really? honestly?

The #tweetbike

Tube strikes…

Inconvenience and disruption…

Localities and real-time information…

Movement and behaviour of people…

All things that fascinate me. It’s got me thinking…

Say hello to the #tweetbike (the one on the left).


The #tweetbike will be heading into London from the south, from around 7.30am. At frequent intervals from Croydon onwards I will stop and tweet its location. I will have with me a med/large helmet and a ‘go over anything’ huge bike jacket that will keep the rain away. And some cool spare supermoto gloves with like carbon fibre knuckles. A shoulder bag is fine if you’ve got one, but a dozen box files will probably rule you out.

If you want a free lift, just say so. Within reason, you’ll get one, if the #tweetbike is near and you’re aiming to go reasonably centrally, or later in the day, southwards. (I might ask for some sort of cheesy picture and your permission to blog in the most discreet terms about the experience, and where I end up, but that’s all there is to it.)

Why on earth am I doing it? Because I like riding bikes, can work anywhere on the move (from the roadside if necessary), and I like people. And disruptions, like large snowfalls, are great times to look at things afresh. Oh, and you could call it research for an idea… 🙂

Legal bit: I will ride immensely sensibly (and have 25 years of experience) but all lifts are at your own risk. There is no commercial aspect to this idea. No transaction, nada. You are not hiring transport; I don’t need a taxi licence; and I’m not doing this for gain. I am also not racing, pace-making, couriering or all the other things it says I can’t do on my insurance – I just checked.

All I am proposing is to give lifts to friends who need them, and are otherwise stranded by the Tube strike.

Best case – I get a very interesting day, meet some fun people, and have something to think about.

Worst case – nothing happens and nobody is remotely interested in riding the #tweetbike.

(ok. Real worst case: death and mayhem. Let’s hope not, hey?)


Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

22 Responses

  1. Heath says:

    Hi – love the idea.

    I am going from Angel to Tower Hill tomorrow morning, if you are going to be available.

    Happy to be part of any photos, and be on your blog. I might even talk about it on my blog too.

    Just drop me an email, or message me on twitter (@heathtully) and we can chat.


  2. […] Map, and the London Underground site.  And if things get desperate there’s always the Tweetbike offering lifts to Londoners on their way to work […]

  3. dan says:

    tweetbike? sounds like a bloody good idea! if you’re going through tooting to anywhere near regents street then i might take you up on it! get in touch if you dont have any takers!


  4. paulclarke says:

    Dan, Heath, you’re on, I’ve emailed and tweeted with plans.

    Others – I should have said, comments on here very welcome on the concept (and in due course on the outcome!) but logistics questions and requests for lifts on twitter please, with the hashtag. This is a social exercise, after all 😉 and it gives me more chance of seeing them all in one place!

  5. paulclarke says:

    First run in from southish London now available! First taker on Twitter, using the #tweetbike hashtag gets it – or email on p@ulclarke.com

  6. […] możemy skorzystać z darmowej przejażdzki motorem, jaką proponuje pewien bloger, niejaki “Honestly Real“. A wszystko to za zapozowanie do fotki do bloga :).     Ok, na koniec garść przydatnych […]

  7. […] Blogger and community-spirited biker Paul Clarke is is offering a free motorbike ride into work from 7.30am and will be tweeting his location at #tweetbike. ” I will ride immensely sensibly […]

  8. Hey Paul,

    I’m loving this idea a lot. I’m working in Chingford today but finish at 4. I’m going to try and get into town for a ride on the TweetBike (does it strictly have to be a communte?)

    You can find me on twitter (pocketsons) i’ve just starting following you.

    Hope the day goes well and the idea works for you too.Have Fun

  9. […] Today, Paul Clarke is offering a bike ride around town. You can read his blog post https://honestlyreal.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/the-tweetbike/#comment-129. […]

  10. Chris says:

    Bloody great idea and good luck with it…

    You could be on to the next good idea for a Twitter App..
    Something like “TwitterShare”, where people can tweet requests for lift sharing (whether on 4 wheels or 2).
    People could tweet their current location, desired destination and ‘the system’ could try and match them with other “TwitterSharers” thus sending out tweets to those offering.

    Hmmm… probably should have kept this private eh before someone else jumps on the Twitter Bandwagon (damn, that’s another name you could use for it).

    As if I didn’t have enough on my plate, now you’ve gone and filled my head with a plethora of new ideas….

    Cheers m8

    I might go dig out my leathers and helmet from the loft and get the train into London just for the fun of it.

    Once again, great idea, look forward to reading the follow ups.



  11. Tom Ruppel says:

    Great idea Paul, and picked up by the Grauniad! Wish I’d taken up your offer – was on my usual pedal bike this am getting soaked because I’d washed the waterproofing out of my “waterproof” jacket. Grrr and Brrrr.


  12. Chris, you are on the money.

    I think the power of Twitter is in stuff like this, merging the online and offline. Picked up by a major media source as well. Great stuff.

    Very exited, I’m trying to get into town before 5 so I can grab a photo.

    Paul – will you be doing this tomorrow as well?

  13. @farhan says:

    I love it!! Excellent idea!!
    Often when I’m driving through London late at night, and the roads are empty, and I see people standing, waiting at bus stops, I think perhaps I can offer a few people a lift home (seeing as late at night the roads are so empty!)
    I may just start offering a #freecabhome on twitter, and see if anyone needs a lift at night.. I’ve often dropped friends off –
    Perhaps we can start co-ordinating #londonlifts or something similar, as a vehicle pooling service.. would be an interesting experiment if nothing else 😉

  14. Jon Silk says:

    I’m pretty sure you can tell the type of person depending on how they respond to Tweetbike…


  15. […] scene-setting post is here – but briefly, it was a last-minute experiment in real-time, self-organising social travel […]

  16. […] Blogger and community-spirited biker Paul Clarke is is offering a free motorbike ride into work from 7.30am and will be tweeting his location at #tweetbike. ” I will ride immensely sensibly […]

  17. […] willing to jump on the back with him. Calling it the Tweetbike, he publicised his service on his website and Twitter […]

  18. […] really useful service right when and where you need it. So, in a slightly more bizarre way was the #tweetbike. If fully developed, a service that told you, accurately, exactly which schools were shut in an […]

  19. This is such a brilliant idea.

  20. […] możemy skorzystać z darmowej przejażdzki motorem, jaką proponuje pewien bloger, niejaki “Honestly Real“. A wszystko to za zapozowanie do fotki do bloga :). Ok, na koniec garść przydatnych […]

  21. […] engagement between citizens and government. In the social media world he is known for the “Tweetbike” – a mash-up between Twitter and a motorbike, to rescue stranded commuters during Tube […]

  22. […] Last week, during London’s two-day tube strike, a chap decided to give people lifts on his motorbike for free. […]

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