The Tube Challenge
I'm the current Guinness World Record Holder for travelling around the entire London Underground network in the fastest time possible (16 hours, 20 minutes, 27 seconds), held with my friend Anthony.
I held the record once before back between 2004-2006, and now again with my 25th attempt made in August 2013.
I've made 25 attempts in total at going round the whole network, and they are all documented here with writeups, photos and videos of them all.
We have so much information, facts, travels tips and hints about the London Underground that we thought we'd do something useful with it. 'We' is myself and Matthew Frost who have created Station Master - an App for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
It tells you which is the best carriage and door exit point for every station, tells you what facilities (e.g. toilets) are at each stations, had accessibility information, and best of all - had 3D maps of every tube station on the network allowing you to visualise each station before you go there.
In 2013 the App won an award from TfL in the 'Accessibility App' competition that they ran.
Based upon the experience of traveling the tube, having the world record, not having it again and then trying to get it back, and everything else that I do on the tube - I am performing a spoken word/comedy/multimedia show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014 called 'Tubespotting', details here.
It will be performed at the Electric Circus on August 14th/15th, and 18th-22nd at 12.45pm every day. Free entrance, bucket for donations at the end!
There is a one-off London preview show at the London Transport Museum on Wednesday 23rd July though! Details of that event and to book tickets is here.
Running at the same venue at the beginning of the Fringe before me is the excellent Underground Orchestra Challenge, show which you must also see!
Londonist 'Secrets' Video Series
I'm a video producer by day and tube enthusiast by night.
So I thought I'd blend the two worlds together and have produced a series of videos for the Londoinst website called 'Secrets Of...' where we take a tube line in turn and explore some of the history, secrets, and fun bits that you may not have known about that tube line.
They've had thousands of views, and by request - we're now turning them into a DVD with a whole bunch of extras.
All the videos we've made so far can we watched onine using this Londonist Youtube Channel Playlist which plays through them all.
Based upon the 'secrets' in the Londonist videos, I do walking/tube tours around London roughly once a month pointing out the unusual, fun, secret and historical things about the tube. Even regular commuters always learn something that they've been walking past for years and never spotted about our fabulous Underground system.
Tours last just over 2 hours long, usually on a weekend afternoon and we quite often go down the pub afterwards to discuss all things tube!
If you'd like to know when the next one is and go on one, send me an email to this address.
In the summer of 2009 I went on an ambitious road trip around the 48 'mainland' states of America (i.e. not Alaska or Hawaii) and drove to 48 places (one for each state) that shared a name with a place on the tube map - e.g. I visited White City in Kansas, Epping in Maine and Temple in Georgia - I called in Underground : USA
It was an intense 10 week experience that I blogged about at the time, as well as taking thousands of photos and producing online videos as I went.
After it all, I took the best photos and published them into a photobook.
In 2013 we held out first ever 'Tube Symposium' - a gathering of of App developers, map makers, tube geeks, and even signalmen and train operators (driver) on the tube for an afternoon of tube talk.
Expect us to hold another one later in 2014, at a bigger venue with lots more people invited to come and talk all things tube!
Charity Tube Challenges
In April 2014, we did Walk the Tube, a group of 25 people traveling together to raise money for their own chosen charities. This followed on after us getting the record in 2013, and generating a lot of media interest from it, and the days events have been catagorised as Tube 26.
Also back in 2005, in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the tube in London on July 7th 2005, we organised a mass-participation tube challenge event with over 60 people starting together (but then splitting into small groups). We called it Tube Relief and it raised several thousands of pounds towards the official charity for the tragedy.
Am quite a fan of the Labyrinths on the tube as well, and have been out spotting those too!
My page is a comprehensive list of all the ones I've found so far, and their precise locations within the stations.
Tube Challenge - The Board Game
And coming later in 2014, something else we've been quietly developing is the 'Tube Challenge' board game. More details to appear here sometime later in the year ...