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This is a question Hitchhiking and fare dodging

Epic tales of the thumb, the open road and getting robbed by hairy-arsed truck drivers. Alternatively, travelling for free like a dreadful fare-jumping cheat. Confess.

Suggested by Social Hand Grenade

(, Thu 21 Aug 2014, 13:34)
Pages: Popular, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.


(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 20:54, Reply)

(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 20:49, Reply)

(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 19:24, Reply)

(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 15:39, 2 replies)
Hitcher In Lincolnshire
Many moons ago in my trucking days I had to make a delivery to Boston (Lincs) then on to Horncastle
I was about 5 miles outside Boston when I spotted a guy stood by the side of the road looking forlornly at a very broken down car (hey I was a knight of the road doing my duty) .
Pulled over he asked me if I could take him to the nearest town, Horncastle or nowt he said OK, it was pissing it down we had just pulled away and were making polite conversation and about halfway to my destination in the middle of nowhere, when he pulled out a wodge of bible tracts and started proclaiming that if I didn't stop my sinful ways I would go to hell (not a bad judge of character).
He banged on for about 5 mins at which point I pulled over stopped the truck went round opened the passenger door and invited him to step out and experience a Lincolnshire winter first hand then drove off.
Never stopped for a hitcher since "fuckin weirdos"
(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 15:26, 4 replies)
Most pathetic fare-dodging ever....
I used to commute from Letchworth to London with an annual ticket. Sometimes I would need to go all the way up to Cambridge (on the same line) but because I was used to having a season pass I sometimes forgot to buy the extension ticket.

My ticket was never checked and the single back from Cambridge cost something like £2.40 instead of the £2.53 I would have paid for the return. So I defrauded Greater Anglia (or whoever they were 15 years ago) out of 13p.

What a rebel eh!
(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 15:22, 6 replies)
Coolest hitch EVA
When I was a kid I used to volunteer at the Bluebell Railway - I was into steam engines, as many boys are. Me and a mate would hop off the bus as it went under the line, then scramble up the bank, wait for an engine to puff around the corner, and stick out our thumbs. Since they knew us, they'd stop and we'd hop on to the train.

There's nothing quite as satisfying as the jealous stares from all the trainspotters and their dads as we casually hitched a lift on a steam-train...
(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 13:57, 6 replies)
Went to a gig when I lived in America and missed the last bus home.
I started walking and hitched a lift on the way. The chap who picked me up had his pajamas on as he had just been rang to collect his daughter from a party.

Gripping stuff eh?
(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 13:34, 4 replies)
The one time I hitch hiked
I was murdered by a crazed axe welding mad man.

As I gasped my last my one regret was that I'll never see how episode 7 turned out.

Har har, Starwazz.
(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 12:50, Reply)
A Spanking Good Lift
On the way to Durham me and my girlfriend got a lift from a couple who were a little reluctant to open the boot. When they realised that our rucksacks wouldn't fit in the car they had little alternative and the boot was opened to reveal a selection of canes and a book with the hand written title "Book of Punishments"!

We sat in silence for most of the journey.
(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 12:39, 7 replies)

(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 12:31, 2 replies)
I get picked up from my stately home by a chauffeur driven limousine every weekday
for my two mile commute to work - another stately home that I have converted into a giant porn film studio. It's not really hitchhiking or fare dodging as I own the limousine and employ the driver full-time, but I thought I would mention it anyway.
(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 11:40, 10 replies)
lol commuter losers

(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 10:31, 46 replies)
I used to live near Paddington station, and had to travel to Heathrow on occasions
The Heathrow express was a quarter of the time compared to the tube, but was expensive. My solution to fare dodging was to sit in the toilet the whole trip and read the paper, ignoring the occasional desperate hammering. They could hold on 10 minutes to take a shit, couldn't they? This brilliant technique was moderately successful, though sometimes when the train pulled up I'd open the door to three of the conductors waiting and be forced to buy a ticket. "Sorry, I've been shitting through the eye of needle. It's been coming out like fizzy gravy", I'd say, or similar Viz-like descriptions, and they wouldn't discuss it further.
(, Thu 28 Aug 2014, 3:11, 3 replies)
Petty theft
Now there are far too many tall hitching tales on here and not enough petty fare-dodging.

I did do quite a bit of hitch-hiking in Scotland and the Netherlands, nothing overly scary or exciting. Friendly chats mostly.

