Above: the bikes have just appeared and are immediately attracting attention. Having taken a close look at the instructions (in four languages - Polish, English, German and Russian), I must say they are not entirely clear.
There's a requirement for pre-registration, which initially stunted the take-up of Boris Bikes in London. After six months, procedures were simplified and mere possession of a credit card can allow a tourist in London to ride off with a hire bike (if it's not returned, the credit card is simply debited for the amount). And the London scheme, launched in June 2010 with 5,000 bikes, was supported with advertising from the outset, whilst Warsaw's Veturilo bikes are still without a sponsor.
As the sign-up fee is a mere 10 złotys, I have registered, and look forward to wizzing around central Warsaw on a... Hanna Bike? Probably not. Unlike London's mayor, Hanna Gronkiewicz Waltz is not associated with bicycles and cycling, even though under her watch the provision of cycle paths has greatly improved (her predecessor's highways spokesman claimed that the bicycle was the vehicle of the backward countryside). I promise my readers a test-ride as soon I get a pass-code sent to me by e-mail.
Today I rode my bike to Ursynów Park+Ride, over the new footbridge with cycle ramps (HURRAH! AT LAST! AT LAST! OPEN AT LAST!) to Las Kabacki, through to ul. Moczydłowska, and thence by cycle path nearly all the way to the P+R. Nearly I write, because the road engineers have stopped the path just short of its gates, it's devilishly difficult for cyclists to get to. Dismounting and crossing two busy roads as a pedestrian is the only legal way. Anyway, no time for moans - let's now celebrate the new footbridge over Puławska (below). It's the same design as the one on Al. Niepodległości linking both parts of Pole Mokotowskie, nicely profiled for easy climbs and gentle descents (skid marks show at least one rushing cyclist has slammed into the barriers!)
Even more reason to dump the car and make the most of the summer, get on your bike and ride (if only to the P+R), take Metro into town, then ride to your final destination on a hire-bike.