Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

He's got a Tikit I think he's gonna use it....

Last weekend I shook open my folding bike (a Bike Friday Tikit) - in about 5 seconds flat - and headed off for London. Things did not go completely to plan. On arrival in London I couldn't change gear. A quick inspection revealed that the gear shifter mechanism had shorn off. Not great on my first big trip out. With a little fiddling I could get it to stay in one gear, and since London is pretty flat, I headed off with my new single speed Tikit.

Cycling in London has improved, well, it had for me since I had a set of red Ken's new TFL cycling maps.

Coming back from near Heathrow today I had a couple of choices. I could have folded my bike (in 5 seconds) and jumped on a tube train to Kings Cross or I could cycle to Kings Cross. It was raining and I had a bad hangover so I decided to cycle to Kings Cross. I'd been looking at cycle maps for a while before I realised it was far too much to remember in one go so I just hopped on the Tikit and weaved vaguely northwards following cycle routes on my map.

My plan was to head north about 3 or 4 miles and join the Grand Union Canal and then head east for 10 miles and pick up the Regent's canal to see how close I could get to King's Cross. It was a surprising route in a lot of ways. It was really quiet for a start. I saw some very unusual ducks and even sea gulls. There were narrow boats and house boats all along the route. It was very strange to be in the centre of London and have a peaceful cycle route all to myself. At times you have to get off the canal and hit the road for a bit but it was very well signposted and it was much less of an issue than I expected. I ended up popping out less than a quarter of a mile from Kings Cross station. It seems from the map that I cycled about 15 miles on my silly folding bike in the rain stuck in one gear!!! Pretty comfortable for a folding bike. I can see I'll be able to ride this one on long trips once it is sorted out.


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