Of bike storage and gyratories

No room at the inn?

No room at the inn?

I moved house last month.

I mention this not merely to explain why things have been quite quiet on this blog lately; what with packing, organising the logistics of the actual move, unpacking, sleepless nights worrying about the move and then, in the new place, getting used to sleeping in a strange room, the subsequent headaches from the stress of it all, and then – once I’d finally settled in – the horrible summer cold that sneaked up on me when I wasn’t looking, I didn’t have the time nor the head space to write anything.

No, I mention this because the move has had two wholly unexpected bike-related consequences. Continue reading

Is it OK if I leave my bike outside?

Would you leave your bike unlocked?

The trusty steed in Devon: would you leave your bike unlocked?

The pub looked so inviting: a country inn, serving real ales, possibly some cider, and a lunch menu that included doorstep sandwiches. There was just one problem – what was I going to with my bike? I thought about leaving it in the street out the front, then noticed the gateway at the side which led to a small covered yard. I wheeled my bike through, and propped it against a wall, next to the bins and underneath a window which, judging by the conversation I could hear, I presumed to be in the pub’s kitchen. I took my phone, wallet and camera out of my pannier bag and then went into the pub.

This would have been unthinkable had I been in London at the time. But I wasn’t – I was in the small market town of Hatherleigh, in Devon. Continue reading

Spring is a state of mind


Look! Blossom! It must be spring, right?

The daffodils in my next-door neighbour’s front garden say it’s so. The blossom on the tree outside my bedroom window says it’s so. The calendar says it’s so. So why is the weather so obstinately refusing to play ball?

Although Thursday was officially the start of spring, it doesn’t feel like it at all. In fact, the weather this week and last has been as bad as anything winter has seen fit to throw at us. Snow? Check. Bone-chilling cold? Check. Torrential rain? Check.

I made the foolish mistake of heading out on Monday morning without looking at the forecast for the day. Had I done so, I would’ve been somewhat more prepared for the downpour that accompanied me on my ride home that evening. Continue reading