Video: Extreme 'Boris biker' crosses London Bridge… the hard way

Road too dangerous? Pavement too crowded (and illegal)? Try the handrail… or maybe not

by Elliot Johnston   April 16, 2014  

Tim Schieff rides London Bridge handrail

Boris bikes were built to cope with everthing the mean streets of London could throw at them what they weren't build for was riding across London Bridge on the handrail which is what one intrepid rider was filmed doing on Friday.  

A number of Twitter users snapped photos of the rider, who was later identified as freerunner Tim Shieff.

But was that actually a Boris bike? Just lifting one of those on to the handrail would be a mighty feat in itself. In fact Shieff was riding a bike cunningly made-up to look like a Boris bike, we're not sure exactly what it is but it looks like 26in trials bike, possibly an Inspired as ridden by Danny MacAskill) disguised in London Barclays Cycle Scheme livery on the bars, frame and rear wheel.

Along with his stunt partner Paul Joseph, Shieff spent Thursday and Friday filming clips around London's rooftops on their ‘Boris bikes’ for collaborative social video network

Further footage of the duo’s escapades can be found listed under the hashtag #disruptlondon on, here.

You can watch a clip of the rush hour stunt which made waves among confused Friday-morning commuters below.

Speaking of Boris bikes and London bridges, Beth Anderson who goes by the Instagram handle roseofwinter, and rides with Rapha Condor CC in London, posted this image of a partially-submerged London Barclays Hire Bike near Waterloo Bridge on Sunday which is a bit of a coincidence… you don't think they actually tried it with a real Boris bike first do you? 

If this is indeed evidence that Shieff and Joseph tried, and failed, to perform the London Bridge stunt on a real Boris bike, that ill-fated machine would have then needed to have been carried about 2.5km upstream.

We’ll let you theorise about that one.

Website London24 caught up with the man on the London Bridge handrail, Tim Shieff, who told the site the pair were "trying to wake people up to other perspectives of London."

Shieff said: “Some people live in fear and will have a negative perspective, but many people have the eyes of a child and see new things with wonder, not fear in the eyes of an adult.

“A lot of people in London live through fear. We want to reach out to the people who see the city with wonder.”

“When you see a guy jumping walls on a Boris bike you can’t help but stop and be in the moment for a second. You dont worry about your issues or think about going to work for a second - you say: ‘Woah did that guy really just jump that on a big blue bike?’

“I like making people think through showing them talent and giving them something to appreciate.”

Don't we all.

11 user comments

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It was all going so well until he started speaking...

posted by flathunt [10 posts]
16th April 2014 - 10:29

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Amusing video, embarrassing words.

posted by srchar [55 posts]
16th April 2014 - 10:47

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“I like making people think through showing them talent and giving them something to appreciate and getting paid to promote a social video network.”

Fixed it.

posted by bikebot [499 posts]
16th April 2014 - 10:52

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I was with Beth on Sunday (post watching P-R) when she pulled that bike out of the Thames.

She propped it against the wall but I could see form my office that it wasnt there Monday afternoon when the tide went back out (it was in the morning). Hopefully that means it was collected!

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [484 posts]
16th April 2014 - 12:45

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When I'd pulled that bike out I called the number for TfL on the side, which gave me another number to call. I called that number but it wasn't in use, so I left the bike there.

I did tell a South Bank guy about it but he told me that "It's the responsibility of the hirer to return hire bikes". I did point out that that argument would probably fall on deaf ears given it's dumped in the Thames, but there you go. Smile

posted by roseofwinter [41 posts]
16th April 2014 - 14:30

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What a buttock-clenchingly naff speech. Take a red face Tim Shieff.

posted by Joeinpoole [252 posts]
16th April 2014 - 14:34

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Ha. Another reason some people shouldn't be allowed to talk in public. Couldn't the social network have given him a half-reasonable speech?

Good rider though, and nice concept. He certainly got a few double takes!

posted by step-hent [675 posts]
16th April 2014 - 15:40

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posted by minnellium [79 posts]
16th April 2014 - 16:48

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I'm glad his little quote has already been called out (several times), but this bit particularly amused me:

"[and they'll think] ‘Woah did that guy really just jump that on a big blue bike?’"

And the answer to that question, of course, would be 'no, he didn't, he did it on an expensive custom bike that looks like a Borris Bike'. Not entirely sure what point he's trying to make... Smile

posted by adrianoconnor [42 posts]
16th April 2014 - 20:58

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MacAskill rides a 24" bike. That is all.

posted by Ham-planet [89 posts]
16th April 2014 - 21:26

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I liked his speech Smile

Tim Saunders

posted by albinosloth [5 posts]
17th April 2014 - 11:52

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