First attempt - Monday 20th June

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Oxpeter
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First attempt - Monday 20th June

Post by Oxpeter » 28 Jun 2016, 11:46

Hello everyone,

As my name suggests, I'm Peter and I'm from Oxford. Just wanted to register my first (unfortunately unsuccessful) attempt at the Tube Challenge, which I made last week on Monday 20th June 2016, as well as use the opportunity to thank everyone on this forum for the useful threads and posts that I trawled through beforehand and which gave me plenty of ideas, advice and feel for what I was about to let myself in for!

In the end, I managed 236 stations in 18 hours, 47 minutes and 05 seconds. Despite being unsuccessful, the experience has lit up enough eagerness in me to start planning another attempt in the future. I never set out to make a good time, instead just hoping for something nearing completion. However, my first attempt certainly proved to be a learning experienced, and I'd like the opportunity to write down what I learnt and the mistakes I felt I made...

For reasons of accommodation, I started my challenge from Watford - the Chesham B&B failed to pick up the telephone when I rang, and the Premier Inn's price of £55 for a Sunday night proved more tempting than the much more expensive options in Amersham. This was probably my first mistake - starting at Watford, heading out for Chesham/Amersham, and then heading back Londonwards obviously uses up much more time than a straight Chesham start. Next time, I'll make more of an effort to spend the night in Chesham.

A second minor error (remembering that I wasn't chasing a time) was catching the first train out of Watford: the 05:29. Because there is no westbound connection to be made at Moor Park that early, I ended up pacing the platform at Moor Park (in the rain) for 27 minutes. I might as well have caught the second train out of Watford, the 05:48, and spent an extra twenty minutes in bed! I'll put that one down to experience.

I covered the Uxbridge/Ealing/Acton areas pretty well with no hang-ups, them made maybe my next error. Heathrow had been considered as a good place to finish (there is a 24-hour bus service back to Oxford from there) until I noticed that the last service to Terminal 4 is about midnight, over an hour earlier that the last service into 123 and into 5. Therefore, I changed the plan to complete the Heathrow branch in the morning instead. The error came in using the tube to reach the Terminals and then the same (slow) train back to Acton Town. This uses up at least 30 minutes recovering old ground if you're unwilling to shell out on the Heathrow Express to Paddington. Again, next time I'll try and plan in a Heathrow finish or start.

Another error I perhaps made was my determination to make foot connections at a fast walking pace rather than running. I made nine outside transfers by foot (shortest would've been either AldgateEast~Aldgate or Euston~EustonSquare, and the longest being Wimbledon~SouthWimbledon), and I can certainly now see how much time can be gained with a good pair of running shoes.

The tube service that day really did seem to behave itself very well. One incident that I managed to sidestep well was being on a sluggish Bakerloo train that ground to a halt at Piccadilly Circus stuck behind another broken down train. So instead of heading for Elephant & Castle, I simply jumped onto another train to knock off Cockfosters~High Barnet. By the time I was back on the Bakerloo several hours later, the issues had been solved.

Of the thirty four stations I failed to reach, twenty one were at the eastern end of the Central line, taking In Epping and the Hainault loop. Others were seven on the bottom run of the Circl line, Bethnal Green, Olympia, and frustratingly the most eastern four on the District line. This came about when my sluggish a District service prematurely terminated at Dagenham East at about 22:30. Not wanting to find myself stranded out that way, I went to the Londonbound platform and headed back west. Looking back now, I wish I'd kept my bottle and just continued on the next train to Upminster before C2Cing it back. Still, you live and learn.

I finally reached station 236 (Earl's Court) at gone quarter past midnight, and I caught a night bus back to Oxford soon after from nearby Shepherd's Bush.

A final, frustrating, episode was my attempt to bag Olympia with one of those rare evening services which failed to materialise. I instead jumped on an Overground train to West Brompton (so can I call my achievement a 236+1 perhaps?) Olympia obviously needs proper planning, and probably an early morning attempt. Had I not bothered with Olympia, I'm certain I'd have managed those seven Circle stations, which along with the four near Upminster would've pushed my total up to 247. But I guess every attempt is full of ifs...

However, the day was huge amounts of fun, and I look forward to telling you all about my next attempt in the future.

