Monday, January 3, 2011

Biking by Bars in York

York is one of few cities in England with its medieval walls still well intact -- more than any other city in England. While I had hoped to bike round London, the mass of traffic (both propelled and ambulating) combined with different traffic patterns made me a bit wary of pedaling there. York turned out to be a perfect combination of city biking and tolerable traffic for someone who was still having troubling looking left (or should be it right?) when crossing so many intersections on foot.

Anyway, while wife and kids went the National Railway Museum, I started to hunt for a local bike shop. I asked several Yorkians (I'm sure they love this moniker) for the nearest  one and got myself to Bob Trotter Cycles, adjacent to Monk Bar, toward the end of the day. Time was getting short as the sun sets at about 4pm (ah, the northern latitudes!) and I wanted to be visible. Thankfully Trotter had rentals and they were soon making adjustments to my seat post before I headed out...

A Giant Commuter-style Cycle Awaits...
Just outside Trotter Cycles is a rush of traffic spinning through a roundabout, although it was fairly easy to roll into the flow of cars and begin to follow the stone walls that circumnavigate the old town center. I followed another cyclist who served as a good leader through intersections and winding streets. When he turned outward from the wall I had to make my own decisions and consequently soon lost course as I ended up on a road heading into the center and away from my planned course.  
Staying in the Bike Lane in York
All of this wasn't taking too much time, nor was it very long before my bare hands were chilling down quickly in the low 30 temps. Anyway, my goal was not have a day out cycling, but only a brief experience of biking in another city (as I last did in San Antonio). So with the sun dipping below the horizon and my hands freezing to near immobility, I ended my trip, and actually got all the way round York. When reporting my ride to wife and kids, the former provided some applause while the latter made their typical comments that I am such a nerd for biking! 

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