Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Cycling in Grenada

It was too hot to cycle in Grenada, so I didn’t. The temperature was in the 80s with a mild humidity. It was enough just to walk. I paid the price by becoming dehydrated on my last full day of the holiday.

Compared to London there are very few cyclists. People, as in men, tend to cycle for very short journeys or they are sports cyclists in training. I learned that Grenada has cycling teams and race events. in Grand Anse I saw one cyclist in full Lycra sports gear and helmet and he appeared to be in training. He was the only cyclist I saw with a helmet.

I was able to talk to Joshua who was a gardener at the local park who used a bike to get to work. I asked him why I hadn’t seen more cyclists and he said that people tend to use their bikes on Sundays when it is hard to get a bus or in high summer. Joshua also said that at this time guys cycle at night and he straps on a ‘music box’ on the handle bars of his bike and plays music as he rides along.

I never worked out why women don’t cycle but the country is extremely hilly once your are outside the town centres and I am not sure I would tackle this type of terrain without considerable training. On the plus side I did a lot of walking particularly on the beach.

I did see a cyclist on a folding bike fast peddling while I was on the bus. I didn’t recognise the frame so I couldn’t tell what make it was.

  1. Shopper with his bike in St George’s
  2. Mr Sportsman on his training session
  3. Bikes for sale at the local Courts store. (Yes, Courts where they sell furniture in the UK, but in Grenada they also sell bikes.)
  4. Carpenter on his way to work
  5. Joshua’s bike with his petrol can and grass strimmer acting as a cross bar.
  6. No heels and no cycling for a whole week.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Back home from the sun

I was very lucky to have left for Grenada last Wednesday as I just missed the flight chaos that followed on Thursday. But the last few days was marred by the worry that I would not be able to get back home. I was fortunate to be able to get the first flight off the island on the 21st as Monarch Airlines only flies once a week on a Wednesday so we missed any cancellations unlike the British Airways and Virgin travellers who fly on Mondays and Thursdays.

I cannot imagine what I would be doing if I had been stuck somewhere in Europe where travellers appeared to have tried to get back by long and torturous routes and I hear that many people still cannot get flights for days or even weeks.

I missed my bikes. I wasn’t able to cycle while I was away. It would appear that women don’t cycle in Grenada but that wasn’t the reason why I didn’t cycle. I didn’t get on a bike because it was too hot.

Tried to snap a cyclist while I was travelling on the bus along the coast back to St George's City in Grenada

Monday, 12 April 2010

Going on holiday, hurray!

I have not had a holiday in two years and this week I will be getting on a plane and heading for the sun for a first time trip to Grenada. I am hoping to hire a bicycle if I can but I have discovered that only mountain bikes are available.

I will be back in about 10 days.

I am wearing my new pair of red canvas shoes I got from Next especially for my holiday.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Another lost shoe

I found this shoe outside Victoria Gardens in North Woolwich. I like to think the owner was inside the park having fun despite only having one shoe.

Who has noted the irony of the ‘Dora’ motif?

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Cycling by the water to the shops

The sun came out and I took the Trek on the ferry to the shops at Gallions Reach in Newham. When it is sunny I could ride the ferry all day. The five minute ferry ride is the closest I get to a day at the seaside. There is a graceful and elegant way the two ferries swing around in the water, around each other and then dock.

The cycle path to Gallions Reach was a lovely ride and a complete contrast to the Silvertown cycle route in the opposite direction. So the London Borough of Newham has gained points for this path. The only tricky part is just after you leave the ferry where you get the car and lorry traffic. I cycled across Manor Way bridge where Royal Albert Dock runs and you can see the end of a runway on the water that is part of London City Airport. I enjoyed the ride on good roads and a clear cycle path. This part of Newham is still fairly desserted and covered with brushland, which I found very peaceful. But I don’t think it will stay this way for long as there are signs of new buildings on the way.

Wore my new Camper shoes again.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Cheap lights

I picked up these lights for £5.99 in Clas Ohlson in Croydon a couple weeks ago. Clas Ohlson is a Swedish company that sells everything for your home and life. The stuff that Ikea doesn’t sell is the best way of describing them.

I got the lights because now that the weather is changing I tend to forget to carry lights and these are small and light enough to just carry around in the Timbuk2 bag.

The downside is that they use two batteries each and the cost of the batteries is £4.99 for two. So do I just buy another set of lights or do I get replacement batteries when they run out?

Friday, 2 April 2010

Camper Shoes

I have finally brought a pair of Camper Shoes. I have admired Camper shoes for a long time but never found a pair that I liked enough to buy. I think the designs are cute but don’t often translate well on larger sizes.

These are from the Danae series and have a lovely check print lining and a rose carved into the sole. Camper is known for attention to little details. These are one of the most comfortable heels I have put on. The moulded sole and heel is soft and light. I did a walking test with them and I was fine for four hours. I had a 40 minute rest and then I was good to go again.

I did a test run on the Trek and no problem and I can’t wait to try them with the Brompton, but we have more rain coming over the next few days.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Cycling all the way to Bank

I did my second bike trip to central London this morning, this time on the Brompton. It took me 1 hour and 25 minutes to get to Bank Underground Station (about 10 miles) which is much faster than the Trek trip.

I discovered the point where I got lost the first time around Lime House was not my fault but due to an error on the Transport for London (TFL) cycle map. I am really not happy cycling through Silvertown in Newham. Some roads are very bumpy which the Trek bike can handle but the Brompton gave me the shakes through my wrists. Painful. I will plot an alternative route for this section another time.

It was a breezy but sunny morning and I really enjoyed the trip. I even managed to get and carry a new pair of shoes from Camper in Carnaby Street. I was back home (by train) before heavy rain fell in the afternoon.

Now that I am ready to face extended trips the rail strike has been called off.

Brompton crossing the Thames by ferry
Brompton waiting for the tube train