It's that time of year again and a guest post from Ric to explain:
"For most people I know, the Tube is a necessary evil to be braved twice a day as part of the bridge between the sleeping and the working parts of the day. But for one group of friends I've made over the last two years, the idea of spending a couple of hours on the Tube isn't due to a delay-filled commute, but is instead a competition involving a combination of physical, mental and decision-making ability: the Tube Challenge.
"The idea's dead simple: visit all stations on the London Underground as fast as you can. There's a Guinness World Record for visiting all the stations, curently standing at almost 18 and a half hours, set by two Swedes last year. However if that feels like too much like hard work, there's a shorter and easier version which might appeal slightly more, and that's the Zone 1 Challenge. There's going to be a mass attempt at this on Friday 18th May, as advertised on www.tubechallenge.com, and all readers of this blog are invited to come and join in.
"There are 63 stations last time I counted, and they all have to be visited by Tube, in whichever order you like. You can run/walk between stations, jump on a bus, or even the rail link between Waterloo and Vauxhall might save you precious minutes. You could plan a route involving several double-backs, or try a route which relies on getting between stations on foot. If there are delays on the day, will you change your route on the spot to get around any areas running slowly? You can have a go by yourself, or team up with others, and I'm sure we'll be able to form teams on the day when we see who is looking to join up. Most competitors will be hoping for a time of less than 3 hours...assuming that there aren't any delays of course!
"We'll be meeting at the Argyll St entrance to Oxford Circus tube station at 12noon on Friday 18th, and we then hope to have a celebrity guest to draw the station we must start from. We'll head over there and begin together at roughly 1pm. After visiting all the stations, head to the after-event venue, The Angel in the Fields pub, and see if your time was fast enough to win. There will also be some après-Tube activities going on in the pub, and it will be a chance to share stories of the day and to meet other underground afficionados".
"If this sounds like your thing and you'd like to find out more, have a look at the alternative challenges section of the forum on www.tubechallenge.com, or email myself on email@example.com, or Kevin Brown on firstname.lastname@example.org