Rosie, at the ripe old age of 14, is finally being treated the way she expects.

It's been a long time since she was able to come cycling with us.

Now she can keep up!

With the wind in her nose it's like she's doing the running herself.

But without tiring herself out.

The hardest part is getting out at the pub.

We leave for Denmark on Wednesday, catching the ferry/driving and taking the bikes.

ETA: Seems that we've had this idea before.

September 20, 2009 in cycling, life in london, Rosie | Permalink | Comments (1)

cycling along the canal

We cycled to the gym at Canary Wharf today, following pretty much the route I used to take to work (but continuing along the canal to the end).


This is where a WWII bomb was found in 1997, during construction of the building on the left.


We were shocked to see earthmovers and apparent construction in the parkland near the The Palm Tree. You can see more detail on Google Maps (including the warehouses that were demolished to uncover the bomb).


It seems that a footbridge is being built to link the park to one on the other side. So not that sinister.


In addition to the swans, we saw a turtle! Very unusual.


Toward the end of the route is this building that has me intrigued.
The side of the building reads:


"The house they left behind". I love it!

April 20, 2009 in cycling, life in london, swans | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sunday 24 August

Dusted off the bikes and headed down to Canary Wharf for some yum cha. Although heaving at the seams, they weren't serving outside so we went to Carluccio's instead.

After lunch popped into Waitrose for some essentials (ie things not available for home delivery from Ocado):


Red berries and... pancakes. I KNOW, a ridiculous thing to buy prepared, but so luxurious.


Such a long time between trundles that Fred's rear tyre is not all it should be. I think it's also about time we had them serviced. Which reminds me of a website I saw some time last year, a company that refurbished dumped bikes. At the time I saved the URL as I had an idea about pimping my ride. Of course, in the accident I lost the URL — did I send it to you?

This bike I saw last month in Denmark got me excited.


And there was a lovely white/green number I saw in Go Sport in Paris last year. The photo of which was sadly another victim of the accident.

August 24, 2008 in cycling, Shopping | Permalink | Comments (3)



It's new bikes for my cycling buddies: Loba recently took possession of a brand new red Brompton, and Famke returned from a recent trip home to Amsterdam with this:


It's a classic Dutch bike - sit up and beg style, dynamo lights, back pedal brakes, no gears - perfect for riding flat cities.

Apparently the style is called Omafeits (grandma bike) and if you've visited Holland (or even France), you'll be familiar with their quaintness.

I want a new bike, too!

August 7, 2006 in cycling, life in london | Permalink | Comments (0)

London tuesdays

It emerges that the theme today is "funny creatures on buidlings"*.

Anyone who has surfaced from Chancery Lane tube will be familiar with Staple Inn. As I cycled past today I guessed that this mock tudor building was built around the same time as my favourite mock tudor, Liberty. Seems I was out by 350 years...

The Inn’s history goes back further than its sixteenth-century features – the Hall of 1581 was itself a second version following le Stapled Halle plotted on the site from 1292. It began as a covered market and customs depot for wool and other commodities. It drew in legal minds to mediate in trade disputes, a Society of Staple Inn formed around 1415 and it became an Inn of Chancery for students of law. When its legal importance declined, the Society sold up and the Prudential Assurance Company stepped in to buy the Inn at auction in 1886. The Institute of Actuaries was the first new tenant in 1887 and Staple Inn has become its professional home along with patent agents, surveyors, accountants, legal chambers and traditional shops beneath the Holborn gables.

A Story of Staple Inn on Holborn Hill by Arthur Tait

This little fella is above the main entrance (now a Vodafone shop):


Other stuff: the Inn's Hall is available for hire; the building received a direct hit during the blitz; another Dickens connection: Staple Inn is easily identifiable as Mr. Grewgious's chambers in The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

A short cycle down Greys Inn Rd to Theobolds Rd is the Yorkshire Grey pub. I must have passed it dozens of times, but never from this angle on bike. Which is how I noticed this atop the building:


I pulled into the median strip on Clerkenwell Road to take a photo of the pub, when this fella virtually jumped right out at me:


The colour on this building is amazing and I love how the buildling gremlin* lords it over these shops in disgust.

