Yesterday, you may have noticed, we attempted to predict what impact the strike among Serco staff would have on London's bike hire scheme. Our guess was that it'd be impossible to find a bike in residential areas, impossible to park in employment centres, and impossible to do pretty much anything in Islington.
Today, we're surprised and delighted to tell you that we were, best we can tell, completely and utterly wrong.
Picking up a bike on the northern fringes of the scheme this morning wasn't a problem. Neither was parking in the West End. Both these things frequently prove problematic even when there isn't a strike on, so that today's commute was so smooth is something of a shock.
A number of possible explanations for all this present themselves:
- A well-publicised strike has reduced usage to such an extent that shortages of either bikes or docking stations simply aren't an issue;
- The men moving bikes round in vans aren't nearly as important as either we or they thought they were;
- Barclays Cycle Hire were being truthful when they responded to our story with a tweet reading "Hi, just to let you know — contingencies are in place and services are operating as normal”;
- Like Daft Punk, we got lucky.
So, part-time cyclists of London, are we the exception, or the rule? How’s the strike been for you?
Photo courtesy of Sherion Mullings, taken from the Londonist Flickr pool