To illustrate the lack of anecdotes here are the highlights: I recall an English bloke who picked me up at Nijmegen and introduced himself as Squirrel, the road warrior. Nothing more to the story.
Also in the Netherlands a black Golf with tinted glass, banging techno and leopard print interior driven by a platina-blond Russian girl in black latex. I was convinced she was some Russian maffia dominatrix, but the envisioned massive drugs and two-day orgy never materialised. Just a stream of menthol cigarettes were offered.
Finally a driver with 3 frozen rolls of kebab in the back, which he was delivering to a kebab shop his family had. I say frozen but this was a car without airco in a heatwave of 30+ Celsius.

Anyway: fare-dodging. This was in the days when I was not on a lot of money, although I could have afforded the fare for my commute. But as it happens I was also immature and found the high cost of living in London quite unfair.

So I would get on the tube in the morning and touch in with my oyster card, get off at Harrow Wealdstone, there are no gates at that end. I'd walk out without touching out and 9 hours later I would enter Harrow Wealdstone again without touching in. I would then touch out back at the original local station. The oyster card system wasn't as clever then and I was charged me 80p fare for entering the station and leaving again without travel. Regardless of the timespan. Later they put a maximum time on it and charged you the penalty fare after a couple of hours.

The beauty was that there was no actual offence until I left the station and was out of reach. While on the train I was travelling with a perfectly valid oyster card. Sometimes there was a group of inspectors at Harrow Wealdstone: I would touch out and nothing was amiss. On my way back I wouldn't touch in again and change trains to the overground Silverlink connections, their stations did not have gates back then.

TL:DR spoiled expat cries about London tube fares then puts far too much thought into petty crime.
(, Wed 27 Aug 2014, 22:35, 9 replies)
I hitched a ride on a bus once
I didn't have my fare so I started walking home from Paignton to Totnes (about 7 miles) when I was about 17. The bus I usually caught pulled over and the driver invited me on board, saying to all the passengers "don't tell anyone, OK?" to which they all grinned conspiratorially, despite having presumably paid full price. I was quite pleased.
Also, hich-hiking and fare-dodging in one post!
(, Wed 27 Aug 2014, 22:05, 3 replies)
Spiders. Spiders in wing mirrors. They hitch and don't pay a damn penny.
A bloke I used to lift share with to work in Falmouth used to have his own pet spider. Not a tarantula in a glass case, the one that lived inside his wing mirror. Tirelessly spinning a web anew every day, he would prank it by flicking a ball of cig ash out into the web and laugh as the spider darted out to attach the 'fly', only to skulk off later when he found that it wasn't a nice juicy fly.

The next year when I had my own ride I acquired a hitch hiking spider of my own. Only this one wouldn't skulk behind the mirror, it sat square on the centre of the web. Even when I was driving along at 60 and the web was oscillating madly in the wind. I can only assume it was some sort of extreme sports spider that it was screaming 'I'VE NEVER FELT SO ALIVE!' at the top of its tiny spider voice.
(, Wed 27 Aug 2014, 18:56, 6 replies)
Picked up a hitchhiker and almost became a queer basher.
Years ago I had time to kill and was driving around when I saw someone on the corner hitchhiking. I made a quick decision that since he was dressed in a white sport jacket he was civilized and wouldn't kill me. I have no idea how that thought process worked. So I picked him up.

He was a young guy from the American south and very drunk. He said he was gay, I said I wasn't. He said he sometimes dates for money. I then realized he might have been working, not hitchhiking. I asked if he wanted to go back to that corner, he thought I was saying I didn't want to give a gay guy a ride, it was awkward but we carried on with the ride.

He kept trying to tell me his grandmother's recipe for lasagna but never did finish it, he kept going off on tangents about things like keeping the milk cold in a creek because they had no refrigeration when he was a kid. Periodically he'd tell me I was nice and kind, would lean and put his head on my shoulder and pat me on the leg. I found it endearing and decided that as long as he kept his hand on the outside of the leg I'd be ok with it.

Eventually we got near where he said he was going. He said to drop him off in an empty, wooded area and he'd walk the rest of the way to sober up. I did so and drove away thinking how amusing life is. I still had time to kill, so decided to stop for donuts. I reached for my wallet. Gone. Frantically felt everywhere, no wallet. I kept hearing my father's voice in my head saying "never pick up hitchhikers." It was so obvious now, he'd been blocking my view with his head on my shoulder and patting my leg so I wouldn't feel the wallet go. He had me drop him off in the middle of nowhere so I'd never find him again.

