Posts Tagged ‘D7HG’

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The Dahon is Free!

Wednesday June 24, 2015

exIt’s been a long, long time but this week the Dahon broke free from the shed.  It’d had been in there almost three years, chained up, since I moved house.  Now, tyres pumped, rack and mudguards all removed, it’s looking great and riding even better!

I’d forgotten how good this little bike is and I’m really enjoying the ride – feels completely different to my Trek (which is seeing a lot of use this year!).

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Dahon Puncture!

Saturday October 22, 2011

Took the Dahon out today as I was spending the morning out and didn’t want (or need) to take the car.  The trusty bike was a great ride as always and the 3.5 mile round trip was very nice on a cold autumn morning.

Back home and the Dahon was placed in the hallway and left whilst I had a coffee.  Shortly after, the rear tyre was completely flat and the bike leaning to one side.  Hmm, a damn puncture.  Will need to take a look at that, but not today…

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The Pampered Dahon

Sunday November 29, 2009

Pampered DahonI do like my Dahon but I don’t really go over the top with its care – honestly!

It’s not relaxing after a hard ride, it’s drying off in the bath after cycling home in the rain last Thursday night.  I suppose that’s one of the downsides for keeping the bike inside the house: if the bike gets dirty, what do you do with it?

A funny sight though for visitors to my house when they pop into the bathroom.

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The Challenge Has Started

Monday October 19, 2009

So, as I mentioned previously, I’ve set myself a challenge to cycle every road in Rochester.

Why?  There are so many streets and roads which I’ve never been down despite having now lived here for 12 years (wow, that’s a long time – hadn’t really thought of about how long I’ve been here).  So, I thought that this ‘challenge’ would be a good way for me to get out on the bike and also get to know the local area.

I had the day off work today so I headed out to the bottle bank with a load of bottles to recycle and I thought I’d make a start on the challenge.

Covered just over 7 miles and had a nice hour and a half of lazy ‘sight-seeing’.

I need to have a think about how I show progress in relation to this challenge.  I think it’ll be a map.  I’d ideally like to have a list of all the local roads/streets and be able to tick them off as I progress, but that’s not possible as I can’t find a (free) listing of the local streets.  I need to think a little more…

Dahon, Medway and Castle

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Welcome CraigsList Visitors!

Saturday October 10, 2009

Craigslist, the US-based advertising/community site, is sending a fair few visitors my way recently.

There’s a Dahon D7HG for sale in the SF Bay area (although it’s advertised as a D3/D7HG…).  Take a look if you’re over that side of the world and you’re looking for a Dahon.

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Winter Is Coming

Sunday September 27, 2009

exWell, the Dave On Dahon statistics page (not publicly viewable) is showing that winter is on its way and that the nights are drawing in.

My posts on the Cateye HL-EL450 and the NiteRider MiNewt Mini USB are climbing the popularity rank.  The Dahon D7HG review and that of the Trek 4300 are always in the top three popular posts but now I’m seeing lighting-related posts becoming more popular.

Shorter days and longer nights appear to be sending the cycling community out to investigate new lighting solutions to help keep them pedalling for longer in these ever shortening days.

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A New Dahon Challenge

Saturday September 19, 2009

exI’ve decided on my next Dahon challenge.  Not sure when I’ll start but here it is:

I am going to cycle every street in Rochester.

Okay, may not be an ‘around the world’ challenge but I’m going to try and fit this in to my life (around work, sleeping and other activities).  I don’t plan on doing it all in one day, but over the course of time I plan on cycling on every street/road in town – this means cycling the entire length of each street, not just nipping in or cycling half way.

I’m going to use my GPS receiver to track this so I won’t lose track of where I’ve been and it’ll also track the mileage.  I’ll plot progress on a map and see how things go.  If I complete the task quickly then I’ll expand the challenge to the surrounding areas.

I don’t know how many streets there are in Rochester, it’s not a huge town, but I’ll keep a count as I go.

The map below shows the area I’m going to target, bounded by the yellow line.  Rochester can be seen here on Google Maps.

Why do this?  Well I thought that there must be many streets in the area which I haven’t visited and some which I don’t even know exist.  So I decided that I’d spend some time and cycle the streets and see what’s around.

