Cometh a new bike, cometh the snow
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:
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...