You know the story - my niece, my glass of red wine, the evening slipping away in Amsterdam and the idea born to start an instagram account. “You like bikes,” my niece said, “Why don’t you focus on that.”
Denmark has been on my radar for years with arguably the world’s best reputation for bicycling. And flightswere so wonderfully inexpensive, and I thought . . . “why not,” leaving me with “when next?”
If you are new to riding in Europe. Land here. Copenhagen is a short 20 minute train ride from the airport. Get into the city. Wander about your neighborhood. Get some dinner and settle down for a long luscious sleep.
I just returned from a trip to Munich. Staying in one hip hotel, the Ruby Lilly, I got to my room and proceeded to unpack enough clothes and shoes to open a store. Munich, evidently, was a breeze to pack for. My doppelganger threw everything from my closet into my luggage, zipped it up and I was off to cart around Bavaria with all the comforts and contents of home. Don’t . . . just don’t.
I have a complex answer for this simple question . . .
First . . start with a bike. A few airlines will let you take your bike on the plane as a piece of luggage. I have flown British Airways and Aer Lingus with bikes before and have not been charged for them at all! I have also flown Swiss Air with a bike, and it become a little more complex, but I made it through after some arm wrestling. These airlines treat a bike like a piece of luggage, so we check the bike, and use our panniers are carry-ons.
Let the games begin! For the past six years, May 1st has brought with it much more than little baskets of posies on my door handle. It has brought a trumpet call to me and every cyclists across the nation, a call to tally your miles and join them into one big bicycle basket called the National Bike Challenge.
A group gathered at Southborough station and waited as black clouds covered the Maxfield Parrish skyline. Wind whipped pillars of sand into the cooling night air and we took cover as clouds let out a little moisture. We were waiting for midnight on the eve of the Boston Marathon.
As midnight approached, the group grew in number to over 2800 riders. With lights, bells, music, costumes and bikes galore . . . imagine “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with bikes and boom-boxes. Whimsically fabulous, the ride is an annual tradition that remains one of my favorites.
For the past several years, I have bicycled from The Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts to Boston around Patriot’s Day. I started to ride in order to explore the “shot heard ‘round the world” and experience the trail of the British march on Concord and subsequent retreat to the city. But for those hours in between the steady stomp of boots, we heard the first labor pains of this great nation.
This snow, this elusive spring, this relentless winter in the northeast has really dented my psyche, my longing for outdoors, my love for two wheel travel! I tore away last weekend, with my boots dragging through the snow and my warmest sweater on my back and made my way to the car. Bikes locked on the roof, my husband took off in search of sunshine. We found it in Brooklyn. And dang it was good. Sweet, warm and delicious.…
It’s beginning to look a lot like spring. Nope . . .
Last year by this time, I had hundreds of miles on my bike. This year, I am struggling. I’ve got bicycling brain fever. That specific fever that encourages you to ride in a 17 mile an hour headwind. The fever that has you cycling in Sorel boots. The fever that forces you to carry your bike over eighteen patches of ice on the bike path. Yup. That one.