I was a little disappointed yesterday and today, therefore, to fine no available bikes at Paddington's two nearest docks. I lucked out on Tuesday when someone pulled in while I stood in shock, but today there were none and I walked to the next one.
It wasn't a massive inconvenience or anything but it does show that the planners were wrong to site so many docks in residential areas. I would have thought it was obvious that the people who would jump at the scheme would be commuters like myself who come into a main station and want to hop by bike to another one or into the centre of town.
When I arrive at Victoria there are always loads of docking spaces because all the bikes have been taken. In fact, I am often hovered over by men in suits who patiently wait for me to dock, take off my helmet and reflective belt, get my stuff in my bag and start to walk away before they grab the bike I've just used.
The other problem with the Victoria bike dock I use is that it's in the middle of lots of one-way streets, so I can't cycle the last bit. It's also on the coaches' approach to Victoria coach station's arrivals hall so huge coaches and TfL buses are coming past all the time. I'm always careful when I back my bike out but I've seen several people nearly come a cropper when a coach has wheeled round the corner.
I know my key didn't work properly at first and other teething problems exist, but I really think the scheme's a winner. I just hope that the scheme organisers use the feedback and bike data to make sure that any new docking stations are put in useful and usable places.