Saturday, March 25, 2006

Dream bikes

I've just posted the following on the SJS Cycles Forum; follow the discussion here.

Don't get me wrong - I love my Raven Tour, and it's definitely the most versatile bike I've owned. If space and funds allowed, though, I'd have all sorts of exotic stuff. Here's my list of dream bikes.
  • Steel road bike: I'm torn between Mercian, Waterford, and Rivendell
  • Titanium road bike: Independent Fabrication Crown Jewell Ti
  • Utility bike: Christiania trike
  • Tandem: Thorn Raven Discovery (of course!)
  • Folder: new Brompton Titanium
  • Recumbent: A tough one! Probably a Burley, though
  • Misc: A hand-built Moulton of course, a Pedersen, and maybe a six-passenger Delfino!

What's on your list?

(BTW, if it seems like I'm going a bit stir crazy, subsituting online time for road time, that would be accurate! I've been traveling a lot, but I'm looking forward to hitting the road again soon!)

Bicycle built for six

When vacationing in Palm Beach this month, we wanted to do some cycling on the Lake Trail. We'd planned to get a load of bikes and child seats to accommodate the four adults and three kids, but the Palm Beach Bicycle Trail Shop didn't have enough of the seats.

Instead, we rented a Delfino four-wheeler, which accommodates four pedaling adults, a kid (with potentially precariously dangling feet) in between each pair of pedalers, and two kids in the front. What fun that was! I think the only place I've seen them before is in the Villa Borghese in Rome. It worked out perfectly for us, and we spent 90 mins or so on the trail. The shop also has one of these with only one bench seat. It was a bit hot (high 80s F), and the canvas top was missing, but the breeze off the lake kept us pretty cool.

Biking Disney World

Okay the title isn't quite accurate. But we did have a nice little bike around the Fort Wilderness campground, where we stayed during our three-day Disney vacation.

Fort Wilderness is right on the Disney grounds, so it was as convenient as any of the big resorts; but we still had the autonomy of our own little cabin. The campground was ridiculous, really, with cabins scattered among hook-up points at which million-dollar RVs were stationed. And while not exactly "wilderness", it did seem like it to Gemma, who really enjoyed our little deck and walks around the grounds.

See more photos from our excursion on on Flickr.

On our last day, we rented bikes and cruised around the grounds a bit. Nice bike/walking paths, which are used liberally by RVers on their own rubbishy bikes. The real revelation was that Gem enjoyed the rear-mounted seat! This could have something to do with her opening up my butt pack and finding my wallet, of course, which is one of her favourite things to play with...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

First cycle maintenance workshop

My buddies at the Camden Cycling Campaign have organised a series of three cycle maintenance workshops, and today was the first. It was held in the basement of Velorution, my new favourite cycle shop in central London. The workshop was conducted by mechanic Andrea (as opposed to proprietor Andrea, who also chimed in here and there).

Thoroughly enjoyable, but not as hands-on as I expected. We looked at all the parts of a bike and variations between different sorts of brakes, headsets, and transmissions. I got lots of questions in, and at the end of the day, I always enjoy talking about bikes!

I'm hoping the next session is more practical, and that I'll actually get some grease under my fingernails!