It's still hot and I'm cycling and stopping to take photos - not pleasant. I figure "that's it, no more photos" -- I put my head down and resolve not to notice anything else.

Until I had to do a double take:


* Surely there's a name for them, right? They're not Green Men...

July 25, 2006 in cycling, London Tuesdays | Permalink | Comments (4)



Thanks everyone for the kind comments and emails. Your support was indeed helpful and gratefully received.

As for the current state: I contacted the lawyers provided by the LCC (seems my CTC membership lapsed). That would be the second on the list -- she is being represented by the first.

I was told they have to check my membership and what it entitles me before giving me any advice. But did reassure me that the burden of proof is on her to prove that it did actually happen, rather than me to disprove, which is some comfort.

They also advised me to contact the LCC's insurance company, who just asked for me to forward the claim. I had to point out that the claim included falsehoods and I didn't want it paid out...

So the upshot is that I should be receiving callbacks from both today.

June 26, 2006 in cycling, life in london | Permalink | Comments (4)

send in the lawyers


Remember craptacular tuesday? I received a letter containing the following today:

We have been instructed to pursue a claim for damages against you in respect of injuries sustained in a cycling accident on 6 June at XXXX. Our client's injuries include a fractured left wrist and a fracture to her right kneecap.

The accident occurred when you attempted to overtake our client's bicycle and in doing so collided with our client's bicycle, knocking a pannier from your bicycle. Our client's bicycle then collided pannier, causing our client to fall and sustain injury.

We are instructed that the accident was caused by your negligence and to make a claim for damages against you in respect of the injuries suffered by our client and any losses and expenses. Our client is a self employed XXXXX and has lost income as a result of this accident.

I ask you to compare and contrast the versions of events.

Fred thinks it's spurious, bordering on vexatious (I love it when he uses silly words to make me laugh). He has recommended I ring one of the cycling organisations for advice.

How dumb was I to "do the right thing" give my real details? And what a way to celebrate Bike Week.

June 21, 2006 in cycling, life in london | Permalink | Comments (16)

craptacular tuesday


It started off badly. I woke up at 10.45am, waay late for a 10am arrival at knitting. I considered not going, but with Fred away and no work, there was a strong chance that I might not speak to another human all day (Rosie doesn't count). And this could not happen.

I hopped on my bike and cycled like the clappers (normal speed for everyone else), not wanting to be too late. I was literallyoutside Goodenough College when I went over a bump and my pannier just fell off. In the path of another cyclist. Who then fell off her bike.

Of course I immemdiately stopped and offered help, apologising profusely. The lady was understandably shaken. But then asked for my details. oooooookay.

I asked her if she wanted to call the police. She said she wanted to report it, "just in case". She wanted to call 999. I suggested she ring 118 118 and get put through to the local police station instead. She tells me that she has sprained her wrist and is worried as she has osteoporosis. I flagged down a passing ambulance. I offered to escort her to her destination, she says she's on a round trip.

(while she is in the ambo, I take photos of her bike and the intersection. Remember this, it'll be important later on.)

So I give her my details. I ask her what she intends to do with it. She tells me that if she needs to report the incident to the police, it'll be necessary. I ask her if it is for insurance purpose. She says "maybe". I ask her if she intends to prosecute me, she says "we'll see". I get on my bike and leave.

Now, I feel awful that she was hurt. But it was an accident. My panniers have not done this before (she had the same brand). I will replace them. But really? Accident.

I try to put myself in her position, and yes I would be mad. But I also would not be cycling in central London on a busy street if I had the reaction time of a 4-year old.

(Branwyn pointed out that she did me a favour, had she not fallen over the pannier the cab behind her would have run it over and squashed it. I immediately thought of the socks I was knitting and horrified at the thought of the needles breaking. Ever-sensible Branwyn pointed out that my glasses were also in there.)

