There's nothing so much wrong with the bike itself, although its quite heavy and there are only three gears, but the combination of blue paint strips that nobody respects with aggressive drivers quite prepared to risk your life for their 5 seconds of time saved is lethal.
In my case I planned a trip from near the office in Stockwell South London to the Bush. A reasonably straight forward trip from Kennington docking station to the one installed with great expense at Westfield Library. I got as far as Vauxhall before giving up and returning, thankful I was still in possession of a full complement of limbs, to the tube.
So what went wrong? Two examples:
In Holland most cycle routes are separated from the road and exist either as part of the pavement or are apart from both. By contrast the cheap option of painted blue stripes is basically pointless. Cars weave on to them as they undertake those turning right while I came across a helpful DHL delivery van using it as a means of inching out into the road, forcing cyclists to swerve into the oncoming traffic on the right - while the oncoming traffic on the right did its best not to give way. This is precisely the dynamic that resulted in the first death of a Boris Bike user in July this year, although in that case the obstruction was scaffolding.
Vauxhall roundabout and White Van Man. A large multi-laned and incredibly poorly signposted hub is made all the worse by White Van Man and his fellow tribesmen. It's impossible to ride at any speed on a Boris Bike because there are only three gears, so you are slower not only than the cars but of most other bike users. You are therefore annoyance number one in the eyes of White Van Man, who cuts in front of you to turn left down the road you are half way across passing. On a roundabout. Yes, really. Again, precisely the sort of dynamics reported by cyclists on other roundabouts, such as that at Bow which has claimed the lives of several.
So what now?
Personally, I will never be taking the risk of cycling on London's main roads again. It seems I had chosen one of the most dangerous areas in London to try it with Vauxhall Cross recording one of the highest numbers of vehicle-cyclist collisions in the city, but still.
As this cycling blogger put it, recognising the fear some drivers feel when cyclists are forced to "swarm" around their cars, the way the current roads and "cycle lanes" are designed forces both into dangerous positions. And until that changes, the death toll will carry on rising.