I haven’t started yet and the way things are going, I probably won’t get around to starting until October…

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Bonjour Dahon!

Thursday September 3, 2009
Ready To Go

Ready To Go

It was the Dahon’s turn for an adventure yesterday, Wednesday.  However, still a little sore from the 77 mile ride on the Trek on Monday, I had my concerns that I wouldn’t make it.  But at 0400hrs I woke up and I was straight out of bed.

The Dahon was going to France!

This was another one of my planned rides during my week off work.  Although I’m not going to get through all of them, I have now completed my new main ones: France and Hyde Park.

The first leg of the journey was to cycle to Rochester train station to catch the first train to the south coast.  The train was due to leave at 0533 so I had aimed to get there a little early so that I could take some photos.  Rochester was quiet so on my way I took a few night shots of the Dahon in the high street before moving on to the station.

I purchased my ticket at the self-serve machine, an ‘anytime’ return to Dover Priory station (£16.70), before heading under the tracks and up to the southbound platform.  The train arrived on schedule and we left Rochester at 0533, travelling south through Gillingham, Faversham and Canterbury (and others) on the way to Dover Priory.

The Dahon fitted easily between the seats on the empty train – it was in its element!  Although bikes are permitted on trains outside of ‘peak times’, there are no restrictions for folding bikes.

Station Info Sign

Station Info Sign

The journey took about an hour and ten minutes and I was soon at the station in Dover.  The sun was up by the time the train arrived so no lights were required on the 1.2 mile ride to the ferry.  There was a slight downward incline to the short ride but I pedalled hard to get there as quickly as possible, conscious of the fact that the check in deadline was near.

I’d made my reservation on Tuesday via the Internet (only £8) and, with bike folded, I checked in at the P&O counter before being whisked off by bus to the waiting ferry.  Again, the Dahon fitted easily on the bus and although there were a few curious glances, none were disapproving.  Of the handful of people on the bus, I was the only passenger, the others were staff/crew – I was to be the only foot passenger on that crossing.

Before long I was seated in the lounge on board the ferry with a good window seat and a large hot coffee next to me.  Soon, people began making their way up from their parked cars on the lower decks and populating the rest of the ship – its entertainment rooms, duty-free shops, bars and lounges.  I sat and watched.

The crossing was relatively smooth with only a slight swell in the middle of the English Channel and around 90 minutes later we were docking in Calais, northern France Bonjour mon amies! 🙂

On French Soil

Outside the Terminal

I disembarked and jumped aboard my ‘private’ bus (only me for them to transport) to the terminal.  And there we were, me and the Dahon standing on French soil.

The plan was to just cycle/walk around Calais and take in the sights, get some fresh air and relax.  I hadn’t planned anything for the day, I hadn’t really looked into what was in Calais to see and visit, I was just going to ride around and see what I could find.

Fortunately, Calais has its fair share of history so I wasn’t short of places to visit.  Dotted around the town were maps of Places of Interest to visit and alongside each POI was a sign detailing the historical background of each particular structure/building/site (luckily in both English and French!).

One of the things I had to do over in Calais was to ride on the right-hand side of the road!  On a few occasions I had to think twice before proceeding, but in the whole, I didn’t make too many mistakes.

French Beach Huts

Huts On The Beach

It was raining heavily as the ship arrived in Calais harbour but as the morning drew on it began to clear and the sun came out.  On the seafront, there were strong winds and that, together with the threat of rain, must have been keeping the locals and tourists off the beach.  I sat on the seafront for a while and just ‘chilled’, watching the ferries, the birds and the sea.  Rows of small beach huts were lined up in front of me and I eventually dragged the Dahon down the steps and between the huts before walking alone to the sea.  Calais seemed strangely deserted.

Back on the Dahon, I followed the beach road for another mile before winding back into Calais to search for the next sight to see.  Spotting some spires towering over the old skyline, I used my Garmin GPS receiver to lead me to them – one a church, the other the Town Hall.  Moving inland, there were more people around.  Perhaps being sheltered from the wind or perhaps simply gravitating towards the bars and restaurants; the residents of Calais were discovered at last!

