Meet our cycle hire heroes

balloons and cycles docking station

London’s Cycle Hire scheme turns 10 this year! 🎂

You have made more than 94 million hires on our 12,000 bikes since we launched on 30 July 2010. ✂️🎀

To celebrate, we put the call out for London’s cycle hire heroes and our call was answered! Here are your inspirational stories 🚴 👇

David our July hero

david and london fire brigade

Myself and my colleagues at King’s College Hospital Emergency Department had the unfortunate feat of being in receipt of 3 major incidents in a very short space of time in 2017 (Westminster, London Bridge and subsequently Grenfell). 🏥👨‍⚕️ 

Unfortunately, in the early hours of the 15th June we had been put on major incident alert because of the Grenfell Tower fire. We heard some incredibly heroic stories from patients about the bravery of the London Fire Brigade. 👏 

It gave me an idea, I wanted to say thank you to every member of the team who had been serving that night. 💡 

We had a whip round within the Emergency department and raised approximately £300We liaised with Krispy Kreme and they gave us an extra dozen doughnuts for every dozen we bought. We then used Santander Cycles to go to 30 fire stations across London (who were involved) to thank them and listen to their stories first-hand. ❤️

Liz our June hero

liz and friends on bikes in london

London’s cycle hire scheme has enabled my husband and I to share the joys of cycling with family and friends from London and all around the world who do not have a bicycle. 🎉 

On a rough count we know that at least over 50 different people have joined us on cycle rides using the cycle hire scheme. 👏 

We would encourage everyone to take a friend out for a spin. It has never been easier to share the magic of cycling around London. 🚲🇬🇧

Emdad our May hero

emdad with bike and books

Emdad has been using Santander Cycles for several years. 👏 

On average he has cycled 10km every working day for his job which involves making sure children attend school every day. It has been a great way of commuting between schools, home visits, navigating traffic whilst combining and incorporating his daily fitness schedule into this routine. 💪 

He has also launched a free social action initiative called Bookbike London, an eco-friendly service which connects people through reading. The project supplies books free-of-charge to elderly residential homes, hostels, prisons, hospital wards and local organisations in East London and surrounding boroughs. 📚 

He is making a massive difference and Santander Cycles are helping him to travel efficiently. 🚴‍♂️🙌 

Mike our April hero

mike with bike

I started using the bikes shortly after they were launched, mainly to commute between Waterloo and the city. 🚴‍♂️ 

In the summer of 2016, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. When I returned to work after a month, the advice was not to cycle for three months. I really missed my morning ride as it is the quickest most convenient and reliable way to get around. I restarted using them as soon as possible in January 2017. 🎉 

I am now a Community Ambassador for the leading global men’s health charity, Movember to help raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer, as well as suicide prevention. 👏 

More recently I have started working at home 2 days a week and the morning ride is one of the things I miss. It’s exercise without having to go out of your way. 🙌 

Habiba our March hero

Photo of Habiba with a Santander Cycle

With the convenience of a dock near my flat and one right next to the Royal London Hospital where I work, all I need is a helmet. 🚴‍♀️

It always feels amazing to be able to enjoy a bike ride after a 13-hour shift. Thanks Santander, from a grateful cycling nurse! 👩‍⚕️

Andy our February hero

Photo of Andy in front of a Santander Cycles dock

Andy has cycled more than 2,400 times since the scheme began– a total of 463 hours and around 6,900km! 🤯

Andy also uses Santander Cycles to help him train for mountain biking by regularly hiring a bike and riding up Wharton Street in Islington, looping back and forth a few times in 3rd gear. 💪

To prepare for Euro 2020, Andy will be cycling from the Stade de France in Paris to Wembley. 🇫🇷🚴 🇬🇧

Sakhr our January hero

Photo of Sakhr January cycle hire hero

Happy birthday! You’ve changed this city for the better. ❤️

I wanted to be the first person to hire a TfL bike. I watched the cycle hire stations being installed outside my office in Shoreditch High Street, and then saw the bikes being docked the night before launch day. ⏲️

That night, I went to stay with a friend in central London. I knew the scheme was launching at 6am, so I went to the Dorset Square docking station and tried my key at 5.55am. It worked! I took a bike out. Within seconds, a taxi driver hooted at me and congratulated me for being the first one. 🎉

I made a few loops around Regent’s Park and then cycled across London to my office. It was a slow journey because people kept stopping me to ask about the bikes and how to hire them. 😅

London was my first cycle hire experience. Since then, I’ve hired bikes in Rome, Milan, Berlin, Brussels, Toulouse, Oslo, Barcelona, Washington DC and Mexico City. And every time I get on a bike in a new city, I feel proud that London has inspired the world. 🌍

Cycle hire heroes, assemble!

Our search continues for the next competition winner, with one dedicated cycle hire hero chosen each month throughout the anniversary year. 🏆

Share your experience of the cycle hire scheme by emailing [email protected] for a chance to win! 📧

Terms and Conditions for the Cycle Hire 10th anniversary competition are available on our website.


  1. Happy 10th anniversary
    Myself and many hospital workers at UCLH have enjoyed the use of the Santander cycles throughout the crisis and thank-you for this.
    It has opened up a different side of London cycling and it has kept us healthy
    Long may it continue

  2. Should out to (Feb) Andy. We’ve friends live on Wharton Street and I know that hill well. Regularly used by runners doing hill training too.


  4. Santander bikes have changed my life in the past 6 years.
    They are fabulous, I don’t know what I would do without them!
    i have stopped using the bus and tube I love using Santander, I have a yearly key subscription.
    Since lockdown I have managed to convince my parents and sister to get keys and they love using them.
    I cycle nearly everyday around Hyde Park, it is just like being on holiday. I love cycling around the Serpentine.
    I would highly recommend Santander to anyone, please use instead of bus and tube if you can. Best way to keep safe

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