Cometh a new bike, cometh the snow


Snow this afternoon. Yes, I probably should have stored the garden furniture for the winter.

Last year I got a new bike for Christmas and we had the worst winter for years. On Friday I took possession – albeit possibly temporarily – of a fun little bike for a plan I've been thinking about for a few weeks. And now we have had earliest snow in any year for nearly two decades. Is someone trying to tell me something?

Actually, it started to snow a little in these parts on Thursday. I took the train to York for a course I needed to attend. Mrs Bailey dropped me off at Hull Paragon station where I passed the racks with space for about a dozen bikes. In York, by contrast, there seemed to be hundreds of bikes on the concourse. And plenty of bikes whizzing around on the streets. (I would later pay £1.25 for my bus home from the station. £1.25!)

On the journey back there were three mountain bikes stashed in one of the carriages. I've done a bit of research on taking bikes on trains, and it seems you cannot reserve a place in advance. Okay, so you can take pot luck and be first in line on the platform from somewhere like Hull Paragon station, which is a terminus. But what if you go off somewhere and get off at a point along the line. If you try to get back on later in the day what happens if there's already a stash of bikes in the designated carriage? You're scuppered, right?

Anyway, not so long ago I was reminded of a friend of ours who had inherited a folding bike. He's barely used it and was thinking of selling. Before he did, could I perhaps borrow it? Apparently, there is no restriction – at least on the networks I've looked at – on folding bikes. (There is some suggestion that you might want to put the bike in some sort of bag, but that's about it.)

I want to take the Northern Rail train from Hull and cycle the Great Wold Valley from Hunmanby station. It's yet another of the Big Skies Bike Rides and, as the furthest away from me, one that I would struggle to reach even in good conditions. I had hoped to get away on a week on Wednesday, but this weather is apparently here to stay for a couple of weeks. Perhaps I'll be able to get out on a little ride, if not as long as the 21 miles of the Great Wold Valley ride.

The bike was delivered on Friday night, ironically from York (if I had thought ahead I could have picked it up on Thursday and saved all of that £1.25 from the station), and was folded into an eyebrow-raising mangle. There are lots of quick-release-style levers and the manufacturer claims it takes 15 seconds to fold. I reckon I'll need a bit of practise.

So now I've got it, I don't think I want to part with it:


My (?) Dahon Piccolo D3. Er, perhaps it's the wallpaper that makes this bike appear feminine?

Isn't she the cutest thing? I'm beginning to think that this Dahon is a she – Alan, could you please let me know? I'm still not feeling too good, but I do think that maybe if I could take a train to somewhere along the East Coast railway line I would be motivated enough to go for a bit of a ride. We'll see...

11 comments on “Cometh a new bike, cometh the snow”

  1. Patrick wrote:

    Yes, scuppered. There's a train line from here straight to Derbyshire, but as you say, we might get there but not be able to get back, especially with two bikes. So we've never been. If the folding bike works okay it seems a good bet for otherwise inaccessible rides. You could easily fly with it too.

    We've carried our touring bikes on Danish and Dutch trains without any issues. They usually have several carriages with a bicycle bay and on the Dutch ones at least, the bay has fold down seats that normal passengers can use – so the bike facility doesn't waste space for the train operator. To be fair, there are certain times of day you can't take a bike on the train but at the times you can, you will always get on.

    Your (?) folding bike is cute. I'd go for it. I hope you manage your maiden ride soon. You might have to leave the socket set at home though.

  2. Mary wrote:

    WOW thats some dump of snow! We had a flurry today, but nothing as much as you did. LOVE your new machine.

    Yes, I too have always wondered what happens if your stuck somewhere and need a train.

    I remember when I was travelling once by train and there was a chap with his non folding bicycle onboard as well. The train stopped at a station, and everyone was told to get off, as a technical problem meant we had to continue the journey by a laid on bus.

    Cept it didn't take bikes, it was full to bursting on a wet wintery night, and the cyclist was well, just abandoned. He tried to make an argument, as he had paid his fare etc, but the bus driver just refused him entry onto the bus. I was about 70 miles or so from my destination, I have often wondered what happened to him and how he got home.

  3. Alan wrote:

    Yes, cute lines and colour, certainly female, I'd say. It also depends on how it moves — a sort of wiggle at the back end would be definitive.

  4. Chris wrote:

    Patrick wrote: You might have to leave the socket set at home though.

    True, I shall have to pare down the socket set; however, this bike has square taper cranks so I'll need to find the crank extractor tool again 😮

    Given that I'll be short of space I quite fancy a seat pack – Altura, of course – and with Christmas coming soon that will do for my road bikes, too. I must make sure the seat pack is one with a loop for a rear light as with the way the seat post slips in to an even longer collapsible seat post there isn't many other places to have a rear light.

    Mary wrote: WOW thats some dump of snow!

    Yes, we were supposed to be driving to see Peter Kay at Sheffield Arena tonight. We decided early this afternoon that we wouldn't be going after all 🙁

    Alan wrote: It also depends on how it moves — a sort of wiggle at the back end would be definitive.

    I'll do my best to let you know, Alan 🙂

  5. Kern wrote:

    Female. Definitely female ...

  6. Chris wrote:

    ... swayed by that wallpaper, right?

  7. Mary wrote:

    I was going to mention the wallpaper... 🙂

  8. Hilary wrote:

    Yep definitely looks female!
    We've even had snow down here in the deep south on and off since Saturday. Nothing like your quantity though.

  9. Chris wrote:

    The good news is I think it's starting to thaw:


    The bad news is this could take a while 😮

  10. Patrick wrote:

    It's the worst kind of weather. Grey mist and drizzle with brown slush everywhere, unridable, unwalkable, gutters dripping all day, hens not happy. Yuck!

  11. Alan wrote:

    The snow here in SW Cambs mostly melted today. Outside thermometer says +5.2 deg C (at 7.45pm), so I should be on the bike tomorrow. Hoorah!

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