47 2 mins 10 yrs

I must be getting on a bit. I’ve had my eye out for a deal on a bike since I gave my old road number to a nephew 18 months ago. In the end I decided to wait until 2012 models were knocked down before choosing. In the meantime, thoughts were forming in my mind that maybe it’s time to sit up a bit, take it easy, that 42 is no longer 22, that not being hunched over drop bars might be easier on my neck in future and that greenways, forest trails and canal towpaths are the civilised routes. When I last looked, hybrid bikes (a bit of road, a bit of off-road) had a reputation of being rubbish at everything. Well not anymore (well done capitalism and free markets). I took this sexy little number for a spin over the weekend and it was sweet, so now it’s mine and I’m well chuffed.

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47 thoughts on “ATW OBJECTS OF DESIRE

  1. Hybrids rock these days.

    I have an earlier version of this Trek 7300 and I’m putting lots of miles on it in NYC, NJ, and the Philadelphia area.

  2. Mudguards? Rain? In England?

    Well yes, it would be sensible. I only collected it this morning so I’ll bling it up this week.

  3. Are you generally able to bring bikes with you on

    the London Underground?

    commuter trains in the greater London area?

    You can bring bikes on the subway here, and on commuter trains in NY / Philly , subject to restrictions during the most congested times, etc. Damned handy policy.

  4. London Underground – the answer is it depends.

    I used to take a bike on British Rail/commuter trains with no problem, but that was 15-20 years ago. There might be rules now.

  5. It’s nice and all but it’s no Moulton. 🙂 (I’ll convert somebody to the Moulton way one day)

    Surprised you didn’t go the tax free route too.

  6. Phantom,

    “commuter trains in the greater London area?”

    Generally yes, it depends on the rail company and when tho. You can typically take a folding bike like a Brompton anytime and anywhere (including the tube, though in that case it is a pain like any luggage). But you really need to know what you’re doing and possibly need to book ahead with any other type of bike.

    I regularly commute in and out of London with a bike, sometimes with a Brompton and other times a non-folding bike. With the non-folding one I really have to pick my trains though and also need to be aware of which side the platforms are, or where the bike carriages are, etc.

  7. Some of the trains are so crowded and the design unsuited for normal bikes, that I am understanding of most rules.

    The subway here is the most informal – the only rule is use common sense.

  8. I can’t imagine my long legs using one of them folding bikes

    Moultons are for Communists.

  9. Harri –

    Nope, it’s a Specialized (this model). I had a look at the Marin equivalent but couldn’t quite get the same value on price.

  10. Phantom,

    “Are folding bikes popular over there? I don’t see many using them here.”

    Yes, very common now, and mainly because of the rules around bringing bikes on rush hour trains in greater London. You would see them at most commuter stations and all around London in the mornings and evenings. The Brompton is probably the most popular but you’d see a fair number of others also.

  11. Harri –

    I got a decent discount on a 2012 now that 2013 models are hitting the shops.

    Spread it across the years that a well-built bike will last, save money on fuel I won’t be using on local journeys etc, and it’s cheap as chips in the long run.

  12. BTW Phantom – the Moulton is not a folding bike at all (not sure if you think it is or not – people often mistake it for one).

  13. I haven’t started yet, Phantom. But where I live is way hilly so I’ll probably mostly cycle along the Hudson River (bikes can go on the boat) from Battery northward and also out to Gateway National Park beach on SI. One thing I’m really looking forward to though is taking the ferry from Pier 11 to Sandy Hook. That’s also part of the Gateway National Park system (though a ranger recently told me that may change soon). I’ve only taken the shuttle from the pier to the beaches but would much rather bike it…it’s gorgeous and packed full of history.

  14. The Hudson River pathway is really good. If you care to, you can now go all the way up to the GW Bridge and beyond. It has evolved into a gem.

  15. Thanks! I’ve walked long stretches of it and it is beautiful! And there’s always a little breeze coming off the water.

  16. I remember when bike were bikes, proper mudguard and a cover for the chain. Look at that sadle, be like sitting on a razor blade.

    Nice bike David, I prefer full-sus though.

  17. When I got my new bike, the first thing I did was to replace the small, painful saddle that was on it, with a larger one that you can actually sit on.

    I tour. I don’t race. I’d think that 99% of bike riders never race either. We ” the 99% ” !! don’t need painful microsaddles.

  18. Phantom,

    I’m a communist and a (sometimes Drunken!) cyclist and I don’t like the fold-up bikes. I have a nice hybrid. Great for getting around and good for more work-out type cycles involving decent hills.

