Almost… again.

26 03 2012

Once again the Guardian travel section has recognised my talent for writing articles which are almost good enough to win.

Well in the field of also rans I reign supreme!

As Rose and I are without camera for our trip we have invented a new family game. As we all read the same paper, The Guardian, we all enter mini articles into the weekly Readers Tips section of the Travel. The scores for being published so far are:
Jimi: 2Bottom right
Rhi: 1
Mum: 0
Rose: 0

Please feel free to join in the game. Click this to enter a tip.

Next week the topic is UK bike rides and I’ve already entered.

That camera will be ours one day I tell you.


Thanks Carradice

19 03 2012

Thanks Carradice


19 03 2012

A big thank- you to Carradice for providing us with some fantastic looking panniers and handlebar bags. They have kindly supplied us with these free of charge to support us with our round the world bike ride.

They are a lovely firm based in Nelson, Lancashire;

“In the early 1930’s Wilf Carradice first made a saddlebag for himself and discovered it was far better than anything else available. Friends soon asked for copies. By the end of the 30’s Carradice were making tents, rucksacks, sleeping bags and jackets too. Throughout the 40’s and 50’s our bags were the choice of every hard riding tourist or clubman. By the 70’s Wilf was wanting to retire and to pass the firm’s experience and reputation onto someone who would continue to produce bags to the same exacting standards. Fortunately Neville Chadwick, a keen cyclist saw the potential for quality made cycle bags and took the company on. Demand again began to outstrip the production facilities and two moves to larger premises followed.”

I met with David (son of Neville) who now runs Carradice. He was very nice and talked me through the different options, in the end I chose the CarraDry over the SuperC. The SuperC have some great reviews particularly from someone who cycled through Africa with them, but with the memory of wet sleeping bags clouding my judgement I went for the CarraDry, less durable but more waterproof. Time will tell if I made the right choice. Although David did get some extra protection pinned on to the base of ours there and then in the workshop.

David also told me about a guy they had previously helped with bags for worldwide bike trips: Ian Hibell. “In 1963, determined to see more of the world, he left Brixham, Devon, to explore some of the most wild and inaccessible places on Earth. He has pushed, dragged or carried his bike from the fringes of the Antarctica to the jungles of the Amazon, from the Artic to the remoter islands of Indonesia.Naturally there are many extraordinary stories to tell, so many people and places, so many miles. Chased by an elephant, sniffed by a lion, jailed, shot at. More friendly confrontations have led to hospitality by such as an Eskimo princess, a Dyak headman in Borneo, African chiefs and missionaries. 

What a legend! And I don’t use that word lightly, a real inspiration.

As soon as I can join Rose on the bike again we will get away for some more training rides and start testing this lovely looking kit. We will post a review of CarraDry in the equipment section.

The bike is dead, long live the bike…

12 03 2012

… but on the plus side I’m still here!

Sad news on the bike front though. Potentially “the bike” was fatally wounded in a collision with a car door last week. You will be pleased to know that the car door did not make it either, the Horizon gave as good as she got.

I was on the way home from work last Friday in the bike lane when with no time to react the passenger door was swung into my chest. Now although this still sounds bad when I write it a week later I must point out that I was very lucky. If the impact of the corner of the door was any higher then it would have been throat, teeth, eyes and it would have been much more serious. Also there was a conveniently placed wall that I landed on, as opposed to the floor which likely would have meant wrists or collarbones. As it happened I escaped with a dent in my chest, whiplash and the usual cuts and bruises.

I was well pleased with the emergency services response. Within 10 minutes there was 3 paramedics (2 vehicles), a passing doctor, 3 fireman and later in A&E another doctor and a policeman; all of whom were very good with me. To be fair to the people in the car responsible they seemed really nice and were of course incredibly apologetic. They also made sure I got their details, something I was incapable of thinking about and then they reported it to the police too.

All this has of course given me the excuse to take up one of my favorite hobbies legitimately- surfing the net for “bike porn” as Rose calls it. I’m thinking (dreaming) of a Surly Long Haul Trucker.