It had only been a few minutes, so I debated doubling back and beating him up to get my wallet back. I decided that he'd have taken off immediately, that would be pointless.

Next I made up a story. I didn't think it would sound right to say that a gay hooker had pickpocketed me after I picked him up on a random corner. So I invented a story where I had gotten donuts, read the paper, put the paper on the tray, threw out my garbage and didn't realize that the wallet was in there. I drove home to use my alibi immediately. I went to the phone to tell my side of the story to friends. The wallet was next to the phone.

If I'd followed the impulse to hunt him down and throttle him, he'd have chalked the experience up to yet another psychopathic queer basher.
(, Wed 27 Aug 2014, 17:38, 12 replies)
On freshers week... a good few years ago now...
... I took pity on a pissed up student who I found laid out on the floor in a pool of his own blood/vomit/dribble and gave him a lift 3 minutes round the corner to his student flats to sleep it off.

Right before I pulled up outside the flats the dirty bastard SHIT HIS PANTS in my car. Not a word was said and he stumbled off into the night leaving only his foul stench behind.

Never again.
(, Wed 27 Aug 2014, 16:57, 3 replies)
Wasn't hitch-hiking basically covered by shit holidays, and bad ideas?

(, Wed 27 Aug 2014, 14:31, 8 replies)
My brother and a friend went hitchhiking to Mont Blanc to enjoy the skiing. On the journey there they
discovered that Mont Blanc and neighbouring mountains had become covered in Saharan sand and the skiing was pretty much cancelled. End of holiday and the slog back to Blighty began. First car to stop was a brand new Mercedes limousine complete with chauffeur and the rear windows came down. There was a couple in the back and they asked where my brother and friend were going. After some dialogue the ruined skiing trip was mentioned and the couple asked the pair if they would like to spend time working at the chateau. They agreed.

The chateau was spectacular and my brother and friend were accommodated in the "servants" building. Meals were with the hosts in the main building. For five days the pair carried out small tasks around the place and that is pretty much the end of the story. Apart from the hosts paid for their flights back to the UK.

No fucking or anything untoward took place. Well done rich frogs.
(, Tue 26 Aug 2014, 18:37, 18 replies)
and the sheriff said "whatever you do, don't look back" so I looked back and the killer was banging my boyfriend's severed head on the roof of the van!

(, Tue 26 Aug 2014, 16:44, 28 replies)
The vanishing hitch hiker
Another true* story of hitch hiking. Years ago, in a time long before mobile phones, when I had only just started full time work, I was driving on a lonely country road late one rainy night when I was startled to see a young woman walking along the side of the road, with no coat or umbrella. I immediately pulled over, leaned across the front seat to open the passenger door, and asked her if she wanted a lift.

Without a word, she got inside. It was obvious that she was cold and soaked to the skin. Luckily I had a jumper on the back seat so I reached back, grabbed it and offered it to the girl, who was shivering. She whispered thank you and draped the warm jumper over her shoulders, then told me in a quiet, trembling voice that she had to get home that night to see her parents.

As we talked, in the faint light from the dashboard I noticed that her face and hands were scratched and bleeding. When she caught me looking at her injuries she explained that her car had slid off the road and into a ditch. She had stood there for what had seemed like hours, hoping for help; then she decided to walk the rest of the way to her parents' home. I told her that it was no problem to take her right to her parents' front door. Despite of her bedraggled appearance, I could see that she was very beautiful, probably about my own age. She pointed into the darkness in front of us and said that the house was only a few miles ahead.

As I was getting up my courage to ask her for her name, she pointed to a house down a short, dark lane. She asked me to stop, and quickly got out of the car. I protested that I would be happy to drive her the rest of the way, but she was already running away into the night, so with a heavy heart I carried on my journey. As I drove on, I realised she was wearing my jumper. That would be my excuse to drive back to her home and formally make her acquaintance.

The next day after work I drove to this mystery girl's house and knocked on the door. In the light of day the house appeared small and cold, almost huddling down into the bushes around it. I was surprised when an elderly woman opened the door, but I explained how I had given a girl a lift to the house the night before. The woman stared at me, then invited me to come in. As stepped into the hallway I noticed a framed portrait of a girl, the beautiful young girl from the previous night, and I asked the woman if her granddaughter was home.

