I have spent the past few days fixing up my bike. I disassembled the bottom bracket and replaced all of the bearings, fixed some damaged links in the chain, cleaned the whole bike up, added a small rear pannier, and touched up all of the paint. The bike looks and rides beautifully, almost too nice. I'm sure I will convert it from a fixed-gear to a single-speed eventually, maybe even get fancy enough to add a derailleur and multi-geared cassette. For now though I am enjoying riding fixxy, it adds a whole new dimension to riding and is super low maintenance; I may change my mind however, once I leave behind the flat London streets.
Check out this alley cat race to get an idea of what it is like to ride in London: ride hard, be aggressive, stay sharp!
..and mind the Maserati driver's.
I was preparing to leave for Dover today, but due to the party we had last night I woke up a bit later than I should have. Oh well, early to bed tonight to make the 113 mile trip tomorrow! If all goes well, and depending on how late I arrive, the cycle ride should end with a trip across the English channel by ferry.
I will miss the kids from the squat more than I could ever put into words here. They have been loads of fun and infinitely generous. I will see them again I am sure, we are actually hoping to meet up again in Bruxelles in a few weeks. As a departing gift they presented me with a bag of couscous and a jar of marmite ( http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/marmite.htm ); the gift could not have been more perfect and left me with a smile for the rest of the night.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about heading to a country of which I can barely introduce myself properly, much less speak the language fluently. All I can do is hope for the best and try to learn as much French as I can in as little time possible.