FWIW: Just got this email from Barclays Cycle Hire Head of Operations….

During the recent Meet the Managers online consultation, it became clear many customers were not aware they can get an extra 15 minutes of usage if a docking station is full when you come to return your cycle. So I am sending this mail to ensure everyone knows how to take advantage of this.

To do this, touch the ’No docking point free’ icon on the terminal screen and you will automatically be granted the extra time. The status of empty docking points at the nearest six terminals is always available on the terminal screen and maps are displayed showing their locations.

Please note that if you hired more than one cycle this request needs to be made for each cycle on hire.

So if you can actually get a bike when you need one, and find you can’t get rid of it at your destination, doing the above will give you 15 mins extra to race around looking for somewhere slightly further… and further and further to re-dock it…

I tried the hire bikes, found it to be a massive let-down. The gear ratio is too low so you have no hope in hell of going fast on one, waterloo is out of them in the morning, if you get a key for yourself and your wife on the same account, then everytime you borrow a bike yourself you get charged for two bikes (utterly retarded logic).

If you are a tourist and want a way to get around London, they are probably great, for commuting purposes.. no chance.