Sunday, August 23, 2009

Adventures on two wheels

I spent a day in London a few weeks ago, where I went on a Fat Tire Bike Tour. I went on the Paris tours (and applied for a job as a tour guide) when I lived there. I think Paris is a slightly more bike-friendly city, since most of the London tour was through Hyde Park/Kensington Park/Green Park.

Lovely parks, all, (and the guides were great), but if I only had a weekend to see London and spent it on the insides of the parks, I might be annoyed. As it is, I know London pretty well and enjoyed the spin through town on the bikes. Especially as it was Sunday so the roads around Buckingham Palace were closed.

The bikes all had names (of people mentioned on the tour). I was being shown the town by a Mr. Eric Clapton. We got along very well.

I learned in Paris that taking a picture from the bike while riding to your health.  So here is the back of 10 Downing Street with the London Eye in the background.

Continuing the bike theme, John and I took our bikes to Cambridge on the train last weekend. In spite of the extortionate ticket prices (and recent railway strikes by overpaid but disgruntled employees), it was actually pretty painless. Bringing your bikes on the train is free (woot!), and there are special racks for them. I could see how the racks might get kind of full on a weekday, but we had plenty of room when we were going.

We met up for the day with some family friends from New Ro, who were enjoying a vacation in Paris/London/Cambridge. We rode our bikes out to Grantchester, where we hit up The Blue Ball Inn for some extremely tasty warm, flat beer of the Adnams variety. YUM. We then wobbled to another pub for more beer and lunch. Tough life. Then we went into Cambridge itself, where we walked through the gardens of Clare College and went into the Kings' chapel.

If you can't make it good, make it RED.

We had a blast of a day - the weather was gorgeous, the company was great, and we have now decided that the ONLY way to get around Cambridge is by bike. It's a long walk from the station to town, and the car situation is a nightmare. There was even a free bike parking garage at the mall. What more could you want?

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