Like we did last year, bob and I decided to make simultaneous attempts at Theme I: Buses, subtheme (c), starting from the same stop, with me taking n=5 and him taking n=6. (To paraphrase this task: you get on the first bus that comes along, stay on for n stops, get off, repeat.)
Last year I ended up in Cheam (map), and he ended up going to Streatham and back (map). I did wonder if this year's journey would be quite similar to last year's, but as it turned out I diverged very quickly and ended up in Putney. In fact I came very close to crossing the Thames, which is quite impressive given that Croydon is often considered to be practically the southern edge of London.
The first leg of the journey was always going to be the same as last year's, since the three buses that serve this stop (photo) follow an identical route for the next few stops. This runs along a road I'm very familiar with, both because I shop there and because I'm researching its history. I did notice an architectural detail I'd not spotted before:
My next bus was a 250, which diverts from the main road into a long loop on which it's the only service — so I knew I'd be on 250s for a while. However I decided to stick to the original instructions rather than the suggested amendment of staying on the bus until reaching a stop served by more than one route, since I find it less stressful if I know in advance where I'm getting off. This policy paid off, since I discovered interesting things at a couple of the stops in the middle of my four-250 run. The first was Thornton Heath Library (below); the other was Norbury Park (photo).
I finally escaped from the land of the monobus onto Streatham High Road, where there are so many buses (photo of example stop from later in journey) that I didn't have time to take a photo of the skeleton in the window of the medical supplies shop next to the bus stop before hopping on the 109 that was right behind. Luckily, someone else had previously done so. I passed an interesting-looking bar:
My journey then wound on up towards Clapham Junction, where I passed the Arding & Hobbs department store frontage (photo) — once independent, this shop later came under the banner of Allders (also now closed) and then Debenhams. I gazed at the railway lines:
At one bus stop, I saw a church opposite some more building inscriptions:
By this point, bob had texted me to tell me he'd finished. I wound up my journey at Putney Station and met him in the pub.
I used a total of 13 buses on 9 routes, travelling a total of 18.8 km (11.7 miles) in just over 2 hours.
Distance travelled between bus stops:
|minimum (outlier removed)||1.1km||(0.7 miles)|
|mean (outlier removed)||1.7km||(1.1 miles)|
(The outlier minimum happened when I got on a bus that terminated one stop later.)