June 2, 2012 Ride: Short Bursts

Brief blips on the radar, that’s what rides are like right now. I wish I had time to prioritize anything, but I don’t. Everything is spread too thin, waiting for school to end and the rest of my life to begin.

I leave for Britain in 10 days. I’ll be running my first trip with my new company, and then spending a few extra days running madly around Britain, photographing manor houses and flowers for my British Mansions and Gardens tour in September. As I was finalizing this part of my itinerary, I noticed something interesting. Three of the houses are grouped around a small town called Bakewell. I kept looking at the three houses, each just a few miles from the town, and thinking: “taxi, taxi, taxi… wouldn’t it be easier if I could just bike this?” Then I realized I was by myself, so why couldn’t I? I googled: “bike rentals Bakewell.”

And wouldn’t you know… Bakewell is on one of the most scenic bike trails in England, the Monsal Trail through the renowned Peak District. It looks like this:

Um, yes.

So I will be riding said trail, as the bike rental place opens about two hours before the first grand house is open. Then I will be riding to the nearby houses.

And if folks are interested, I will add this as a component to the trip. I’ll find out when I start blogging it, I guess.

So that was good! I’m also in talks with one of Veloria’s acquaintances in Northern Ireland about renting some of his astonishing vintage bike collection and having him lead us on short day rides on a future trip. That, and the new Titanic museum, make N. Ireland an interesting destination in terms of exploring history a bit, don’t you think? Stay tuned for news about that trip, which I would expect to fill very, very rapidly, as riding around on this person’s amazing vintage bikes is about as once-in-a-lifetime as you can get.

I also went on a bike ride. Not this weekend, as I decided to dedicate my Saturday to finally, finally cleaning the house. No, I went last weekend.

After my visit to the Rhododendron Species Garden (pictures on Snapbugblog), I was close enough to the Foothills trail to ride a bit of the first section, which I missed last time I rode that trail.

It was lovely and bucolic, but since it started raining just a few miles in, I didn’t ride very far… probably just four or five miles.

I took brief shelter under a large tree, then rode back as it sprinkled.

It was really a lovely little ride, and I look forward to having more time for a longer one. That probably won’t happen any time soon.

Yesterday, my step-daughter received a new bike for her birthday. It’s actually a barely-used bike, and ironically, exactly the same bike that her older sister received new a year ago, which caused the older sister to remark, in a very teen-age voice: “I don’t mind, but it is kinda embarrassing…”

We rode for a few moments around the neighborhood as she tried out this bike’s novel features: brake levers! gears! Hopefully we’ll get her out there again soon, but as usual, the bike is not shifting smoothly into the highest gear. This is why I loath derailleurs, I’ve decided. They’re always so fiddly. I’ve been riding The Raleigh for three years now on a 43 year-old Sturmey Archer, and never had a bit of trouble shifting. Whatevs, derailleurs. I don’t mind, but it is kinda embarrassing.

Finally, I want a Bike Friday. I think a “Pocket Crusoe Full Custom.” I’ve decided, without any real reason, that this is the folding bike for me. I think Bromptons are rather unattractive. I don’t like Dahons, for reasons I can’t explain either. But Bike Fridays are cute, and they’re custom made in Portland, which is sort of like my neighborhood, therefore making Bike Friday sort of like my peeps. Most importantly, I can outfit one with an internally geared hub. I could even put a Nuvinci on it, should I so desire (I don’t) and have infinite gears. They even make a little hard-sided travel case that converts into a bike trailer/suitcase. No really. Now I just need an extra $2000. No problem… ehem.

Anyone got $2000 they’d like to donate? Anyone?

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12 Responses to June 2, 2012 Ride: Short Bursts

  1. James F. Duncan says:

    Have fun with your tour. The folder sounds like a swell idea as does the North Ireland tour prospect and the rest. Hope we’ll see some pictures! Jim Duncan

  2. rideblog says:

    Are you kidding, Jim? Pictures? :) Of course!!!

  3. James F. Duncan says:

    Yeah, I guess I was exhibiting some premature parting anxiety :)!

  4. If you get the Pocket Crusoe, would you be getting the drop bars?

    Looking forward to reading about the upcoming trips!

  5. rideblog says:

    I think the Crusoe can have other bars. It’s just a lighter frame, as I understand it, but we’ll see.

  6. adventurepdx says:

    But Bike Fridays are cute, and they’re custom made in Portland, which is sort of like my neighborhood, therefore making Bike Friday sort of like my peeps.

    Well, if you consider Eugene to be a neighborhood of Portland, then yeah, you can say that Bike Friday is made in the ‘hood. Or something. ;-)

  7. rideblog says:

    Isn’t all of Oregon the size of Seattle anyway? :-)

  8. adventurepdx says:

    I think this is the part where I’m supposed to remind the upstart Washingtonian that Washington was carved out of the Oregon territory. And also remind said Washingtonian of the fact that Washington was admitted into the union in 1889, 30 years after Oregon.

    Also, Washington may possibly have an even more boring state flag than Oregon.

  9. rideblog says:

    I dispute none of this. Especially the part about the flag. I remember being told to draw it repeatedly in school and every time thinking: “what? How?”

  10. Corey Keller says:

    Oregon, Washington…it’s all just cheaper real estate for us southern coasters.

    (ducks thrown metal bits)

    I too am curious about the Bike Fridays. The Crusoe looks promising! Got a source for cream tires?

    And congrats on the transition from teacher to Travel guide!
    I hope the few hitches you encounter are small and humorous.

  11. rideblog says:

    Corey, you southern coasters are ruining everything for us all. Or something.

    The Bike Friday is a ways off. First, I have to make money. As opposed to endlessly spending it. Which is what I’m doing right now. I would think cream tires would be easy enough to find in 20″ :).

    My dream would be to build that sucker up around a great internally geared hub, get it in a wild color so that I shock the locals, get the little suitcase thingy that turns into a trailer, and use it when I’m there before and after trips. At home, it could be the motor home bike. It would be a good investment in the end, but first I need the $2000 to make it a go :). Right now, the biggest hitch for my company is just finding customers outside the base of people I already know.

    Guess I’ll have to plan some more bike-oriented trips!!

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