Monday, November 21, 2005

School Runs

I've been doing quite a few school runs recently as my wife has been on late shifts. My five year old rides on the trailer bike and my 8 year old rides on her own bike, which is getting too small for her. Luckily there are cycle paths nearly the whole way to school, so getting there is no problem. But I then have to bring all the bikes back to the house before I head on to work which adds a lot of time on to my journey as i'm going back on myself. It also takes a bit of time strapping the bikes together for the return trip. Although I was impressed with myself for coming up with a way of strapping that was safe and secure the novelty of hauling the bikes back home wares off after a bit.
Luckily I've just found out that my parents in law may be buying house near the school, so i'll be able to leave the bikes with them and pick them up later. The only problem I can see now is when I get my daughter a bigger bike I wont be able to strap it to the trailer. I'm thinking of alternatives - possibly a Christiania for the school run and a Brompton for the solo part of my journey which I could carry with the kids in the Christiania.
Anybody else have any ideas?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Round The World in 4 Years

I love reading storys about great expeditions, and this has got to be one of the greatest. Alastair Humphreys has taken 4 years to cycle 45000 miles across five continents. I am so jealous, I dont even have enough time to cycle around Ireland - maybe one day. His maintainance problems put mine in to perspective -

While his machine is nominally the one he set out on, he has cycled his way
through five new wheels, 15 sets of tyres and three new bicycle frames. His
worst record for punctures was set in Bolivia - 15 in one frustrating day;
although the final stages in Europe have not proved plain sailing. Last week in
the Dolomites, he reported "15 punctures in four days, four broken chains, two
buckled wheels, a split tyre, a fragile bottom bracket, no back brake, six
broken spokes in a cracked rim and split hub and only about 10 gears still
working out of 27". - From the Guardian

What an achievement, i'm sure its going to be difficult for him to settle down. There is something so appealing about being continually on the move, maybe its a fear of finally reaching our destination.