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New Steed On The Scene 2007-12-21 Friday

Posted by hoipoloi in Hardware.

Well the old folding bike has been replaced with a new folding bike 🙂 The brakes couldn’t hack it and the thought of welding brake spigots to the frame and forks made me look elsewhere.

And so I ended up with this cheap (sorry Tiger but it is) folding bike, a Tiger Foldaway. It cost me less than three figures as well so at least it fits my pocket nicely.

Tiger Foldaway Click to go large

The only trouble was, that it arrived in a box with a wheel reflector broken, a number of scratches, and the handlebar stem (which incorporates a hinge section to allow for folding) way out of line. It wasn’t bent so I can only assume it wasn’t in the jig correctly when it was welded.

Not right Click to go large

The manufacturers wanted me to send the complete bike back, I wanted them to send a replacement part. In the end they sent a new bike out and collected the ‘old’ bike a few days later.

That’s folded all right! Click to go large

Just as well really as the replacement not only had another wheel reflector broken but was also missing the pedals. I managed to make a good bike out of the two and sent back what was left over.

I’ve done around 120 miles on this bike now and there are only a couple of minor annoyances. The first is the handlebar clamp needs constant tightening as the bars slide out to the side over time. The other is that this bike squeaks. It squeaks constantly and from everywhere. Besides the saddle I haven’t been able to track down where the other squeaks originate. I’ll get them though, in time.

Manufacturers Link: Tiger Cycles


Virtual European Tour #10 2007-12-04 Tuesday

Posted by hoipoloi in Virtual Tour.
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November and a slightly better mileage this month of 62.69 miles. While I’m pleased with this amount another 10 miles would have seen me to Ile de Re, an island just offshore from La Rochelle. I’ve been there non-virtually in 1999 and remember the island as being particularly cycle friendly with many cycle lanes and little traffic. Of course the small amount of traffic may be accountable to the extortionate toll required to cross the bridge to the island.

As it happens 62 miles gets me to a village called Esnandes which is north of La Rochelle. The village is just a crossroads (OK, two crossroads and a fortified church) in the middle of nowhere.

Nowhere An aerial view of nowhere.

The interesting thing to note here is that I’m very nearly half-way down through France and it wont be long before I’m at the Pyranees and I have to decide whether to head east to the Med or cross over the mountains into Spain. I invite your thoughts on this before I get there.

Virtual European Tour #09 2007-12-03 Monday

Posted by hoipoloi in Virtual Tour.
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Things are looking up. I managed 57.65 miles in October. I assumed that the mileage would be less during the dark side of the year and greater during the summer. Looks like I was wrong.

How far does 57 miles get me from St-Nazaire? Well, 57 miles obviously 🙂 but you know what I mean.

Taking the Route Bleue south out of St-Nazaire I cross the Loire by bridge and am able to keep to the coast rather than having to head inland and go through Nantes. I hate cities.

I arrive at the coast town of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez. I’ve stayed here non-virtually in the recent past, September last year as it happens. In fact, keeping in the cycling theme we took a day trip to Commequiers just fifteen – twenty minutes away and spent the day pedalling a velo-rail machine backwards and forwards along several kilometres of closed railway track. Good fun, and very scenic but I’m glad our two children were able to take over the pedalling when SWMBO and myself had become exhausted.


That’s it for October’s contribution to the Virtual European Tour. I’ll be heading further south with next months mileage.

Virtual European Tour #08 2007-12-02 Sunday

Posted by hoipoloi in Virtual Tour.
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Mileage for September is a paltry 25.64 miles. In reality (and not virtual) I was in Italy and only took a couple of rides with my son around the lanes and lagoons of the Cavallino-Treporti outside Venice.

Roadside Shrine
A Roadside Shrine near Lio Piccolo

Still, 25 miles is 25 miles and that brings me (virtually) to St-Nazaire at the entrance to the Loire river. Now, as far as I’m concerned, St-Nazaire is famous for only one thing, the main base for German U-Boats on the Atlantic coast during WWII. Operation Chariot was a seaborne attack on the massive dry docks there.

U-Boats Click to go large

Here’s hoping for better mileage next month.