Going Around.

One of my regrets from my time in England is I never rode a double-decker bus. I’m not sure–I was in London enough times, although I preferred using the Underground to get around, or just walking, since I didn’t always know where I was going and walking seemed like the best way to get from one place to another, and if I saw something interesting it would be easy to stop. You’d be surprised how rarely it is on an underground train that you see something interesting and how hard it is to stop if you do. I wasn’t opposed to doing touristy things, either–I fed the pigeons in Trafalgar Square and went to the British Museum and Westminster Abbey. I was slightly intimidated by British buses. I understood that when you got on you had to tell a conductor where you were going and they’d calculate a fare based on that, and I wasn’t sure how much I’d have to pay if I got on and said, “I’ll just get off whenever I see something interesting.” And the conductor might say, “That’ll be a hundred quid and I’ll let you know when we get to Cornwall.”

Wherever it took me, though, I think riding a London double-decker would have been a hoot. So is riding Nashville buses. You’d think after all these years it would have become routine, especially since it’s how I get home from work most days, but there’s always something about riding the bus that’s different. Just last week I happened to get picked up by a double-length bus. It’s very rare that I get to ride one of these–I think I’ve only ridden one on my regular route once before, and most days the bus I ride is mostly empty anyway.

This bus was also mostly empty and it was fun to sit in the very back and consider just how long that bus was, how far I’d have to walk just to get to the front when we reached my point of disembarkation.

Since I had the bus mostly to myself I had plenty of time to consider oddities about the double-length buses, like the seats that face both ways. I know some people have very strong feelings about always wanting to face the front when riding, and I’ve even had people on trains ask if they could switch seats with me so they could have a forward-facing seat. I’m happy to do it. I’m going to spend most of the trip looking sideways out the window so it doesn’t matter to me which way we’re facing.

There are also several very tight turns on my route and it was fun to watch the bus try and navigate those. A few times I wasn’t sure we’d make it.

Make it we did, though, and I was kind of sad to see it go.

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13 Comments

  1. Rivergirl

    That’s certainly a large bus. And so clean! But …. bus pigeons? This requires more explanation.

    Reply
  2. Rivergirl

    That’s definitely a large bus. And so clean!
    But… bus pigeons? This requires an explanation.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Trafalgar Square is famous for its pigeons–really Mary Poppins could have set her “Feed The Birds” song there instead of St. Paul’s–but they don’t, as far as I know, ride the buses. I did, however, see pigeons riding the Underground.

      Reply
  3. BarbaraM

    Does the ‘accordion’ connection flex when making a corner? I do not believe I would like to sit in the seats placed there. I see them occasionally down here in the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area and am always curious about how they make the connection secure.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Yes, the “accordion” connection flexes, and I think it would be pretty disturbing to be sitting right in the middle of the bus when it takes a turn. It could be a pretty twisty experience.

      Reply
  4. mydangblog

    It looks really clean and comfy! Much nicer than our streetcars here:-)
    mydangblog recently posted…Weather Or NotMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m not sure about comfy, although I think it doesn’t get as much use as some of the other buses in the fleet, so it is clean. I just think it’s fun that you can jog from one end of the bus to the other and get a real workout.

      Reply
  5. Arionis

    I’ve always called them accordion buses. I road a lot of those when I lived in West Germany.
    Arionis recently posted…There Can Be Only One!My Profile

    Reply
    1. Arionis

      “rode” even, sheesh.
      Arionis recently posted…There Can Be Only One!My Profile

      Reply
    2. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Thank you for that–from now on they will be “Weird Al Buses” for me.

      Reply
  6. Ann Koplow

    Thanks for the ride, Chris. Always enjoyable.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      As always I’m glad you’re along for the ride, Ann.

      Reply
  7. Pingback: Double Decked. - Freethinkers Anonymous

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