Monday, September 12, 2011

Boris Bikes

For some reason I have been booked into a hotel in the nowhere zone between Kings Cross, Russell Square and ClerkenwelI. The nearwest tube is a good quarter of an hour's walk away... which has forced (with little resistance I have to say) to try out Barclays Bike Hire, affectionately (?) known as Boris Bikes. They're brilliant!  Took a little while to figure out how to register and pull the thing out of its docking station but, thereafter, a piece of cake.

There are 315 sets of docking stations scattered around central London so you're never that far from one. Put your card in, receive a printed code, punch it in, pull out the bike and off you go. The first half hour is free and since none of my journeys are going to be longer than that then basically I've got free travel in London for the week. Great to pedal through Bloomsbury and Covent Garden, faster than the buses and the tube, before leaving the bike at a docking station near the office at Trafalgar Square. The only problem is if there are no bikes available and, conversely, if on reaching your destination docking station, it's full. Then you have to find the next nearest. Also, of course if it's raining - haven't brough a raincoat. Apart from that, I'm a big fan!

Workwise, packed day of meetings, including a senior Chinese delegation, and then off on my BB to meet Sam at Google HQ in Victoria. Groovy office - just how you'd imagine it: cool staff canteen with excellent (free) food anytime of the day, the inevitable table-football and pool tables, whacky signs all over the place, massage rooms, balls to kick around, meeting rooms named after tube stations, and a chill-out room in the guise of half a London bus. A little bit of California in London.

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