I've just signed up as an annual member of the Barclays (yawn, yawn - my ex-employer is following me around) Cycle Hire Scheme. I think I need to use it for less than half an hour once a week for that to pay for itself.
I'm quite excited about it.
But, jolly though it will be (see how I can't help myself slipping into Borisisms), I am a little worried that its going to be stopping people from walking rather than getting them out of the cars.
My plan is to use the BCHS (*as Leo Hickman suggests, we must come up with a nickname soon) from Warren Street Tube to Birkbeck College and back again. Not a massive journey but one that is irritatingly long when I'm late for a lecture or on the way home from one in the cold dark winter and just wanting to get home. I think it will shave 10-15 minutes of my return journey and frankly, during term time, that's a precious 10-15 minutes.
This journey is too short for public transport so there'll be no reduction of congestion apart from on the pavements.
I have to say I'm underwhelmed by the cycle highways - really you need to seperate the cyclists from the traffic to make people like me feel safe doing longer journeys on major trunk roads.
And I'm impatient for whatever is going to happen utside of central London for local cycling, so that people no longer get in their cars to buy a couple of forgotten items at the supermarket etc, but get on a bike.
If course, if cycling is to come to Crystal Palalce in any sustainable kind of way, I'm also looking forward to the cycle ski-lift type thing that will be required to wynh all us moderatley fit people back up the hill!
*Could I ever sign up to a nick name such as the Boris Bike? I don't think so, but I'll have a couple of gos and see what I can come up with - perhaps experience will provide inspiration!