Following my gaze to the portrait, the woman began to weep. Her darling daughter, she said, was still trying to come home. I listened incredulously as the woman told me that her daughter had been killed in an car accident more than 40 years before. She had been walking home late at night when a car had knocked her down and driven off without stopping. Her lifeless body was found the next day by the side of the road.

I listened to the story, feeling very uncomfortable, and soon made my excuses. As I left the old woman I decided that she must be crazy. The hitchhiker I had picked up that night was no more than 19 years old and very much alive.

Driving home I passed a small country church with a tiny cemetery, and something blowing in the wind caught my eye. I entered the graveyard to investigate, and there was my jumper, draped over a tombstone that marked the final resting place of a young woman who had died 40 years ago.

*for certain low values of 'true'
(, Tue 26 Aug 2014, 13:38, 12 replies)
This is all true!
Driving home alone one evening some years ago, my wife noticed an old lady with a large shopping bag trying to hitch a lift in her direction. Feeling charitable, and in spite of her vow never to pick up hitch-hikers when alone, my wife stopped and offered the hitch-hiker a ride. With much gratitude the old lady accepted and got into the car. My wife was about to drive away when she noticed that her "female" passenger had large hairy arms and wrists.

Guessing instantly that the old lady was in fact a man, she pretended to be having trouble with the car and asked him to get out and check if the rear lights were working. As soon as the "old lady" was round the back of the car, my wife immediately locked the doors and drove away.

When she got home she told me the whole story and we searched the car. In the shopping bag the hairy-handed hitch-hiker had left behind we found a large and very sharp blood-stained axe — all ready for the next victim.

This is 100% true*

*May not be true
(, Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:46, 8 replies)
the post below reminds me
i used to have a holiday job as a letting agent. most of the properties were in manchester, but we had a couple of blocks in liverpool. this particular day i'd been sent over to do something at the liverpool blocks and was happily on my way back to manchester. i had been allowed to take the boss' super-posh jag* as the others were out on viewings; i had a lovely pipe opening drive on the motorway ahead of me in the sunshiiiiiine; all was well in the world of swipe. but on the way out of the block, you had to jump out of the car to open the barrier, so i did.

then drove back to manchester. bliss. only when i arrived back at the office did i hear a plaintive miaow from the back, and turn around to see that a fucking scouse cat had crept in whilst i had the door open...

my boss was furious that the journey had taken me 2 hours longer than it should have done. when i explained i'd had to take the cat back, he wanted to know why i hadn't just dumped it at the side of the road. as if anyone would do that!

* the next time i got to take the jag, i had a mother and kid that i was taking to look at a house. we got in, and the little girl piped up, "ooh it's like daddy's car." to which the mother actually replied, "no dear, daddy's is a custom made aston martin. these are just mass produced." needless to say, they didn't like the house very much...
(, Tue 26 Aug 2014, 9:58, 52 replies)
Shitty cat.
Hitching from Rottingdean to Brighton - about 23 years ago.

Rottingdean isn't FAR far from Brighton, but far enough you don't really want to walk it - it'll take you well over an hour.
So, living there with a few mates - a brother and sister - we too skint to take the bus, even, so we decided to hitch along to Brighton and spend what few pennies we had on booze and fags.
It turns out that walking to the roundabout (the best place for cars to stop), we picked up a "hitcher" of our own, a young feral cat who walked along beside us. The girl we were with can't resist the cats charms, and picks it up, only to discover it's been rolling in shit. So we left the cat in a field, walked to the roundabout, and got picked up after about 10 minutes.
Got to Brighton, had a few cheap drinks.


Thought nothing else of it.

Until, about 15 years later - me and the same mate were walking back after visiting his parents.
"Shall we hitch back" he says, "for a laugh, see if we still can?"
I agree, and we stick out thumbs out on the same roundabout - and eventually a car slows down and picks us up, so we smile and get in...

