Hi Lads & Lasses!
Had a very pleasant time when I met Forum member Prof. Gordon Petrie & his wife Carrie in Glasgow, Scotland. He gave me a lift to drop off my GoBike @ Kinetics. Then we went to his place where Carrie had prepared a nice tea & checked out their folding collection which they had arranged on their lawn! A great selection, Giant Halfway, Dahon, Phillips, Universal & a full size folder, wicked!
Next day we visited an amazing Scottish wheel-builder's place, then Gordon & I rode down some beautiful cycle tracks (I had to use my Brompton ) Then I went out on the Strida in the night, using the cycle track which follows the River Clyde. A great time! A big thank you to the Petries! Great to put a face to another member!
Embarassing stuff! However, on our part, Kari and I were absolutely delighted to meet Chop! and take him out to Kinetics and Wheelcraft and go bike-riding with him on our folders along a couple of the numerous cycle tracks that we have in the Glasgow area. I managed also to have a short ride on his Strida too - which was fun. Unfortunately (as he mentioned) his GoBike was non-operational, so I couldn't have a ride on it. Still it was interesting to inspect one for the first time. From listening in to Chop's detailed discussions with Ben Cooper, this particular GoBike should be really something when it emerges from its re-building at Kinetics.
If anyone else from the Forum is visiting the Glasgow area, we would be delighted to meet up with them too.
These things are cool stuff. My wife and I met A Fodors couple from New York at a cafe in Paris by appointment.
Next year may see us either in the borders area between Scotland and England or in northern Wales. No plans as yet, just ideas.
We probably would not have bikes with us tho.
I've met a couple of members. I was even recognized at the NYC Century by a member who didn't know what I look like, but knew what my folder looked like.
Icithecat - If indeed, you are visiting the Borders area, then do come and see us - the border itself is only 100 miles or so due south from Glasgow [or I.5 hours either by car on the M74 motorway or by train from Carlisle]. We have no shortage of folders in-house - five at the present count - plus several non-folders. More can be borrowed if required.
I note the option of you going instead to North Wales. However, I believe that Chop! lives in the Cardiff area in South Wales. Travel between the two ends of Wales is not easy!
My wife and I visited Victoria on a day trip from Vancouver four years ago. We also paid a most memorable visit to the Buchart Gardens just to the north. However there was insufficient time for us to hire bikes and cycle round part of the city as we usually do when we visit North America cities while participating in professional meetings. In recent years, we have managed to sample cycle routes in Denver, Chicago, Boston and San Diego, We also bought a couple of bikes - one in Denver; the other in Boston - at a large financial saving compared with the U.K. prices and brought them back with us to Glasgow.
Please do pay us a visit if you get near Glasgow and perhaps you too can sample one or two of our nice purpose-built cycleways.
Thank you for the invite. My wife does not have the balance to cycle, so I would just have to find a museum or shops to deposit her in for awhile.
Originally Posted by Gordon Petrie
I have only been to Glasgow airport and caught a bus to Edinburgh for a few days before driving north. A couple of nights in a Glasgow hotel before driving south could work well.
Do you think you are heading this way any time soon? Besides the standard waterfront scenic ride we have a trail called 'the galloping goose'. It runs out to Sidney (the ferries) one way and Sooke the other. It comes up on google. http://www.gallopinggoosetrail.com/ Sixty Ks on old railbed, so it is relatively level.
Ithecat - Glad to learn that you are considering coming to Glasgow and staying for a couple of nights in a hotel. There would be no trouble about keeping your wife happy - Glasgow has the best shopping in the U.K. after London. There are also plenty of top-rated museums for her to visit - the Burrell Collection, Glasgow University's Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery; St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art; Gallery of Modern Art; Museum of Transport; etc. - even though the city's main Kelvingrove Museum is currently closed for renovation.
My wife and I use our folders extensively in conjunction with the local railway network - often going out in the train and then cycling back home on the bikes along the many cycleways that go into the city. Thus we have gone on the train as far as Arrochar about 40 miles away and then cycled back, first down the west side of Loch Lomond and then along the banks of the River Leven and the Forth & Clyde Canal to our home on the N.W. side of Glasgow. The whole trip was done on vehicle-free and almost entirely flat cycleways. Similarly we have gone on the trains to small towns on the east side of Glasgow and then rode back 20 miles on the cycleway that goes along the banks of the River Clyde and through the city centre, again without having to ride on the roads. The local electric trains all have special spaces set aside to accommodate folders and prams; those trains going further afield (mostly diesel railcar sets) have bike stalls located at the ends of the carriages. If these are full, then we still can fold up our bikes and stow them below the stalls. Where there are no railways, we put the folders in the back of the car and then go for rides on cycleways out in the countryside - as we did with Chop!.
If you intend to cycle in the Borders area, there are various booklets and maps that are puiblished by the local authorities in the area that can help you plan your routes.
I am sorry that we aren't scheduled to return to Canada's west coast anytime soon. The next meeting that we are scheduled to attend is being held in Reno, Nevada next spring. We plan to go there to via San Francisco - with appropriate bike trips fitted in whenever convenient.
Incidentally we used the Canadian charter company, Air Transat, for our flights from Glasgow to Vancouver and back. They have weekly flights on a long-range Airbus 330 between the two cities throughout the summer at rates that were much lower than any other airline.