Looking to do something fun with the kids in London this summer? Head off to Battersea Park and try riding the funky yellow bikes available to hire from London Recumbents.
Hire a banana bike or a cargo bike
For as little as £10 you can experience riding these unusual bikes in the safe surrounding of the park for one hour or more. The bikes available from London Recumbents come in three sizes to cater for young children as well as adults. I have tried it with my daughters and it was fantastic. We went at a leisurely pace, stopping en route to take it the beautiful sights Battersea Park has to offer.
Both my daughters were recumbent novices but it took less than no time to get used to them. The hardest bit is the first pedal stroke. Steering is as unusual as you need your knees and legs to lean into the direction you wish to go, to turn. Braking is achieved by back pedalling. The banana bikes, as they are affectionately nicknamed, are very sturdy with a low centre of gravity so they can take a kerb mount quite easily without a too much fear for the outcome.
Where do you go from there?
Riding is only allowed on the broader portions of the road which circle the park. You do have to share with other people riding bicycles but there was no conflict. The recumbents are a well-known feature of the park and other users showed consideration. Utility motorised vehicles were also very careful and respectful. I felt completely at ease with letting my children riding ahead at speed once they felt comfortable. Other bicycles available at London Recumbents are regular bikes, tandems, cargo bikes (Nihola) and regular trikes.
The customers are a mixture of tourists, regulars and Londoners. The most popular bikes hired are the banana bikes and the Niholas. No need to book, just turn up with an ID, fill in a short form and pay the rental fee. They have a lot of bikes so if there is a bit of a queue you won’t have to wait too long before you are given one. The staff was very friendly and they explained everything before you set off.
Where to find them?
London Recumbents are located just at the entrance of Battersea Park from Chelsea Bridge, accessible by bus from Victoria. They also operate from Dulwich Park. They are open seven days a week.
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