The first thing the guy driving says after we get in the car is: "I don't normally stop for hitchhikers. The last lot I picked up - probably about 15 years or so ago were a bunch of hippies - smelled of shit and wouldn’t stop talking about this fucking cat…"

We didn't tell him.
(, Tue 26 Aug 2014, 9:50, 33 replies)
Like many things in life, peoples fear of hitching is mostly overblown
there's only be two incidents in 20 years of hitching where I've felt I'd rather be somewhere else.
The first was one of my earliest rides. I'd been working in Kalgoorlie, and was heading to Perth for the first time to check it out. So I went to the truck stop to get hitch a ride. Unbeknown to me, in the days before all the states forced drivers to keep log books, some drivers would try and make more money by driving from Sydney or Melbourne to Perth only stopping to take a shit. That's thirty six hours straight. In order to accomplish this they'd pop amphetamines like tic-tacs, nasty trucker's speed. Kalgoorlie to Perth was the last eight hours of this trip. The reason he'd picked me up, the driver explained, was so I could talk to him to keep him awake. "Fuckin say anything, mate". His eyes were wired, you could tell straight way. The last two hours were the worst. He started to zone out just as we coming through the windy hills outside Perth. We went though a corner too fast, I think he was speeding up in order to get there before he crashed out, and he had swing out into the oncoming traffic. I don't know how the cars missed us. He offered to drop me at the station, a little out of his way. I accepted. Fuck it, I'd come this far...

The other time was in a town in Laos, in 96. I'd been drinking and smoking hash, the bar had kicked us out to close, and a heavy tropical rain downpour had started. A lao bloke on a motorbike outside the bar offered me a ride. I got on behind him and he started speeding quite fast through the darkness and rain.
Even through my stoned haze I was pretty certain we'd passed where I was staying. I said stop a few times but he ignored it, replying "home". I was puzzled, why did he want to go home? Then he reached behind himself and grabbed my cock through my pants. It then dawned on me that he was saying "homo?", not home. Now I'm not gay, and even if I was I'd expect this behavior to be a bit overfamiliar. Maybe if he'd bought me dinner first. By then we'd left the town way behind and were speeding to god knows where. I was holding off his groping hand but also thinking when you're on the back of a speeding motorbike it's probably not a good idea to punch the driver. He wouldn't stop, but had to slow down when the road turned muddy and I took my chance on a corner and pushed off the back and slammed face first into the mud. It was a very long walk back, drenched and muddy. I remember arriving back at my hostel to find the fucker had locked the outside gate, and ripping my pants on the spiked fence climbing in.
(, Tue 26 Aug 2014, 3:37, 2 replies)
Travelling round Europe
Long time reader, first time poster, be kind please!

I went travelling round Europe for two and a half months in the summer of 2012. I left London with 40p in my back pocket and jumped the train to Dover, stood at the side of the road with a sign saying "France" and got a lift onto the ferry. I faredodged my way round most of Europe, racking up a lot of fines on the way that were basically unenforceable, as they won't bother sending angry letters to England. I spent some time staying at a hippy gathering in Slovakia, where I saw a shooting star and made a wish for a few quid to help me along my way.

Fast forward about a week, and I'm trying to fare dodge my way across Spain, to a friend's place in Portugal. Conductors in Spain are among the most militant in Europe and will quite happily stop the train at the next station to throw you off, whether or not it's scheduled to stop there. It took me two days to get from Barcelona to Zaragoza. I boarded a train to Madrid, where I was accosted by a conductor. I stood there pleading with him for a good five minutes, telling him how my interrail ticket had been "stolen" and how I'd not eaten for days and needed to get to Madrid to collect some money from my "travel insurance". The conductor said he'd allow me to stay on until the next reasonable sized town, where he promptly kicked me off.

I made my way to the local bus station to see if I can jump a bus out of there but being a Sunday afternoon in a small Spanish town it was deserted. I walk over to the information counter where I see a small payphone not unlike one you'd find in a pub, held down by nothing more than a piece of wire. I look around and see no people or CCTV, so I cut the wire with my trusty Swiss army knife and squeeze the payphone into my bag. I walk round the corner to a building site where I smash open the payphone with a scaffolding bar, thinking there might be enough to get myself something to eat before trying my luck on the next train. I count the coins inside and find 130 euros.

I managed to buy a train ticket to Madrid, a nice sit down meal, a coach ticket to Lisbon with enough food and booze for the journey, a train ticket to my mates place in Portugal, and I had enough left over for a piss up in the local bar and a fat block of hash.
(, Tue 26 Aug 2014, 0:04, 44 replies)

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