We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

A little more transport blogging

If the ten day London weather forecast is anything to go by, and I think it is, yesterday was the last day of nice weather that London will see for quite a while, again. So yesterday, thus forewarned, I made a point of going out and about in London, photoing. (Longer range weather forecasts are an entirely different matter.) Sure enough, the weather was excellent, except at the end when it started clouding over.

And one of the more diverting things I observed and photoed was this, on London Bridge:

PedibusS.jpg

Yes, it’s a Pedibus. Even though Transport Blog is now in a state of permanent repose, I acquired the habit of photoing any strange form of transport I observed, so that I could feature it there, in among all the droning on about rail privatisation, and the habit of taking weird transport photos whenever the chance arose stuck. Also, the above photo is yet another in my now vast collection of people taking photos.

Although, I really should have videoed it to do it justice.

The people actually powering that particular Pedibus look suspiciously young, attractive, healthy and gender-balanced to me. I suspect they are promoting the thing, rather than actually paying to use it. (Peddling it as well as pedalling it, you might say. (See first two comments.))

But I reckon that if that is mere promotion, it ought to work. The Pedibus, it seems to me, unites a number of modern obsessions all into one activity, obsessions such as:

- Sitting at a table with friends, shouting nonsense.

- Showing off by doing something very weird in public.

- Drinking alcohol.

- Pedophilia, i.e. taking exercise by sitting on some sort of pedalling device, perhaps a bicycle of some sort but often just a thing with only pedals.

- Greenery. You can imagine yourself not having not such a big carbon footprint as you might have, while doing this.

I also think that it may appeal to all those who favour pedalling but who are reluctant simply to be pedalled around by someone else, because that seems just too Third Worldish, and who are reluctant to pedal around London alone because it seems too scary.

Best of all, because (although you can’t see him in my picture) there is a person at the front steering, you get to do, sort of, drunk driving. Perhaps Londoners will rename this contraption the Pub Crawler, because it would be ideal for that.

Even bester, it would seem that you don’t have to wear a helmet, which will surely rile all the cyclists, either because the cyclists wish they didn’t have to wear helmets, or because they think everyone else doing anything at all similar to them (walking along the pavement for example) should also be compelled by law to wear helmets.

Bestest of all, the Pedibus annoys the hell out of pompous git licensed taxi drivers.

Next, Pedibus racing. I googled those two words to see if that was already happening. Apparently not, but I did learn that “pedibus” is the Latin for something or other to do with ancient Roman chariot racing. Although I couldn’t be bothered to work out what.

I love London.

18 comments to A little more transport blogging

  • David

    There’s a difference between ‘peddling’ and ‘pedalling’

  • Sorry, yes. And thank you. That’s now been corrected throughout, or so I hope.

    Maybe it’s because I do so little of either these days.

  • Perhaps Londoners will rename this contraption the Pub Crawler, because it would be ideal for that.

    Here in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the name Pub Cruiser has been adopted, though I prefer Pub Crawler.

    Great Lakes Pub Cruiser, a 16-person bar-hopping bicycle, to debut in Grand Rapids

    I’ve only seen it out and about one time, so far, but it was fully loaded, and some of the pedalers also seemed to be close to fully loaded.

  • Yes, I am in favour of pretty much anything that pisses off licensed taxi cartels.

  • Anon

    Not only are we puritanical, we’re behind the curve in this country too:

    http://www.bierbike.de/

    Now that was fun!

  • David C

    You seem to be implying that cyclist have to wear helmets in London. Have things really got that bad?

  • ap

    “Although, I really should have videoed it to do it justice.”

    YouTube to the rescue: (Link)

  • Wimbledon starts on Monday, too. So at least two more weeks of bad weather.

  • David C, no, you don’t have to wear a helmet. The cyclists on drop handlebar bicycles all seem to, the ones on “sit up and beg” bikes generally don’t.

  • I’ve seen these in several Minneapolis (Minnesota, USA) neighborhoods. There are also bicycle rickshaws, and the occasional horse-drawn carriage. Right in with regular traffic, too!

  • Charlie

    http://www.conferencebike.com/history.html

    I had a chance to ride on one of those things. But I declined due to a medical condition called “dignity”.

  • The racing part is called “Kinetic sculpture racing” over here. It tends to favor outrageous decor over outright speed.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    I bet the bad weather has been caused by climate deniers!

  • bobby b

    So, in some contemporary urban center somewhere, we’ll hop aboard a pedal-bus filled with others who are also seeking transportation, and we’ll all be able to reach a quick consensus as to routes, destinations, speed, the relative level of work output to be added into the mix by each of us, who can sing out loud, who can preach to the rest of us, who needs to cover what body parts as we pedal along, whether hats may be worn whilst passing the various churches, temples, convents, priories, mosques, and clubhouses along the way, if we should stop and encourage the toad-worshipper to get off because the old Bal-priest in the back says Bal finds toads offensive, whether (if someone were to add restrooms to the conveyance someday) the transgendered would be empowered to choose which room to use themselves . . .

    We might do better with unicycles.

  • Antoine Clarke

    If bobby b can read that first “sentence” out loud without passing out, he has a glorious future as a pearl diver.

  • Samsung

    A Pedibus… Sounds like a bus ridden exclusively by kiddie-fiddlers. Or is that a Pedobus? Either way, I wouldn’t want any child of mine riding on one of those contraptions.

  • Alisa

    I actually liked bobby b’s metaphorical take on it. OTOH, not everything needs to always be overanalyzed, philosophized and politicized. It does seem like a fun contraption, FWIW.

  • I have never seen anything like it. Who steers?