As Ofo bike share bikes roll into Cambridge I wonder if they will deliver the needed cycling boost to the city.
Cycling is great - the best way to get around your locality bar none. Cost effective, healthy, convenient, kind to humans and our planet.
The bike share industry has grown dramatically especially in China where companies like Ofo are able to generate steady revenues from daily users and thereby attract investors keen to get in on the next big disruptive market.
This excitement has not gone unnoticed in the UK where councillors keen to find a solution for pollution, congestion and parking woes. Ofo bikes can be seen in a few cities around the UK and it would be great if they encouraged more people to cycle.
What happens however, when the bike is cheap and uncomfortable or doesn't work well? In the UK we'd probably just stop using it but in China this happens:
Yes these are the very same cheerfully yellow Ofo bikes in China.
China have now decided to regulate the bike share industry and insist that bikes have to be parked in particular places.
I'd hate to see yellow bikes sticking out of the river Cam so I hope the Ofo bike share schemes work in Cambridge and the other UK cities. I have to suggest that if we are to get millions of people cycling they need to experience the wonderful feeling of riding a quality bike.