  19. Don’t cycle drunk. A friend of a friend lost his son that way here. Serious.

    Have you or anyone you know cycled long distance there – ie Belfast to Dublin or vice versa? I’d like to try that sort of thing.

  20. I’ve done Wicklow to Cork, and I’ve done Antrim to Mayo. If ever you want futher details just let me know. Rain is a problem when you’re out all day every day but if you can live with that there are some fantastic routes. There’s also a new cycle greenway just opened in Mayo which is fantastic by all accounts.

    I don’t cycle drunk that much anymore…

  21. I’ll follow up on that.

    On an unrelated point, sorta, I think that the Chinese f** up big time when they made such a complete shift from a bike culture to the car. Some Beijing streets look like Los Angeles highways, and that ain’t a compliment.

    The cities that have always been bike friendly ( Amsterdam, Munich, Kyoto ) really have it right. The rest of us ( NY, London ) are trying to catch up, decades late. It would have been so much easier if these places hadn’t been made into bike-hostile car monoliths in the first place.

  22. I’ve never cycled to Wicklow from Dublin but I once pushed a car from just outside Dublin to Wicklow in the middle of the night (pushed the car uphill and jumped in it for the ride down over and over) because when yer man said “put these tools in my boot”; I put them in in his workboots by the side door rather than in the trunk of the car. So when we went through water (cracked distributor cap), the car stalled…as he knew it would…but had no tools to fix the damn car with…since they were carefully tucked away in his workboots at his house;-) Since I couldn’t drive…I pushed! Learned my lessons well…boot is a trunk, jumper is a sweater, bonnet is a car hood, fag is a cigerette, etc. etc. etc.

  23. It’s not necessarily the case that a larger/more padded saddle will be more comfy. A wider saddle is more prone to causing chaffing inside the thighs, after which a rider will slip forward and sit on the thinner part anyway.

    A more narrow saddle is fine if the sit bones are getting the support they need. Padded shorts/undies are a necessity too and a good dollop of bum butter always helps a treat.

  24. Phantom –

    “ie Belfast to Dublin or vice versa? I’d like to try that sort of thing.”

    If you ever do, vice versa is recommended. In the British Isles the prevailing winds are from the South West-ish. Any long hiking or cycling trips are best done from south to north and west to east to keep the wind and rain at the back.

  25. Does anyone have login problems?

    I couldn’t login all day using Internet Explorer. Google Chrome has just worked and I can post comments, but I’ve just found it won’t let put up new posts.

  26. Phantom –

    Dublin and Belfast are both coastal cities to you’ll end up at the same elevation (zero feet/metres), but 3050 feet is your total ascent (and descent) either way. I’d do it Dublin to Belfast because the wind and rain will be behind you, meaning significantly less energy used and much greater comfort.

  27. Nice! Although Gogarty’s is an awful pub; tacky and inauthentic.

    Don’t rule out a cyle across the north coast, very quiet coastal roads (particularly in Antrim and Derry) and great options for short stop-offs. Belfast to Galway/Mayo/Sligo is a fine cycle.

  28. Pete,
    Lousy bike.
    And I’m sure I saw something similar thrown in a skip outside Halfords about a month ago………

  29. Harri, Pete

    For whatever reason, mudguards are very rare here. Few intentionally would go out in the rain. I’ve just learned that you can get snap on mudguards, which might be a good idea.

    Kickstands are also looked down on by bike purists, which is beyond stupid.

  30. Dublin to Belfast, or back, is not a nice cycle ride, in fact probably the worst in Ireland. I once cycled from Belfast around Lough Neagh, and it was a fantastic trip, taking in great scenery and some of the more interesting places in Northern Ireland: Belfast itself, Antrim town, Randalstown, East tyrone, Dungannon, Armagh city, Portadown etc. Everywhere you meet great people.

    You can also head north along the Antrim coast, past the glens and to Bushmills and the Giants Causeway. Or a longer trip across to Derry. I once cycled from Derry through Donegal to Sligo, and that was also really spectacular.

    From Dublin head south straight into Wicklow, otherwise there is too much traffic and drab scenery around that part of Ireland.

  31. Derry. I once cycled from Derry through Donegal to Sligo, and that was also really spectacular.

    I’ve done that too, Noel. Great trip.

  32. Phantom –

    “Few intentionally would go out in the rain. I’ve just learned that you can get snap on mudguards, which might be a good idea.”

    Rain’s just a bit of rain. Wear the right clothes and it’s nothing. Especially, I recommend Paramo for the winter. This is my cold weather riding top. It’s the business.

    SKS makes just about the best mudguards/fenders around. It’s a German brand which manufactures in Germany. They do all types including simple-assembly jobs and always do the job.

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