Routemaster 

JUMP on … jump off.  The Number 12 bus … final destination … Dulwich, East London. He was swift. If you’re quick you’ll catch him. Even as he pulled away from the bus stop you had a good chance of catching him. Health and Safety equals non existent when it comes to the No. 12. The No.12 is retro. The No.12 is one of many Routemasters.

You always had a chance of jumping on the Routemaster. If you saw him pulling away from the bus stop, you would leg it and jump on. Catching the Routemaster was actually good training for the Long Jump. As you spot your target slowly pulling away from the bus stop, you burst into a sprint … as you approach the rear platform (entry/exit platform) of the bus you leap forward making sure you grab hold of the safety pole. Your momentum spins you around (180 degrees) as you keep hold of the safety pole. Success! You climb the stairs, take a seat on the top deck and enjoy the ride.

Want to get off? Getting off requires a bit more skill and judgement … especially if the Routemaster was still in motion. Instructions for getting off a Routemaster travelling at 17 mph:

1. Stand on the rear entry/exit platform with one hand on the safety pole.

2. Ensure that’s you have enough clearance (enough runway space for landing).

3. Leap off as if you’re about to break into a sprint.

4. Once you’ve landed safely, your heels will be in close proximity to the back of your neck due to your momentum. This is perfectly normal.

5. Once your momentum has died down, stride normally to your destination.

The Routemasters were fun. I miss the days of the Hop, Skip and Jump when catching them. I smile when I recall almost landing flat on my face whilst perfecting the art of jumping off. The Routemasters made you into an elite athlete (Long Jump, Triple Jump, 100 metre sprint).

The gradual decommissioning of the Routemaster means the my fitness levels have dropped. The gradual decommissioning has meant that I’ve got to splash out on a gym membership. Retro style fitness does not begin at the gym, it begins with a Hop, Skip, Jump and ends with a perfectly timed leap of faith.

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