There are many options for hiring a bike for the 2021 ride on 14th August. Here are some we recommend. For the benefit of everyone, please cover the saddle if you have a bare bottom!
You can find an interactive map of our start locations and main stations here.
London Bicycle Tour Company (LBTC)
London Bicycle Tour Company (LBTC) is offering bikes for the afternoon of the ride (Saturday 14 August 2021) for £16 (including a WNBR seat cover which is yours to keep). Bikes must be pre-booked and collected from their premises, which are around 20 minutes by bike from the Central London start points.
Tower Hill is easiest to find from LBTC. Go east on Lambeth Road, past the Imperial War Museum and carry on straight on Borough Road until you are under a large railway bridge where you turn left onto Southwark Bridge Rd. Cross Southwark Bridge then turn right onto the cycle superhighway to carry on east to Tower Hill. You can see the location on the interactive map here.
Please try to collect bikes early (from 11:00) in order to avoid a rush. LBTC will be staying open later than usual until 7pm to receive returned bikes
Terms of the hire for WNBR riders
This is our current understanding but you need to observe the terms of hire as presented by LBTC at the time of hire.
- Bike collection and return is from LBTC’s hire centre at 74 Kennington Road, London SE11 6NL Nearest tube/rail: Lambeth North or Waterloo. See londonbicycle.com/directions to view directions from all the closest stations.
- Bike delivery is not available
- Bikes can be collected from 11am on Saturday 14th August 2021
- Bikes must be returned to LBTC by 7pm on Saturday 14th August 2021.
- The discount hire terms do not apply to Specialty, tandem or Road Bikes; if you require one of these, phone or visit LBTC.
- The seat cover is provided as part of your booking an can be collected when you pick up the bicycle.
Notes on costs
Bike helmets, panniers, and lights are not included in the prices and will incur an additional charge. Locks, though, are included.
You must pay in advance by credit or debit card. This way LBTC are able to do two jobs at once: capture the hirer’s bank details for the deposit on the bicycle, and pay for the bike hire at the same time.
Collection and return point
74 Kennington Road
London SE11 6NL
020 7928 6838
Booking hire bikes online
Go to the booking form and follow the instructions. NOTE: Bike delivery is not available – bikes must be collected from the shop. Advanced booking is required to guarantee bike availability. Last year they sold out!
TfL Cycle Hire
Another option is Transport for London’s Santander Cycles, sometimes still known as “Boris Bikes” after the mayor who introduced them. These are intended for short journeys, so please make sure that you understand the charges. You pay £2 for the access fee for up to 24 hours. The first 30 minutes of each journey during that day are free. If it is a longer journey, each extra period of up to 30 minutes costs another £2. So, if you have the bike for 3 hours, it will cost you £12 (£2 plus 5x£2). This is quite plausible, since the London ride assembles around 14:30 and finishes at about 17:30.
However, if you end a journey by docking your bike, then wait 5 minutes, you can start a new journey with 30 minutes free. In theory you could ride all day for £2 in short journeys with 5 minute breaks. On WNBR, you might not want to be left behind waiting 5 minutes, but you might be able to do this at the rest breaks.
The scheme operates in Central London. Currently there are docking stations near Clapham Junction, Hyde Park, Regents Park, Tower Hill, Victoria Park and our afterparty venue. There is no coverage near Croydon, Deptford, or Kew Bridge.
You may not be able to collect or return a bike at the nearest docking station, if it’s empty at the start and full at the end, so you need to allow for extra travelling time.
You can check locations and availabilities here.
There have also been some new “dockless” hire services where you can find a bike then leave it at any location within their coverage area – all tracked by technology and accessed through an app on your phone. These have not been fully successful. Currently opeating areas vary across the different London Boroughs. There have also been problems with blocking public spaces, vandalism and theft.
There is a comparative article from June 2019 in Londonist.
The Ofo service has closed down.
The Mobike service is operating but their coverage area does not include all the WNBR London routes. You can ride the bike anywhere you want but you can only pick it up or leave it within their coverage area.
Lime Electric Assist bikes have begun to operate in parts of London and are becoming common on the streets.
Jump operates using the Uber app.
Freebike provides electric assist bikes, which are not free except for a short trial period.
Other cycle hire options
There are many other cycle hire shops. The London Cycle Campaign (LCC) have a list of Cycle hire shops in Greater London.
If you are hiring or borrowing a bike, and you have a bare bum, you should cover the saddle. This will protect you from any dirt, as well as being polite to the next person who uses the bike. You can purchase a 2019 edition WNBR seat cover for £2 at the start points. You might alternatively use some of your clothes to make a temporary cover.
You could also buy yourself a comfortable gel saddle cover in advance. Cheap ones are available on eBay and in the pound shops – yes, this one cost £1!