Bicycle Diaries Bike for Sale
The book I wrote over the last couple of years (though the notes for it date back as far as 15 years) came out in the UK this week. I decided that since I am finishing my tour here, the UK publisher (Faber and Faber) and I would auction off the bike that I rode around many of the cities featured in the book — Sydney, Istanbul, Berlin, Columbus, and London. The proceeds will benefit the London Cycling Campaign as the bike is located there — which means that the auction is really geared towards UK bidders.
Navigating London’s Public Transport
After helping to oversee the installation of Playing the Building at the Roundhouse on Thursday, Danielle, my studio manager, and I needed to get to the Smithfield area of London for a dinner appointment. London traffic is notoriously snarled much of the time — though congestion pricing has alleviated that a bit — so we decided to take the tube (subway). Rain began to pelt down; we used bin liners (plastic trash bags) to cover ourselves. The nearby Chalk Farm tube station lobby and ticket area was filled with people, and a young man was writing on a whiteboard that no trains on the Northern line, northbound or southbound, were running. There was no suggestion of “20 min. delays” or “We’ll let you know when it’s fixed.” Instead the instructions were, in a word, “Go away.” Then, to add insult to injury, he hollered at everyone, “You need to clear this space because of fire regulations, you can’t stand here” — effectively shoving everyone out into the torrential rain. We saw a sign for a southbound train approaching the station and rushed down to the platform, but we missed it and that was the last one. We took the man’s advice and went looking for a southbound bus, which we found not too far off.
The windows were all fogged up, but using the GPS on our phones we could see where the bus was going, and when it began to diverge from the direction we needed to go, we hopped off and got on another one (at least London busses run frequently), then repeated the process. After riding three busses (and purchasing two umbrellas) we made it to the restaurant, slightly soaked but on time.