There's an entertaining article in the Courier today on pages 22-23 showing the results of five reporters on a pretend journey to work from the centre of Tonbridge to the clock tower in Tunbridge Wells town centre. I love this kind of reporting because it's interesting and useful but also has a crazy pointlessness to it which appeals to my mad sense of humour. Actually I think they probably adapted the idea from a Top Gear episode I saw a while back but lets not worry about that. Each of the five Courier reporters were designated a different mode of transport to travel the same journey. Train, running, bike, car and bus where the ones they plumped for. Now, on the face of it you'd think that the car would win hands down, but the results were perhaps quite surprising for some. Not really for me though since, being he idiotic guy I am, I've already tried most of these modes of transport to Tunbridge Wells. I once walked it just to see how long it would take so knew that it would take only about a hour and a half to get there that way even at a strolling pace. As a runner I know that a ten minute mile is a fairly comfortable pace so that would mean about half an hour to the destination. The time of day therefore was crucial since you can drive the distance, with a clear run, in around 12 minutes. Even allowing for getting parked you'd be there first no trouble. But that's with a clear run. Not much chance of that at 8-30 on a weekday morning! Then there's the cost of parking for the day to consider. The bus, I should have thought, whould have been a contender though although, it seems, reporter Shams can't read a timetable which cost her valuable minutes. The train, as anyone local knows, is a daft way to get to that end of Tunbridge Wells because you have to hike it for ten minutes at each end of the journey and wait around on the platform. So I'd have put my money on the bike getting there first since, unless Mo Farrah was doing that leg, it usually beats a runner. So it proved to be the case but only by 4 minutes ahead of the runner.
And there you have it, proof positive that you can get to Tunbridge Wells from Tonbridge quicker by bike or Shank's Pony, keep fit and save all that petrol/train or bus fare into the bargain! Hang on what about a motor scooter? (that's enough of that, Ed.)