As I was so late, the knitting gals heard my whinge and 10 minutes later everyone dispersed. I was mindful of the original purpose of the day (speaking with real live people) and hung out with Branwyn for bit. We bought travel books and went to Liberty. I found my Tuesday London picture in the lane next to Foyles. She went off to meet friends, I went to Selfridges food hall to buy falafel for dinner.

I then lost my camera (the new little one) in the 10 minutes I was in Selfridges. The one with the photos of the accident, "just in case".

I should have taken my sleep in as a sign and stayed in.


So this is all I could come up with for London Tuesday. It's the rear of our building, at 9pm. Cool, huh?

June 7, 2006 in cycling, knitting, life in london, London Tuesdays | Permalink | Comments (12)



On Sunday I cycled up the Lee/Lea Valley (apparently there is a difference) with Loba and Fleming. Fred declined to join us - he went on a stag day/afternoon/night on Friday and it only caught up with him (read: sobered up) then.


We started off at an event in Victoria Park. Being a bank holiday weekend, the park was soggy and I immediately stepped into mud puddle. Luckily, I was wearing my new sandals, purchased in New York especially for cycling (and they truly rock).

It was quite curious to see residential boats, many with little gardens (I wonder if noise would be an issue). And the great variety of boat styles was wonderful.


Aiming for a pub late lunch/beer, we missed the mark and ended up at the most peculiar canal-side caff.


Click here for the route, or on any of the above pics for larger version.

June 2, 2006 in cycling | Permalink | Comments (2)

Day 2


Day 2: Dover - Lydd (Romney Marsh)

Put off by the ugly route out of town, we got a lift to Capel-le-Ferne and the Battle of Britain memorial. After which, it was a lovely roll down the hill to Folkestone (where the seagulls are huge and the Jack Russells scared).

In true British tradition, the enticingly flat promenade route to Sandgate was blocked off (by construction) with no warning, explanation or alternative route signposted. Which meant pushing our bikes up an impossibly steep and narrow busy road, at the top of which was an ugly concrete shopping precinct. I must admit that this diversion took us along the Leas and passed the lovely Edwardian buildings, part of the Folkestone Dickens described as 'pretty', 'delightful' and 'delicious'. I think we enjoyed the downhill section to Sandgate the best part.

The next part went through Hythe, along dedicated cycleways beside the Royal Military Canal, a very curious part of the coastal defense against Napoleon. It was quite pleasant, and featured a sweet miniature steam train. Also along the route was a minature reproduction of the sound mirrors found all over Kent.

Leaving the canal, we headed out to St Mary-in-the-Marsh for lunch. It was a memorable meal -- as well as being Femke's first ploughman's, the landlady (licensee) had passed away that morning and we found ourselves in the midst of a makeshift wake. I'm sure I would have found it more sad had it not a slightly comical air. The vicar, his wife and their dog turned up to pay their respects, but had obviously never met any of the attendees and had only a passing acquaintance with the deceased (odd, considering the village consists of just the pub and the church). The conversational void and awkward silence was fortunately filled by the vicar's badly behaved two-year old dog (of Newfoundland breed proportions).

We had obviously over-stayed (eavesdropping and knitting) as the rain was beginning to sprinkle as we left. Being only 6 miles (10km) from our daily destination we thought it worthwhile pushing on to Lydd. BUT, we took a wrong turn and ended up at New Romney in the pouring rain navigating heavily-trafficked roads. Possibly the low point of the trip.

Our accommodation for the night was the 400-year old George Hotel. A charming pub with a warm and friendly staff. But hideously uncomfortable bed that sloped with the angle of the ageing floor.

We checked in, unpacked and headed out (in the car) to Dungeness.


Let me tell you, it's odd. Really barren, desert-style landscape with a power station dominating the area and two old lighthouses. With weird black huts/houses. Oh, and birdwatchers. It had a peculiar, post-apocalyptic feel to it. Had it not been raining so hard we would have taken the time to explore more. As it was, we were all keen to get back to the pub and relax.

< /Day 2>

April 25, 2006 in cycling, Travel | Permalink | Comments (4)