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11 April 2013

North Road

It's like a got a new bicycle
North road handlebar on a hybrid bicycle, with chance encounter cat passing by

I might be slacking on this weblog, but I still ride my bicycle. In fact, I went and adapted it. I found a friendly bike repair shop that had a "north road" style handlebar in stock (the actual name of the product was "tourist", as these are sometimes also called "tourist style handle bars").

It's like having a different bicycle. Totally different ride. Obviously I'm sitting more upright, but changes don't just stop there. It seems to me that I can push harder when riding uphill, it's easier to get up on the pedals. But then it seems to be harder to get the bike rolling from a standstill (e.g. on a red traffic light).

It's much easier to ride in traffic, I have a much better overview of the traffic situation around me (even though my mirror didn't fit and I'll have to find a different style mirror to mount there). I seem to have an easier time to steer around potholes (we have lots of those here in Athens) and "moving obstacles" (pedestrians crossing the road in mid-traffic). When I do hit a pothole, there is a harder hit on the rear wheel, the more "forward" position of the straight handlebar allowed me easier to "get light" over a bump.

I've kept the old, straight handlebar, since I'm not yet 100% sure I'll keep this one on. Aesthetically for one thing, it doesn't really match, neither from the type of bike, nor from the color - it's shiny aluminium, nothing else on the bike is. Not that I care much when I sit on the bike, at that point I don't see it myself. What's more I want to get more used to the riding position before doing a final decision on which one to keep.

Posted by betabug at 16:14 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
29 April 2013

Athens - Patra by Train (and some Bus)

The main train line is interrupted

To go from Athens to Patras, there used to be a great little train line. It was a bit old and slow, but it worked just fine. Then they started to dismantle it and building a new one. The old one is gone from Kiato to Patra, but the new one isn't finished yet (and due to the crisis, building it continues at a snails pace).

But it's still possible to go part of the way by train and have a continuation bus service by the train company. Advantages: - No need to go to the horrible KTEL bus terminal where the Patra busses leaves (it's horrible when you're there and it's complicated to get from there to the city center, and horrible especially at night). The central train station is connected to the Metro system. - You can enjoy a fast train ride till Kiato. - I found the bus for the continuation service to be more modern than most KTEL busses.

What we did is to go to the central train station (Stathmos Larissis, Larrisa Station) and buy our tickets and get our reservation there. The timetables can be found at the Trainose page for the Proastiakos . Scroll down to the bottom and open the last PDF link. Yes, the PDF is in Greek, but I guess it should be possible to figure it out. At the time of writing, I see 6 connections per day.

In Patras we got the tickets and reservation to go back to Athens right at the train station. The reservation cost nothing, the ticket was 17 Euro.

Posted by betabug at 09:27 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)