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Cyclist rides bike-share bike across globe for charity, gets fined; video

A cyclist recently decided to take a London bike-share Boris Bike around the world, pedaling through five countries and seven cities over three weeks in an effort to raise money for a charity event he’ll be hosting in August.

Chris Astill-Smith, a 24-year-old Londoner, documented the whole experience and posted it to YouTube:

The video was shot by Astill-Smith’s friend and videographer Alex Tyrwhitt who accompanied him on the trip, and was uploaded as a way to bring attention to his upcoming solo swim of the English Channel in August. He hopes to raise over $30,000 for the UK-based Dreams Come True charity, which supports terminally ill children.

london bike share bike around the world
Despite how heavy Astill-Smith said the Boris Bike was, he was able to handle it like a pro. Photo: Courtesy of Chris Astill-Smith

“I really appreciate the support from everyone; it means a lot to have you join me on this journey,” Astill-Smith wrote in the description of the YouTube video.

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While the short clip makes it look like it was all smooth sailing for the English cyclist as he visited sights from Times Square to the Taj Mahal, that was far from the case: Astill-Smith told the Daily Mail the bike was fairly cumbersome to ship around the globe and that he ran into security troubles in New York and India, among other locales.

“In Dubai [police] pulled us in for questioning about the bike as they were a bit suspicious,” Astill-Smith told the Daily Mail. “In the end they let us through because we convinced them it was just our normal bike and we wanted to cycle around the city. Bearing in mind no one cycles in Dubai.”

And, like most bike-share bikes, the Boris Bike isn’t exactly the most nimble when it comes to handling.

“The bike is really heavy and getting from anywhere was an adventure, especially the airport to our accommodation,” Astill-Smith elaborated to the Daily Mail.

Still, Astill-Smith told the Daily Mail that he loved the experience. He also said that the only people that weren’t thrilled with his travels were the people at Santander, the bank that operates Boris Bikes, and immediately upon docking his Boris Bike back in London, Santander fined him over $370 for its late return.

“They assume the bike is lost or stolen so that’s the max fine we got,” Astill-Smith told the Daily Mail.