Happy birthday, Boris Bikes! Today marks four years since the blue-and-grey cruisers first arrived in London under the (much less catchy) title of the ‘Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme’. Since then, the rentable bicycles have become a symbol of our city. In fact, there are now more than 10,000 of the bikes nestled in docks around the capital.
In honour of their special day, let’s look back at the greatest (and silliest) moments in the history of BoJo’s finest transport innovation (yes, we know they were Ken Livingstone’s idea originally).
1. In July 2014, stunt riders Joe Seddon and Andrei Burton gave their pro bikes a Boris makeover before showing off some serious cycling skills on the streets and rooftops of London.
2. Boris Johnson commissioned 101 special bikes to mark the 101st Tour de France, which arrived in London on July 7. They were painted yellow to match the jersey of the tour’s leading rider.
3. Visualisation specialist Jo Wood from City University London created this cool animation mapping the first five million Boris bike journeys in lights.
4. A Boris Bike that went missing in 2011 was found TWO YEARS later in Wolverhampton. CID officers in the city returned the bike to London after its jolly holiday in The Midlands.
5. In 2013, super-fit fundraiser Robert Holden hired a bike from the New Kent Road, drove it to Mont Ventoux in France, cycled to the top of the 6,273ft peak and returned it to its dock before the 24 hour maximum rental period expired. Phew.
6. Oh and remember that Boris Bike spotted in The Gambia in July 2013? These guys have got around.
7. In 2012, politician and all-round badass Arnold Schwarzenegger took one for a spin. But – more importantly – the One Direction lads were also snapped having a gentle cycle the same year.
8. In June 2014, the first ever official Boris Bike race was held in Smithfield Market as part of night-time cycling event London Nocturne. More than 15,000 people watched competitors complete the five-lap course.
9. And finally… who can forget the the woman who fell off her Boris Bike during a promotional photo shoot? Oops!
Read more about London’s beloved Boris Bikes.