A Review of ofo Bikes and Shared Cycling in London
Hollie Richardson · May 22, 2018· 4 Comments
Last night, I came home and saw one stood in front of my Peckham flat. The other week, I spotted one sitting on Tower Bridge. I’ve seen them lurking around pretty much everywhere in Hackney.
I’m talking of course of the bright yellow ofo bikes.
ofo is the world’s first and largest dock-less bike sharing platform and has set off a trend with companies like Mobike closely following in its tyre marks. The bikes can be found in 250 cities across the world and are being rolled out in London. Although the bikes are currently based in Islington, Hackney and the City, cyclists can take and leave them anywhere in London – good news for Boris bike-deprived south Londoners who want to get around quicker without boarding a stuffy bus.
Dock-less bikes look to be a growing trend as Londoners work towards a greener and cleaner city, but what exactly is a dock-less bike and how do you use one?
I went to find out…
Downloading the app
A quick search and tap is all it takes to download the ofo app within minutes. It then asks for your email address and phone number, which I seem to give away without a second thought these days. You also have to input your bank card details – I’m a bit more reluctant to do this but it only takes a moment’s hesitation before I go ahead and submit them. And that’s it, I’m ready to go.
Finding a bike
The app takes you to a detailed map pinning your current GPS location and your nearest available ofo bikes. The pin was sensitive on the touch-screen and it moved around a lot when zooming in and out of the map, so I had to keep centring it back to my correct location. However, this is good for if you want to drop the pin in another location that you’re heading to and want to get a bike from.
I was surprised to find that the nearest bike was a fifteen-minute walk away. This is 2018 and I’m a millennial who expects instantaneous services for my every want and need – blame Uber, Netflix and Just Eat. Slightly miffed that there wasn’t a bike just around the corner, I followed the helpful map directions to find my bike.
I found it just in front of someone’s garden, which made me feel a bit weird about taking it.