Many thanks again,


Yours


OxPeter

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Re: First attempt - Monday 20th June

Post by Tube Geek » 28 Jun 2016, 12:09

Unlucky on not completing, I'm hoping to complete in the New Year having not done it before! One thing though - start at Amersham, not Chesham!
Personal Best - 264 Stations in 19 hours 37 minutes.

Bristol City fan through and through - COME ON YOU REDS Andi Weimann is my dad

palkanetoijala31

Re: First attempt - Monday 20th June

Post by palkanetoijala31 » 28 Jun 2016, 18:18

Tube Geek wrote:Unlucky on not completing, I'm hoping to complete in the New Year having not done it before! One thing though - start at Amersham, not Chesham!
I don't think ur right there in stats wise.

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Re: First attempt - Monday 20th June

Post by Tube Geek » 28 Jun 2016, 18:50

palkanetoijala31 wrote:
Tube Geek wrote:Unlucky on not completing, I'm hoping to complete in the New Year having not done it before! One thing though - start at Amersham, not Chesham!
I don't think ur right there in stats wise.
Is that a hint as to where you started when you broke the record?.....
Personal Best - 264 Stations in 19 hours 37 minutes.

Bristol City fan through and through - COME ON YOU REDS Andi Weimann is my dad

palkanetoijala31

Re: First attempt - Monday 20th June

Post by palkanetoijala31 » 28 Jun 2016, 19:04

Tube Geek wrote:
palkanetoijala31 wrote:
Tube Geek wrote:Unlucky on not completing, I'm hoping to complete in the New Year having not done it before! One thing though - start at Amersham, not Chesham!
C
I don't think ur right there in stats wise.
Is that a hint as to where you started when you broke the record?.....
No but just so u know there are other options apart from Amersham and chesham in that corner to start from.

palkanetoijala31

Re: First attempt - Monday 20th June

Post by palkanetoijala31 » 28 Jun 2016, 19:09

If it helps Peter he Got a lot more than I did on first attempt but then I didn't know of overground between gunnersbury and richmond then. And i finished my second attempt.

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Sam
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Re: First attempt - Monday 20th June

Post by Sam » 06 Jul 2016, 08:35

Tube Geek wrote:Unlucky on not completing, I'm hoping to complete in the New Year having not done it before! One thing though - start at Amersham, not Chesham!
Or start at wherever works best for you...!
:D First and so far only female solo record holder!! :D

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Steeevooo
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Re: First attempt - Monday 20th June

Post by Steeevooo » 06 Jul 2016, 09:06

Don't be stupid - the 11 year old that has never even attempted the challenge knows best!

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Iain
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Re: First attempt - Monday 20th June

Post by Iain » 06 Jul 2016, 11:02

Welcome Peter!

Another thing worth considering is staying at Rickmansworth - some trains are stabled there overnight so you can get an early one up to Chesham/Amersham if you want to start from there. As to which is better to start from it all depends on the timetables. The NW corner is also not the only sensible place to start.

There's also free parking in Chesham if you know where to look, or I've parked up near Chalfont and Latimer (again free) and caught an early train up.
Full Network: Three completions, Best time: 17:18:18 - thanks Glen, Andrew and Rhys!
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Re: First attempt - Monday 20th June

Post by Tube Geek » 06 Jul 2016, 15:26

Steeevooo wrote:Don't be stupid - the 11 year old that has never even attempted the challenge knows best!
12 year old
Personal Best - 264 Stations in 19 hours 37 minutes.

Bristol City fan through and through - COME ON YOU REDS Andi Weimann is my dad

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Re: First attempt - Monday 20th June

Post by A Challenge » 06 Jul 2016, 17:54

Tube Geek wrote:
Steeevooo wrote:Don't be stupid - the 11 year old that has never even attempted the challenge knows best!
12 year old
Well, your birthday was in the last few weeks!

What about, for my idea for you, which I probably put in Zone 2, the 1, 36C, 55 or 730 (others?) from Amersham to Chesham (or vice-versa)?
Tumbleweed and former Nimbleweed Scorekeeper

Winner of Gumbleweeds V, VI + XI, Nimbleweeds I, III - IX + XIV and (joint with GuyBarry) winner of Timesnap

And most importantly, Former leader of Tumbleweed, and first person to 250,000

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Re: First attempt - Monday 20th June

Post by Tube Geek » 06 Jul 2016, 18:46

What?!
Personal Best - 264 Stations in 19 hours 37 minutes.

Bristol City fan through and through - COME ON YOU REDS Andi Weimann is my dad

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