Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ade and Al keeping the Dream Alive

With Jon in Auss, Julie nursing a rugby injury and everyone else either mud-shy or lightless Ade and Al geared-up (below) and set off from Nywood, through South Harting and on up to the downs.

Travelling east we tackled the sharp series of climbs and descents on the way to Elsted and a new pub for Al to tick off. We arrived at either the Three Horseshoes or the Elsted Inn (remind me Ade, Ed.). Beer served straight from the cask we plumped for the obvious choice - the local Ballards. The return route of this relatively short route was road-based, via East Harting and back to Ades for a pizza and a commemorative snap (below).

Route Maps:

Map 1

Map 2

Posted by: Al
Pics by: Jules

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Denmark for Dinner

A week's trip to Scandinavia on business could have been an excuse for putting one's feet up in the hotel bar, sinking a few local specialities rather than taking a bike out. However, Al and his Swedish Colleague Martin devised a plan straight out of the TCA handbook: Most hotel's in the area will rent you a basic city bike to get about, so rather than take a taxi into the local town, Lund for dinner we decided to cycle. However, we had sampled the limited pleasures of this town the evening before and thought it would make a change to extend our range a little. The direct train line, across Europes largest bridge, to Copenhagen proved to much of a lure so our objective for the evening was for dinner in Denmark, by bike and train.

We only had to stop a few times for directions as we used the cycle paths to make the 30 minute journey from the Scandic Hotel to the centre of Lund, where we abandoned our bikes along with the hundreds of others outside the central station. The direct train took us about 1 hour and we alighted into the glare of the lights from Tivoli gardens and the city square. A short walk across the town square (Rådhuspladsen) and down a backstreet brought us to BrewPub København, Al's favorite drinking hole. Three or four pints of their on-premises brewed ale and we staggered back to the station...

And this is where our troubles began - we missed the last direct train home and so had to change at Malmö. Our journey time was increased to about 90 minutes which got us back into Lund a little later than expected, around 11.30pm. What I have failed so far to divulge is that Martin has perhaps the worst sense of direction of anyone I have ever met: Despite the fact the Martin comes from Stockholm you would surely expect that he should take the main navigational duties in a country where the signs have the letter ö in them? However, I am often the one saying "I'm sure it's in that direction", before eventually guiding Martin around the southern Swedish towns. Martin's affliction is lethal when coupled with an unremiting sense of optimism and denial, when on a bike, in a stange town at night. At 12:00am we had to phone the hotel to talk us in, by which time we where cycling aimlessly around the grounds of a local hospital.

Once we were on the right track we set off with yet more confidence towards the Scandic in Gastelyckan. Once the hotel was insight an impromptu race ensued, Martin taking a short-cut through the petrol station and Al taking the long way round on the road. It was decided that it was a dead heat as both bikes rattled across the hotel threshold. I am sure Martin, who has a significant height advantage over Al, would have won if he could have swapped the bright red ladies bike with under-inflated tyres with the more appropriate (and larger!) gent's bike that Al bagged. Anyway, another TCA first - cycling to a different country for a beer!

Al on his 'Scandic Special' bike

(Posted by: Al)

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