Ghost bikes a haunting tribute

November 7, 2008

dsc_0007The number of cyclists on the road has exploded in the last few years. Soaring fuel costs, exorbitant public transport prices, the expanding congestion charge and increasing worries about the state of both our own bodies and the environment have all played a part. Few would argue that getting to work under your own steam is a bad thing, perhaps except the unlucky few that never complete their journey. Accidents with cars, buses and lorries invariably see the rider come off worse, and are sadly regular enough to warrant little media attention.

Some cyclists are trying to highlight these accidents, though, by placing ghost bikes at the scene of fatalities. Read the rest of this entry »

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I’ve finally succumbed

November 5, 2008

I took this photo over lunch, and wrote this post directly from my phone. That’s right – I finally bought an iPhone.


Biarritz to Barcelona by Bike, Day Four

November 4, 2008

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By day four we were starting to ache, but the largest mountain between us and Barcelona was still on the agenda.

The Col du Tourmalet stands at 2,115 metres (however they work these things out), which is more than two kilometres, straight up. If there had been a nice, flat cycle path all the way back to London town, I would have taken it at this point. Read the rest of this entry »


Biarritz to Barcelona by Bike, Day Three

November 4, 2008

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The second day waking up and packing the tent was much easier, and we were on our bikes quickly. I had a half-hearted wash in the freezing stream, and steam rose from my shoulders as I got dressed.

Today was the start of the first proper hills. The terrain until now hadn’t been flat, but would seem so in comparison by the end of the day. We wanted to climb the Col d’Aubisque before the evening – a proper, real-life mountain (take a look at its Wikipedia page, and you may recognise the two grinning fools at its summit). Read the rest of this entry »


Biarritz to Barcelona by Bike, Day Two

November 4, 2008

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When we woke up we realised that piles of ancient rubbish were strewn all around our tent, including around ten extremely rusty vintage bikes. Some of them looked wonderful. I wanted to take them all home to London and clean them up, but had to suffice with some photographs, which are easier to carry.

We suspected that it may be the dumping-ground of some kind of cyclist-killing maniac, but couldn’t verify this theory. Setting off, we covered ground quickly through a hot and sunny morning until lunchtime, when we came across a particularly inviting river. We took a dip, and waved at people in cars passing over a nearby bridge. Read the rest of this entry »