Cycling in London has never been more popular. We are still not like the Dutch, where there are more two-wheelers than people, but the number of riders increased by 119 per cent since the beginning of the pandemic.
There are many compelling reasons as to why commuters should swap the bus or train seat for the saddle, but expenses and technical reasons may discourage some of us. Price tags for reliable bikes start at £350 – if you can find any these days – and choosing the perfect one can also be daunting. But you do not necessarily have to purchase one.
There are a couple of companies that offer affordable monthly or yearly plans for Londoners. Buzzbike gives you full-time access to a bike worth £700. The subscription will cost you £29.99 per month – slightly more than a zone 1-2 weekly student travel card –, comes with a lock and theft insurance. One demand maintenance and a yearly service are also included. Oh, and you can cancel anytime.
Another one is Brompton. You can sign up for an annual or for a monthly plan, for £30 or £42 respectively. If you divide your commute between rolling and public transport, this might be a better option for you, as the foldable bikes can be taken on board. The charming mini wheelers also come with an accident and theft insurance.
Some groups, like Lime, Uber Jump and Santander and others also provide quick-access rides, but because of their fees, they are only suitable for occasional, or indeed very brief trips. Although Santander does offer an annual membership for £90, though you will be confined to journeys of 30 minutes and designated docking stations.
Cycling around London is mostly fun (there are exceptions). It can save you a great deal of money and stress, you do good for the environment and for your physical health. So, strap your helmet on, pack a spare raincoat, and give it a go!
Words: Norbert Tarnoczi | Sub-edited: Leah Nelson