When we took the Boris Bikes to Paris on the Eurostar a couple of weeks ago, Tom and I did ponder how far it would be theoretically possible to take a bike and return it within the 24 hour limit.

One option that would be possible – if damn difficult/expensive in practice – would be to cycle over the Heathrow airport and catch a flight to Toronto, with probably no more time in Canada than to cycle around the airport before heading back home again.

However, an alternative exists, as I have just learnt that there has been a Boris Bike in Toronto for the past month – as part of a celebration of the Bixi Bike scheme. The bikes we use in London are the same Bixi Bikes that can found in several other cities around the world, so for a month, one bike from each city was taken to Toronto and used as part of the normal Bixi Bike hire scheme.

The only difference apparently being that the London bikes had to have their brake handles reversed to Canadian norms.

The Barclays logo can be seen peeking out further along the rack

I rather hope they replicate the idea of borrowing bikes from other cities in London – it would be sort of fun, although I doubt the “we hate corporate sponsors” brigade will be assuaged, as they all look like they carry a brand name of some sort.

Multiple Bixi Bikes


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  1. Andrew says:

    Looks like there’s a Melbourne one there! What’s the brake standard in the UK? In Australia it’s back on the left, front on the right. Is it the same?

  2. Rob Holden says:

    Hi Ian

    Q: How far would it be possible to take a bike and return it within the 24 hour limit?

    Precisely the question my friend (another Ian) posed earlier this summer. Fast forward 3 months and we found out. We just completed a 24-hr challenge by driving a Boris Bike down to Mont Ventoux in the South of France, riding it up Ventoux (don’t try it….it hurts, a lot) and docking it back in London without incurring a fine. We have a short film out later this week, but you can see a teaser trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ptm1Ngr-ic . In the process, we raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support (www.justgiving.com/rob-holden1) and well…..found out it COULD be done. Mission accomplished!

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