I’m getting on really well with the new bike – it really is turning out to be more fun than one of these!

Still working on getting the seat and boom length adjusted properly, that’ll take careful tweaking and
testing over time. So far, I’ve been out on it only a few times (having spent much of the holidays so far
away from home) but I’ve cycled the commute to work a few times and so far so good. I’m definitely slower on
it than on the Rockhopper, but it’s early days yet – I’ve every confidence I’ll be back to form in a few
months.

Yesterday, I headed out to Howth, via the rather arduous Greenfield Rd/Carrickbrack Rd hill. It’s a long
slow climb up to the cliffs on Howth head and my first attempt at doing a hill-climb on a recumbent.

The result ? Well, embarrassing would be a good way of putting it. I grannied up the hill at a snails pace, but enjoyed every minute of it. As did the kids sitting on the wall at the bus stop half way up, as I gradually appeared and drifted slowly by (I’d have walked quicker)

Tomorrow’s plan is to try the work commute again, this time, more fully laden, and check out the bike sheds at work to see how I’m going to lock the thing next week when I’m back in the office. I’m also interested in seeing whether I need to invest in a decent set of panniers since I can’t use my trusty Lowe Alpine rucksack on a recumbent (at least not without stretchy rubber cables attached to the back carrier) Ortlieb perhaps – anyone got opinions on those ?

I’m also seriously considering proper cycling shoes – I’ve got a set of Shimano clipless/platform combined pedals on the Grasshopper, but so far have been just using runners with mixed results, my feet occasionally slipping off the pedals. I’m used to toe-clips on the Rockhopper, so I think I’ve got the “you’re slowing down, better un-clip” pattern of riding, but I reckon real clipless pedals will take a while to master. I’ve been waiting to get a bit more used to riding the recumbent before taking the leap (or fall, more probably!) into clipless pedals. Time will tell.

On a related transport note, we’re still looking for a new car – this week, myself and the missus have been weighing up our car options again, and taking the occasional test-drive. At the moment, the fore-runner for the BMer-replacement is a Nissan Note. Not glamourous at all. That said, practicality has to win-out for the moment: we’re promising ourselves an A4 convertible as soon Bananas is 18 to make up for it :-)

Update 23rd Jan – I did end up getting both (non-Ortlieb) panniers and cycling shoes, and we’ve parted company with our lovely BMW 3-series (which, still causes me the occasional pang) to be replaced by a new practical-and-has-5-doors-but-doesn’t-really-make-my-heart-sing Nissan Note. More updates on all of these things in my next travel-related post, whenever that is.

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