Archive for the ‘Cycling’ Category

Cycling diaries

Wed 3rd Nov 10

I have put my six cycling diaries from the noughties up on this page, password needed (my cycling companion’s middle name and year of birth; if it was Thackeray you’d write Makepeace1811).

Ride like the wind

Fri 17th Apr 09

bullseye
This is my preferred mode of transport, around town and around the world.

I first read about recumbents in Bicycle magazine, May 1982: “Low slung and racy, the Avatar 2000 is one of the first commercially available versions of a new generation of bikes called recumbents.” The Avatar retailed at over $2,000, but I thought “some day…”

In 1999 Malachy’s friend Tom contacted me to say that he had been looking out for a recumbent for his Dad and found two good buys; he knew that I was interested—would I like to go for one of them? He got me this excellent PDQ second-hand from Bikefix in London and delivered it to my house early in February 2000.

Tom Hewins delivered my bent
Its arrival was quite an event
Now I travel in style
With a song and a smile
I’m so glad that’s the way that I went 

Technically it is a short-wheelbase semi-recumbent. It was made by Pashley, the English firm famous for the old-style delivery-boy’s bike. Its frame is sturdy, but not too heavy, since there is not after all very much frame. The greatest delight is the woven seat with a permanent bag that fits in behind it. Such comfort was never known on two wheels before, save perhaps in a well-upholstered gig or a rickshaw.

recumbentmanHere we are in Santander, at the end of our 2005 tour over the Picos de Europa and into Portugal. Michael and I cycled down to Porto and along the coast to Lisbon. Peter picked us up and drove us back to the ferry at Santander where we had started out. We have cycled so far in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, England, Scotland… I have Wales in mind next.

An article I wrote  for the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Earth edition) sets out some of the advantages of recumbents. Why are they still the exception?


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