Origami Phoenix Ride

12th December - Meriden 

Origami Ride December 2009 Meriden

The Tearooms at Meriden was host to around 20 riders on a gloriously clear and sunny winter's day. As usual for a December ride there was a theme of 'Bring your most unusual bike' and there were certainly one or two unusual machines among the more workaday bicycles. Setting out on the ride were 6 Bromptons (including 2 Rohloff-equipped SPs and a Nano electric-assist model); 3 Moultons (a Pylon, an AM7 and a TSR27); 2 Strida 3s; 2 Dahons (a Speed D7 and a Curve D5); a Specialized Globe; a Downtube IV FS; a recumbent Kingcycle; a Pacific Reach; 2 other folders that I can't identify; and an upright Tricycle. There was also a Bike Friday at the Tea Rooms but its rider did not join us on the ride.

A brace of Stridas

Paul Evans led the ride on his new SP, in a very fetching cream/green colour scheme with Union Flag decals. As ride leader he was wearing a suitably conspicuous Santa hat. Dave Chance was appointed sweeper – presumably on the assumption that you couldn't miss his red upright tricycle. Despite this precaution, the group became separated for various reasons and at one point Paul was leading 4 rides, two by remote control! Nevertheless, the ride was very pleasant and an extra loop was added to take advantage of the good weather. Everyone who set out met up again at the Bull's Head for lunch.

Tail-end Charlie

The Bull's Head doesn't normally allow customers to reserve tables in the run-up to Christmas, but the prospect of 20 people turning up (and perhaps the possibility that they might not?) persuaded them to reserve the back room for us so we were able to sit together for a sociable lunch. The food was good, although I heard at least one complaint that the portions were a little less than generous. They certainly served an excellent pint of Landlord! A poll to decide whether to ride another loop after lunch, or to muck about in the car park resulted in a unanimous verdict for the latter (apparently there has never been a post lunch loop on a December ride yet). Paul left to fetch his car (complete with parking ticket), which contained a Bike E, an A-Bike and an original 1980s Strida to add to the collection of bikes to play with. The Strida was brought along specifically on the assumption that no one would actually want to take such a machine on the ride! The Stridas, however, seemed positively pleasing to ride when compared to the A-Bike. I heard at least one other person state that he would rather walk – and after riding the latest thing in transport 'solutions' from Sir Clive Sinclair myself I would have to concur. A couple of quotes from Sir Clive on the A-Bike website - "The idea is that if you have a bicycle which is seriously lighter and more compact than anything existing at the moment, it will change the way in which people see bikes." - hmm – sort of - and "...it's so well built it could have been machined in a Formula One factory...this is the iPod of bicycles, a fantastic feat of engineering..." - no comment!

Performing Bear

Several people tried the upright trike – to find that it is quite a bit more difficult to steer and keep upright than one might imagine - at one point it crashed into a hedge! The Bike E was a big hit with those that tried it – why do Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda come to mind? Also several people who tried the Brompton electric-assist probably now have an inkling of how an early-stage heroin addict feels ;-)

Easy Rider

More pictures in the Flickr gallery.

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Last updated: 14th December 2009