Thursday, August 01, 2013

The ups and downs of escalators

I read an article the other day about the etiquette of standing or walking on escalators - let's not call it 'riding', it's not a roller coaster or a whale is it?. Apparently, in some cities, hardly anyone walks on the escalator while go-getter Michael Bloomberg said he walks up and down escalators at every opportunity.

Well, being financial titans isn't the only thing I and MBB (as his friends call him) have in common, as I too am a committed escalator walker. I love the double rising sensation of your legs being given a boost by the endlessly revolving loop of an escalator's giant silver steps. Twice as fast and half the effort. Of course sometimes I don't (see: hangovers, very early mornings) but this is rare as even in poor states I find a bolt up an escalator does you a world of good. 

It's also great free exercise and whenever escalators are out action on the underground, forcing commuters to trudge down and around spiraling staircases, it must make London a much fitter city. There should be a No Escalator Day. 

Two fun things: 1. In tube stations with two parallel escalators, take a different one each (if with someone else of course, or do it secretly with a random) and stand on steps opposite one another. Then watch to see if one goes faster than the other.  At Angel tube it used to be that one escalator was considerably faster so I'd give people six or seven steps head start and still win

2. When going up, stand (yes yes I know) and look straight up. If you do it right it gives the sensation you're at 90 degrees and the people above should be tumbling through the air towards you. It's worth practicing as it's a brilliant sensation. Waterloo is good for it. 

Of course the most importance thing in all this though is, while there is nothing wrong with standing, if you're going to, please stand on the right. 

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