As with most towns, Calais has its share of unattractive areas but it also has some very pleasant places, interesting history and old buildings.  Being a key crossing point to Britain, it does (unfortunately) attract more than its share of ‘illegal’ immigrants who try to cross the Channel for a new life in England – the infamous Sangatte Refugee Camp was only a few miles from Calais.  However, even though that camp closed years ago, cycling around Calais I saw numerous groups of individuals who were obviously destined to attempt their illegal entry into the UK.

Calais In Bloom

Calais In The Sun

The sun was out and the afternoon turned out to be very warm and pleasant.  I continued to slowly cycle around the town taking in the French air and watching the locals going about their lives.  I watched, ate, took photos and read a few chapters of a book (Brave New World, Huxley) and generally relaxed and enjoyed myself in France for the day.

I cycle/walked 10.3 miles around Calais during the day and at 1600CEST I was very tired – the day’s exercise and Monday’s Hyde Park exertion all catching up with me.  For my last hour or so in France I sat on the quay in the old harbour and watched the seagulls.  Then it was back to the ferry port to check in.

I managed to catch an earlier ferry back to Blighty and sat in the same area drinking coffee as I had done on the outward journey (although this was a different ship).  The GPS reported that we were speeding across the Channel at around 24mph and 90 minutes or so later we were at Dover Harbour.  Unfortunately, a technical problem hindered berthing and 15 minutes of ‘extreme’ vibration later a tug pushed us toward the dock to let us off.

Dover Priory Station

Dover Priory Station

It was raining heavily as I unfolded the Dahon outside the port.  I donned my hi-viz waterproof jacket, put the three Cateye lights on to flash, and mounted the NiteRider to the handlebars.  Then I was off!  The rain and wind slowed me but I enjoyed the 12 minute ride back to the train station where the train was waiting.  Despite the delay at the harbour, I still had 30 minutes before the train left Dover Priory to take me back to Rochester – time for a couple of photos.

The train journey took another hour and ten minutes and I watched as the stations went by, counting them down as I got closer to home.  GPS reported a maximum speed of 88mph on the train and it was handy to see my location on the Garmin’s  map as we shot through the darkness of the Kent countryside.

The final leg of the journey was a 1.7 mile cycle from the station to my house.  The rain was very heavy, it was 2100hrs and it was dark.  All the lights back on, I headed out.  The NiteRider really proved its worth in such bad weather.  The three Cateye lights, and the Knogs, all in flash mode, gave me confidence that I would be seen by other road users.

It had been a very long day but it had been good fun.  Getting out and about had been great, and a varied journey to France  had been interesting (cycle/train/ferry/bus).  I’d used the Dahon for the first time in muti-mode travel and it had been a success – this is something that I couldn’t have done with the Trek.

One final note: the Dahon is SO comfortable compared to the Trek with its narrow and hard seat.  😉

More photos from my day-trip to Calais can be found on Flickr.

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Bread And Milk

Saturday August 1, 2009

The rain started to fall so I left the riverbank and got back on the Dahon.  By the time I’d reached Rochester Bridge the rain was coming at me horizontal!  It was only a shower, fairly heavy, and by the time I’d reached the high street it had stopped.

The Castle grounds are always a welcoming place for me and I sat there for a while and watched people milling around.

The bread and milk strapped to the back of the Dahon were getting a little squashed under the straps so I didn’t hang around too long before I headed home.

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Dahon – Running Well

Sunday June 21, 2009

A pleasant ride around town this morning, not far, not fast, just having a look around.  Thought I’d take a look around the Farmers’ Market whist I was out.  It was a bit disappointing – not many stalls and nothing really impressive or interesting enough to make me stop and take a closer look.  Shame.

The tide was in so the river was looking good as the Medway rowing crews whizzed past causing barely a ripple on the surface.  The Castle grounds were fairly empty and quiet as I sat and watch people walk, play and relax.  It was good to be out.

The Dahon rode very well.  Having tightened up a few bits and pieces, including the bottom bracket, and with the addition of the Big Apples, it really is running well.  The Big Apples have made a huge improvement to the ride and I’m glad that I spent the cash on the upgrade.  I was cycling along with a smile on my face, enjoying the bike and thinking: “Now this is a great bike”.

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