Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Countdown to departure

This Saturday I set off on my trip around the Nederland. The trip has two real purposes:
  •      Go and see my old friend Adam who lives out that way,
  •      Get out on the bike away from it all for a few days.
The main problem with any form of cycle holiday is getting to and from your start. What is the point of starting at home if that means that it would be several days of cycling to get to the bit you wanted to do? On the other hand it seems extremely wasteful to transport my bike by train to another country and only ride upon arrival. One potential long-term solution for me would be to go back to using a Brompton for this type of trip. The bike then becomes a travelling companion rather than a means to a holiday in itself.  For this ride I have to put the bike into a bag (disassembled rather than folded) and carry it between trains. 

Packing is quite amusing. My bike is the Kona Honky Tonk2009 that I used for the LEJOG ride last year. I have added a rack and panniers (review upon return) but little else. A bike of this sort has clipless pedals and a stiff saddle, which means special shoes and shorts. For comfort I will also need gloves, cycling tops for different weather and waterproof clothing just in case. One pannier is full of cycling gear, whilst the other has regular clothes.

I would quite like to sort out a touring solution that allows minimal dual kit. Seamless reinforced trousers and a brooks saddle for example, would eliminate the need for additional trews and shorts... Especially if I were cycling between trains or planes etc...

Anyway for now I have had to purchase:

We’re on the Eurostar by Saturday lunchtime with a 36 hour stop in Haarlem...

Monday, 14 May 2012

Seperated by time

The custard factory

Last weekend we went to Birmingham to visit Na, Na, and Matilda. This is what I saw at the custard factory.

Despite the suspended iron body casts and dragons, the weirdest thing is a valve cd player.