Brighton microdirections

Ride along Brighton seafront (there’s a cycle lane) as far as the marina. Continue straight through the marina leaving Asda on your left. At the end cross the bridge over the lock and turn right towards the sea wall. Take the path behind the chandler’s inland towards the undercliff path, then swing right and follow the path west. This will take you on a flat traffic-free path by the sea all the way to Rottingdean, about 3 miles or so.

Unfortunately you then have to rejoin the main road, but it helps make the most of Brighton.

Courtesy of Jonathan

How to Travel with a Bike on Eurostar

Friend Jonathan points to this link.

If you’ve got a bag and can fit your bike in it at less than 85cm total length (both wheels off, and perhaps the handlebars, methinks) then it travels with you at no extra cost.

Options for the bike traveling separately in a box are available for reasonable rates. Not guaranteed the bike will be on the same train in all instances, but within 24 hours. It’s not bad overall.

Paean to the lowly onigiri

Onigiri, or rice balls, have got to be about the ultimate biking food. Compact, cheap and readily available with a variety of fillings, onigiri provide upwards of 170 calories in a prepared meal that you can eat one-handed in a couple of minutes.

Lunch on the road
Lunch on the road

A representative of MLB in Japan told me that when Matsui went to play with the Yankees, a chef was hired to make him nothing but … onigiri. Onigiri after practice, onigiri after the game.

I don’t know about you, but if I had a chef whose only responsibility was to make rice balls, I’d expect some pretty spectacular rice balls.

The first thing to note about rice balls is they’re … um … triangular.

Triangles of nutrition
Triangles of nutrition

One variety lets the white rice stick above the nori seaweed paper: a Fujisan rice ball.

Rice balls typically come wrapped in a special cellophane envelope which keeps the nori crisp until it’s time to eat. Unwrap by following the numbers: 1, 2, 3.

Mentaiko: spiced cod roe
Shake: salmon

It’s true that when I’ve been riding frequently, I can get onigirid out. But considering I burn a rice ball’s worth of calories per hour (or thereabouts) when riding, onigiri are hard to beat.

When I took up riding again more than six years ago after a hiatus of a couple of decades, I would ride five or six hours without eating anything. When I finished I’d eat like a pig, but it was obvious I was abusing myself. I’d get throbbing migraine headaches. Once I took up the habit of tanking up on the go, the problem went away.

And so now I wonder: what will we eat on the road from London to Paris?



Où est la Tour Eiffel?

As the famous joke goes:

How do I get to Carnegie Hall?


I had two years of French in junior high school, from an American teacher whose accent was indubitably far from formidable.

Since that time, I’ve had a year of college German, and then more than 25 years of immersion in Japanese.

Of French and German, all I can say is that when I attempt to speak either, I’ll be back in Japanese before three words are out of my mouth. A native once famously told me that I spoke French worse than his (Japanese) girlfriend. (Which, in general, is really saying a lot … )

From what I’ve heard of my companions on the trip, though, I may be the bee’s knees when it comes to polly vous

Où est la Tour Eiffel?

Où est la Tour Eiffel?

Où est la Tour Eiffel?

Où est la Tour Eiffel?

Où est la Tour Eiffel?

Où est la Tour Eiffel?

Hominid vs the elements

It’s a sad commentary on the state of pro cycling that a competitor in a sanctioned race using an electric motor is termed “mechanical doping”.

The technology has been around for years, of course, and recent advances in batteries bring us to the point of packing 100W of power into a water bottle-sized package. That actually makes it a worthwhile trade-off for the added weight over, say, a 250km Tour de France stage.

The busted rider, Femke Van den Driessche, says the bike belonged to a friend, and mistakenly found its way into her race-day bike lineup. To which we say, with respect, *cough* *cough* Bullshit! *cough*

Bikes with hidden electric motors are commercially available, and apparently difficult to distinguish from the genuine article.

I don't know about you, but if my ride looked like that I'd be happy!
I don’t know about you, but if my ride looked like that I’d be happy!

Look, if someone disadvantaged wants to join L2P on a motorized bicycle, as far as I’m concerned they’re welcome and I’ll shout the celebratory champers on the Champs Élysées. But as for those of us who are only handicapped by age and (over)weight, it’s strictly hominid vs the elements.

That’s the whole point, innit?