?

See results

Perhaps you want your own bike? Buy one on Amazon!

What do you think of the London Cycle Scheme? Tell me below...

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The day I used Barclays bikes everything that could have gone wrong went wrong!! the user interface screen kept timing out and restarting numerous times, I could barely see the screen due to glare, The screens were dirty, The bikes unlocking system buttons didn't give any feedback to say whether they worked... and worst of all I re-docked a bike that locked but didn't dock properly on the electronic system and serco kept on charging me until I tried to get another bike from another dock and a error message kept appearing.. Phoned Cerco and they said it was a minor system error. Thank god I phoned them within 2 hours they only charged me 7.00 extra. CAREFUL if u haven't docked your bike properly then u will be charged...... Serco wont even email you about the charge they will wait for you to find out yourself!!

    • BigDaddyCash LM profile image

      BigDaddyCash LM 

      7 years ago

      Boris uses his mayorship as a personal vanity project and Barclays are one of the most unethical banks in the world today. But anyway, I own my own bike.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Spent last Friday cycling around London City randomly dropping and picking up bikes at various locations while pub hopping through the city and it was fantastic. Got to know new areas of the City, lots of sunshine and all of that for only £1!


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