An Ideal Boris Bike Candidate

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:
(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.


6 thoughts on “An Ideal Boris Bike Candidate

  1. considering everything… not too bad at all! coming from me, who will probably take longer and make many more motorist suffer road rage…my opinion basically means piddle shit. but, i do wish i had a boris bike. i can picture myself cycling through the streets of beautful fresh bombay, my cat sitting in a little basket infront, me singing into the wind, as we go grocery shopping…ah the good life!

  2. Fucks sake Janinski, why were you attempting this challenge of all things?! Those bikes were built to be run over, and everybody hates cyclists as it is – me mostly for their total fuckwitted inability to decide whether they count as pedestrians or vehicles and as such flouting the road rules as it suits them. Please, join us back on the TFL side of life.

    And where are the excellent art photos from the REAL highlight of your weekend, hmmm? x

  3. I really want to be one of those bikers! they look so carefree – altho i disapprove of the breaking of red lights
    i always made sure i stopped (when i noticed)

    as for the picture they are coming up – i must pace myself
    i have many other posts to post before this

  4. Pingback: Boris Biking « Tin Roof Press

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