23 July 2010

Sign on for the Bike Hire Scheme today... if the system will let you

From today, you can sign up to be a keyholder for the London Cycle Hire Scheme, which starts on 30 July. For the first few weeks only keyholders will be able to use the bikes. After that it goes live to casual users.

Signing up to be a keyholder costs three quid, and enables you to access the hire bikes a day or a week at a time. They key is sent to you in the post.

We're very enthusiastic about the cycle hire scheme, and were up early this morning to sign up.

Apart from the sort of irritations put in by dozy techie people - such as your address being forced to have three lines in, so that the second two of mine are 'London, London' - the process is quick and easy.

You simply fill in a few forms, give your credit card details, and... oh. How do I contact the 'system adminstrator'?


  1. No doubt you managed to get it to work in the end, as I did. The membership number I was given is just under the 3000 mark.

  2. Oh that address thing was annoying. I think they'll have a slew of people who live in "London London". Not quite the same ring as "New York, new York".

  3. The 3 line address makes sense if you read the boxes. It is "House number or name", "Address line 2" and "Address line 3", followed by postcode, so "29", "Arcadia Road", "London" is the kind of thing you should enter.

    Of course it should have a postcode lookup really. And don't get me started on the Verified by Visa/Mastercard Securecode giving a merchante of Serco.

    Nigel, where did you see a membership number?

  4. Does it mean that the scheme is actually very popular? That would be a good thing indeed.

  5. @jellybaby.net: My membership number was displayed on the screen after my application was accepted - though it wasn't shown on the confirmation email.

    I've chosen to purchase access in 24h blocks. But I also need to choose whether I want to "auto-renew" my access. Their email says "If you select “auto-renew”, we’ll automatically start a new access period for you when you use your key after your last access period has ended or if your access period ends while you are using a cycle.". But if I'm a member, don't have "auto-renew" selected, and use my key, what happens? What's the point of having membership if using your key doesn't purchase a period of access?

  6. It wasn't clear if my online registration had gone through (I got no cofirmation email, but I could log on to my account) so I phoned the helpline.

    It took a few false starts - being put on hold and then being answered from scratch again by a new operator, so I had to go through all question answering again - but eventually I got registered properly.

    As for not having auto-renew, well, I guess you simply have to select at the time you insert your key whether you want one day, one week or one month access or whatever.

    Ooh. Only a week now. Getting quite excited.