Backdated: Tuesday, 12 Oct 2010
So I’m clearly the ideal Boris Bike candidate.
Don’t think I flatter myself. Quite the contrary.
I haven’t ridden a bike in 10 years or so, I have no idea about roads, I’m afraid of traffic, especially big cars and I won’t bike regularly without first dipping my toes in the water first.
Thus the Boris bikes are ideal for someone as hopeless as me.
I planned a traffic-avoidance route via the cycle journey planner from Westbourne Grove to Angel.
Estimated Time: 35 mins
Estimated Times Docking: 2
(They charge a pound each time you don’t dock the bike within 30 mins. Each docking and unlocking takes approx. 5 mins of waiting for your key to re-set itself).
As one must with these things, you start nervously, tentatively but with immense optimism. There is no other way.
So here’s how it went, briefly :
- Got lost. Immediately.
I turned down the first street and realised I had no idea where I was. Panic set it. But I grit my teeth and vowed heroically to carry on.
- Missed 5 streets where I needed to turn off. It might have been more. I kept having to go back and retrace me steps.
- Total number of times getting lost – 7. Maybe 8.
- Couldn’t find a docking station at Edware road. Neither could some other guy. We both wandered around like lost sheep looking for this elusive docking station. I was frantic because I was approaching the 30 min mark.
- Went over the 30 min time limit one time. (See above)
- Realised half way through this hellish journey that I didn’t know how to turn right. Do I signal? Do I stay on the right? How do I get over to the right when a bunch of cars are in between?
- Had to stop and walk across road with the bike total of 5 times. (See above)
- Missed designated cycle lanes total of 1 time.
- Cycled on the wrong side of the cycle lane a total of 1 times.
- Cycled on the wrong side of the road total of 2 times.
- Went up a road that was a one way.
- Then went down a road that was a one way.
- Got honked at by a fleet of angry motorists coming relentlessly towards me. I had cycled up a one way main road. I hastily made for a pavement and walked.
- Turned up a road I shouldn’t have probably once or twice but I don’t even know how many because I don’t know the road rules.
- Got honked at by angry motorists 2-3 times.
- Couldn’t bike uphill, so stopped and walked. Total of 1 time.
- Seriously considered giving up and taking a bus. Total of 1 time. (See above)
- Stopped to look at the map I’d taped to the handle bars no less than 35 times. Approx every 5 mins or so. Wished I had an iPhone with GPS tracking for about the millionth time. The only saving grace was that I wouldn’t be able to tape it to the handle bars.
Total Times Docking: 5
Total Journey Time: 2 hours almost to the minute.
There are no pictures for this post. As you can imagine, I had bigger worries. Death. Cars. Maps. Fucking Docking.
I. Am. So. Tired. And. Now. Goodnight.