London's new bike hire plan

London Mayor Boris Johnson, an avid bicycling enthusiast, put the first bikes on the road Friday — 4,700 out of a planned 6,000. Under the programme, cyclists will be able to borrow bikes from 400 docking stations around the city.

At the start, only those who sign up for membership in advance are eligible to take part. Membership costs 45 pounds ($70) a year.

Tourists or other casual users will not be eligible for the programme for at least another month.

London joins dozens of other cities with bike rental programmes, including Milan, Boston Barcelona, Minneapolis, Paris and Zurich.

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