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Boris Johnson goes for bike ride with Arnold Schwarzenegger

15:18 31 March 2011

Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Arnold Schwarzenegger (right) on bikes outside City Hall, London

Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Arnold Schwarzenegger (right) on bikes outside City Hall, London

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Boris Johnson has shaken hands with the great and the good throughout his career but even he looked starstruck when he met the Terminator today.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, former body-builder, movie star and Republican politician, spent time with the Mayor of London at City Hall to talk about the success of London’s cycle hire scheme.

In Terminator 2 he said he needed “your clothes, boots and your motorcycle” but it turns out he’s happier on a pedal bike as the new-found chums took a pleasant ride around the Mayor’s offices in the shadow of Tower Bridge.

He was just a short ride away from a previous stomping ground in Forest Gate, where he moved in 1966 to train for the Mr Universe title.

He trained with the renowned Wag Bennett, who had a gym on Romford Road and invited Arnold to live with him, his wife Diane and his six children.

Schwarzenegger became very close to the family and sent flowers to Wag’s funeral when he died in 2008.

The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme, launched eight months ago, lets cyclists pick up a bike at docking stations and then use them to get around town for a hire fee.

More than 110,000 people have signed up to it and Mr Johnson was able to fill the “Governator”, who championed cutting greenhouse emissions while in office in California, in on the details.

The pair exchanged ideas on “zero emission technologies” – in 2005 Arnie signed a deal ordering emissions be cut to 80 per cent below 1990s levels by 2050.

He also visited London to honour Mikhail Gorbachev at his spectacular 80th birthday celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall last Wednesday and backed the Prime Minister for his stance on Libya.

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