In London, despite displaying the prominent livery of sponsors Barclays Bank, they are known as ‘Boris Bikes’. The colourful and eccentric London Mayor Boris Johnson is a keen rider around London (on his own bike), and so was well suited to launch the bike hire scheme some years ago. Hence why ‘Boris Bikes’ stuck over the mention of Barclays.
The concept of a Boris Bike is simple. Bikes are left at ‘bike stations’, picked up by a cyclist and then left at another ‘bike station’. Charged by the half hour, they are an alternative to buses or tube journeys. And healthier.
So, it was inevitable that Liverpool (and other cities) would get Boris Bikes. Boris, being a) Tory and b) ‘down south’, is hated by Liverpudlians. For this reason, the new bikes appearing over the city of Liverpool are instead called ‘citybikes‘ (with a small ‘c’, which is important).
Starting with just ten locations for the automated ‘bike stations’ and 80 bikes, the project is on track to have 1,000 bikes distributed around 100 locations within the next 6 months or so.
I thought I’d head on out to check out a citybike. Erm, I think this ‘bike station’ outside the excellent Unit 51 in the Baltic Creative Triangle of Liverpool might have been installed a bit wrongly. I mean, maybe the person who set this ‘bike station’ up was a bit unwell at the time. Am I right?