Destination: England: London
A great way to beat London’s notoriously congested traffic is to rent a Barclays Bikes, the citywide bike-rental program instigated by mayor Boris Johnson (which is why they are better known as Boris Bikes). All you need is to swipe a credit card (Visa and Mastercard only) at one of the stations dotted throughout the city, select an access period (24 hours or 7 days), and then the first 30 minutes are free of usage charge. After the first few hours, rental rates climb quickly; for example, it’s £6 to rent a bike for two hours, but then it jumps to £35 for 3-6 hours. (A lot of people switch bikes after 30 minutes so as not to incur extra charges.)
The seats are adjustable, handbags can be secured in front by elastic straps and it’s a lot of fun seeing London up close at a good spin. The Barclays Web site includes helpful cycle routes. Just remember to stay on the left side of the road.
Ten Pilates, an innovative gym with locations in Mayfair, Notting Hill and Chiswick, offers rigorous work-out in both reformer and mat Pilates. Reformer classes hold a maximum of six people, and everyone gets a customized machine with resistance pulleys, which can intensify the workout. Classes cost £25 a session although first timers pay half-price, and block bookings cuts price accordingly.
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