triskellian: (bike)
It's a lovely sunny day, warm but not hot, and I thoroughly enjoyed my first ever 7.5 mile bike ride to work. I'm now hoping it remains non-rainy for the rest of the day, so I can equally enjoy the ride home again :-)
triskellian: (bike)
Today [livejournal.com profile] smiorgan gave me and the bike a lift to work, and after work I went on what was probably my longest bike ride ever: from my office to our other site 5 miles away, and then after a meeting (about dissertation number one, for which a shape and structure is now developing), the 2.5 miles home. This was partly because out of semester time the buses are even less frequent and regular than usual, and partly as a test of the idea of cycling all the way to work and all the way back again.

The first part of the route is the same as the route between my house and my office, on a reasonably well-maintained separate cycle track beside a very major road (dual carriageway out of town A road, both literally and figuratively the last stop before motorway), and it was scary in places - sometimes only a metre of grass separated me from the cars hurtling towards me at 70-80mph. There are mercifully few junctions on this stretch, and those there are are minor ones with sharp turns, so cars using them are forced to slow down considerably, which is a good thing for the cyclist crossing them who can't see far enough round to judge whether any cars are going to intersect with her before she reaches the other side. Hairy stuff.

The second section, which isn't on my home-office route, is one of those roads that makes serious cyclists curse (and ignore) cycle tracks that aren't on the road: it starts off on the pavement, with the cycle lane giving way to everything in sight (cars and pedestrians that can stop and start with no extra effort at all, versus the lazy cyclist (me) to whom momentum is everything), and requiring 360° vision, then it moves onto the road into a lane shared with buses (I was relieved there were no buses there when I was; I'm scared of buses), and then suddenly veers back onto the pavement again with barely enough warning.

The final, post-meeting, part of the journey is one I've done many times before, and it's mostly lovely. Turn the bike in the right direction for home and freewheel most of the way ;-) Almost all of it is quiet back streets.

Next time, all the way to work and all the way back again...
triskellian: (bike)
This morning, under [livejournal.com profile] smiorgan's supervision, I assembled my replacement bike, and then went out and rode it around Iffley for a while, being surprised at one point to remember that the road I had just ridden up was a hill.

It's the same as its predecessor (slightly cheaper from the internet than the bike shop, but also slightly less in-one-piece), and the same as the one in the icon (which will have to do for a picture for now). It's still lovely. It's also locked in the shed.
triskellian: (Default)
There will be no photos of my new bike, because there is no new bike. It's gone. Wheeled out of our side passageway, past all the other old and crappy bikes, and - presumably - out through the garden. Bye bye bike :-(
triskellian: (purple and shiny)
A month ago, I met [livejournal.com profile] bluedevi straight from collecting her new bike, with an enormous grin, and clearly reluctant to get off the bike and into my car to drive to London. I think if we hadn't had plans, she would just have carried on cycling around Oxford forever.

Since then, whenever I've ridden my bike, I've remembered what she said about discovering new joy in cycling when riding a nice bike, and I've looked sadly at my cheap and battered mountain bike, and dreamed.

[livejournal.com profile] smiorgan has two bikes, and has just ordered more bits which look as if they might be taking him towards three, and my bike was looking sadder and more pitiful each time I rode it.

Can you guess the punchline? )

April 2013

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