Imagine flying down a busy London street; wind blowing through your hair, the smells of the traffic and passing cafés enveloping you. You stop at a red light, foot on the ground, preparing yourself to move forward at a moment’s notice. To your right you spot an incredible Victorian building, a former home of someone important most likely, so you pull over on the sidewalk, dock your bike, and go explore.
Riding a bicycle in London is an indescribably amazing way to see the city. Once I got past my initial fears of getting run over, I loved the freedom that riding a bike gave me in such a massive city. Although I love taking the tube (subway) for efficiency’s sake, you miss so much while you ride underground. Riding a bike gives you total freedom to go down whichever road you like, stop anywhere that strikes you, and experience London in a healthy, and adventurous light.
London offers a cycle hire in partnership with Barclays, and there are bicycle docks all over the city. I never once had an issue with finding a dock to park in when I was riding around, so as long as you stay in central London I can attest that you can safely find one everywhere.
To hire a bicycle in London you can go up to any dock-station and use their easy touch-screen terminal. You can rent a bike for only 30 minutes, and up to a year. Your rental includes unlimited docking around the city, so you are never stuck with your bike. After you pay for the rental with your debit or credit card, the terminal prints off a release code to punch into the bike of your choice for release. I honestly had an unusually difficult time on my first attempt at this- but after printing another code it worked fine.
Hyde Park has a plethora of these bike renting dock-stations, and has beautiful bike paths that run under the canopy of trees (so incredible in Fall) and along the water. I would really recommend starting in the Kensington Gardens area so you can drive past Queen Victoria and Kensington Palace, and then work your way through the various parks at your leisure.
The best part? Renting a cycle is cheaper than any other public transport in London- and you get a wonderful experience out of it as well. For only £2 you can take unlimited journeys of up to 30 minutes for 24 hours! The next time you are in London take a chance and go for a ride, it will be one of your favorite experiences in the city. Money back guaranteed 😉