The One about the Born of Seagull

As I way planning the new adventures and the move to the Netherlands, especially, it way the time to build a new bike friend. Past Christiana I got a present from Siggy – the vintage ladies dawes bike frame. I started to call it a break up present as I first saw it there weeks after Christmas when we were breaking up. The strange combination of sadness the end of one story and  happiness from the georgeous gift.

At first, I needed to scrap off the old paint. This time, I was more clever and instead of using the paper scizzors I used the dremel tools and a sanding machine.

It was quite difficult to release the gear shiffters, the old Suntour, because the frame was a bit rusty.

The next step was to choose a good combination of colours. I used the paint from the company called spray.bike which I purchased in the bike shop Punk bikes in Cardiff. Boyz from Punk bikes were also very helpful when we were building the bike together.

I used my school’s spray room. At first, I painted the bike with light green tone (Grifter) and details with red (Coventry Red). However, the bike got very plastic look and I knew I need the third colour. Finally, I have decided for the dark marine blue (Humber). It was necessary to properly cover the holes for bearings and the headset with a masking tape.

At the end I was very pleased with the result. I also used two cans of the clear transparent finish.

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The One about the last trip with Foxie

At the end of September, last time I took Foxie and the trailer for a big trip. It was a part of saying goodbye to my friend Téra who was going for her big journey over the ocean. We were taking some of her stuff from London to Cardiff and it was a good way to get more tough.

Téra was just moving out of her apartment. The flat was still full of stuff so we loaded the trailer with any kind of shit from coconut sugar to 5 litres of kombucha. But as soon as I arrived in London by train I realised that the wheels on the trailer are broken and so we were just praying to arrive in one piece.

We spend our last night on “our” boat Matylda moving her instead of our friend Petr. Next day we went for a good lunch to Toconoco restaurant and headed towards Paddington station passing the Oxford street fully loaded. I felt like I could apply for a position of a rickshaw.

 

 

The beginning of the trip thus started. The weather was pleasant. We took the train to Reading and continued along the river Kennet to Newbury where we had a night on a couchsurfing with Charlie. The first troubles arrived when the cycling path turned into just a narrow path along the river where the trailer had a hard time to pass. Moreover, Tera was pulling it the first time with her single speed bike so she must have experienced the adventure!

 

 

We had a great sleep in Charlie´s home. However, the next day it started to rain and there was no turn back. We were swapping the trailer between each other and drinking every day a good amount of kombucha hoping we will recognise the loss of the weight in the load. Téra made a delicious hummus with cashew nuts, although it did not make me so happy at that time because I used to have a hummus in the restaurant where I worked all the time. It is just this time when I can appreciate it.

 

 

Still, with the smile on our face, we continued towards Bath passing 29 locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal behind a little town called Devizes. There we met the guy from the Canal and River Trust (I think his name was Richard Jones – but Téra might remember better) and he recommended us to sleep over in the campsite behind one pub near Melksham. If he would know how much in troubles we were with the Canal and River Trust a year ago when they were chasing us with Matylda on the canal. Everything could be different, but this time, he was our angel.

We had a nice warm shower and the soup in the camp hoping the night in the tent will be not as cold as it was. Unfortunately, the Indian summer has missed us during our trip! We were cycling direction to Bath and finally, in the afternoon, a little bit of sun appeared in the sky so we could enjoy the nature we were surrounded with. However, being tired and women we were becoming grumpy! We were passing the huge Avoncliff aqueduct on the river Avon and we were following the railway track towards Bath.

 

 

We arrived to Bath by afternoon walking our bikes via the historical town. We met two local old people who recommended us to walk towards the hundred years old tree in front of the shop with wooden souvenirs. It was huge and where it was too high for people to reach the tree, it was covered with the webs of spiders and offered the home for any type of insect.

 

 

We chilled a little bit in Bath and took the only pinhole picture while having a coffee break. After we continued to Bristol where friends of Téra´s friends offered us a warm place to sleep. There was also a good cycling path between Bath and Bristol converted from the old railway track. We chilled in Bristol which seems to be a quite alternative vibrant city with lots of graffiti, street art and places for young people. I appreciated its roughness but Téra did not enjoy it too much I think.

 

 

Bristol became a challenge. It was not just the spirit of the city which was like a hard brick after the days spent with cycling along the canals and the forest but it was also the change in the terrain which was slowly breaking us down. Bristol is very hilly! Being both very emotional we have also discussed a lot Téra´s trip over the ocean and I think it was somewhere after Bristol where I felt that Téra has decided she will go sailing although she had lots of doubts how the trip could go. I tried to support her and give her an objective advice but I was getting tired myself. By the time we arrived at the coast we were both exhausted and grumpy. We started to argue and felt like it was enough. We needed some space and our own pace! We took all the stuff out of the trailer, thinking like Téra will go on her own. Well, there is not much to worry about. We do it quite all the time. We calmed down, had a cigarette and put the stuff back to the trailer. Sometimes all “the stuff” has to go out to the surface so everything can be reordered back in a new way. When we were passing the Severn bridge we were again very good friends.

Unfortunately, Wales is just rainy country. Somewhere after Magor road (which in Czech means Dickhead´s road), we decided there is not much we can do about the weather and our condition and happily took the train from Newport to Cardiff. At home, we had a warm bath with the blend of the flowers and a proper tea! Next day, the new story was waiting for me as I was going back to uni and the new story waited for Téra too. She successfully sailed over the Atlantic ocean!

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Foxie also got another life. I build the new bike Seagull and let Foxie go. I donated the bike to Pedal Power Charity and got to know that somebody else fell in love with Foxie. He got some new bits and pieces and I am sure that the same as me and Téra, he will have also plenty of adventures ahead!

PS: I think I was waiting so long with writing this story because I just like the happy end!