Saturday, 24 April 2010

On preparations afoot

Well, I am getting ready: I bought a map of London today.

I also reinforced the bike box I got in Alberta with corroplast, spoke with John in Campbeltown and Donald in Edinburgh, and came to the conclusion that it is a mite ambitious to want to bike-ferry-bike-ferry-bike to from Campbeltown to Glasgow. Unless the conditions prove unusually favourable, I think it will be bike-ferry-bike-ferry-train. For some reason, I had underestimated the distance between Ardrossan and Glasgow. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, the shortest route between Campbeltown and Glasgow is to go via the island of Arran. This involves going up Kintyre to Claonig, taking a ferry there to Lochranza (on Arran), going part way around the island to Brodick, where you catch the ferry to Ardrossan, where there is a train station near the ferry terminal where you can catch a train to Glasgow.

I have also done a fair bit of poking around for bike related information relating to the trip. One of the more amusing bits is part of Virgin Trains' bike policy. If I may quote their website:

Travelling with a bike? Well, our trains have racks for up to 4 bikes or 2 tandems (but not penny farthings). It's free but because space is at a premium, do remember to book a reservation for your bike in advance. However, if it folds up, then it can travel for nothing without reservation (only applies to bikes, not contortionists).

It would seem that Richard Branson and company have a good sense of humour.

I bought the map at a map store on Président Kennedy near Berri. Getting there involved navigating a part of the de Maisonneuve bike path that I was not familiar with and that shows the signs of numerous "clever" ideas that have been put into effect without actually thinking them through. Most notable of these is the failure of the City of Montreal to move the bike from de Maisonneuve to Président Kennedy from the Place des Arts to Berri. The problem is that with all the annoying music festivals in the summer around the Place des Arts, the bike path keeps on getting blocked by stages and music lovers. By moving the path to Kennedy, there would be less of a problem.

I missed an opportunity to get my hands on tickets for the 747 bus while I was in the area. Oh well, there is always tomorrow.

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