12 April 2009

Information for tourists: Bike is best

The best way to tour virtually anywhere is by bike. Obviously there are exceptions – Atlanta, the Gibson Desert, McMurdo, Mars etc – but most places any of us are likely to spend time and money in are most satisfyingly done on the saddle.

So there's something rather satisfying about London's three mobile Tourist Information Offices that happen to be bikes too. (Yeah, yeah, trikes, whatever.) We saw this one yesterday while investigating the Slow Food Festival on the South Bank. (Visit a Slow Food Festival when you're hungry and with a twenty quid note fresh out of the ATM, and both of those burdens will rapidly disappear.)

These pedallable tourist info boxes can get to places of heavy tourist footfall where vehicles can't reach, such as here under Waterloo Bridge, by the National Theatre (showing a free exhibition of utterly gorgeous rural England photos by James Ravilious), next to those fab outdoor bookstalls.

Each bike is apparently branded with a local landmark – this one, for example, has the outline of the nearby London Eye painted on the side of the pod. So the pleasant couple in charge of the bike told us in between helping tourists with queries, anyway.

So we like this a lot. We're sure this sort of thing will catch on. And if not... well, we'll snap up at least one of the bikes. We could use its rear pod to transport large items. Such as our booty from the Slow Food Festival.

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