A bloke named Chris Astill-Smith, from Wiltshire, has well and truly duped TfL by successfully stealing a Boris bike from Westminster and somehow getting it on a plane to New York. Apparently it went in the hold at Heathrow – no questions asked.
The intrepid 24-year-old traveller then took the bike on a tour of some of the world’s most iconic landmarks – from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Taj Mahal. He and a filmmaker pal visited seven cities across four continents, including Dubai, India, Rome, Paris and San Francisco.
Nope, we don’t want to imagine the size of the late-return charges either, but luckily it was all in the name of charity. Chris is aiming to raise £25,000 for Dreams Come True children’s charity through publicity for his travel video.
He’s already raised more than £8K and is hoping that going viral will help the funds soar for the small organisation, which supports kids and young people with life-altering conditions.
And choosing to nick a Boris bike wasn’t just for the lols, as he explains: ‘It’s such an iconic piece of London, but nobody has ever seen it outside of London before.’
Not strictly true, as one of the two-wheelers made it all the way to Gambia four years ago. And then there are the guys who tried to take a Boris bike to Cardiff and cycle back within 24 hours. But Chris does get points for successfully smuggling his over so many borders.
He’s now returned the bike to a docking station, FYI.
Watch him in action, doing wheelies around the desert and generally being a lad with his Boris bike, below. You can donate to his fundraising page here.
In other news, Londoners are borrowing nearly £30,000 from their parents to get on the property ladder.