Page 4 of Pennyfarthing Travel Blog Posts

North America September 4th 2018

Oregon 2018 1st Riding Day. Steady ride out of Portland on USA Labour day,so it was relatively quiet on the roads at 9am. After crossing the Willamette River the road climbed up at a maximum of 13% to Skyline Boulevard where we took a right with more climbing and passing of the Skyline Memorial Gardens with its sculpted trees, reminiscent of Japan. Eventually we had a great descent with some gentle hairpins alongside the other Richard, who was not to be beaten hurtling and plummeting the way down. At the foot we had a huge plain with arable crops and beef cows eating some brown stuff they call grass. After passing through what looked like a new town still having buildings being erected North Plains was an old town with corrugated industrial buildings down one side ... read more
North Plains Murals
North Plains Mill

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland September 2nd 2018

Oregon Report 2. Christopher had told us not to leave our bikes unattended in Portland without a D lock as they would be stolen so advised that we take the bus if we cannot watch over them. Since it was an independent day with no planned ride or activity we finished building and checking our bikes. Andrew, Bill and myself decided to ride out to Mt Tabor Park and keep our bikes in view. We took one of the many Bike Friendly routes through the suburbs, which are very leafy and contain many very expensive and extremely attractive old houses. The Mount houses some reservoirs half way up and is quite high above the city, giving some good views around but could be better if the felled a few trees from the higher ground. We stopped ... read more
An idea for Lancashire.
Hollywood here we come.
An old hearse. .

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland August 31st 2018

Here we are off in another adventure into the unknown. Well, unknown to me that is. The flight leaves from Heathrow direct to Portland so us northerners must fly down the day before to arrive in time for midday departure on Delta Airlines. When booking in on line I was offered the chance to upgrade us to Club Europe for £59, which I jumped at the chance. This gave us an extra bag in the hold, which we all needed, plus a chance of free food in the BA lounge, a meal on the plane and free champagne. What is there not to like with this offer, especially since it was £1 cheaper than just booking in the extra bag. The only trouble is I need to lose a couple of kilograms, not put 2 kilograms ... read more
Bill and Andrew enjoying the hospitality.
Euro club Bill.
The Magnificent 7.

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana May 31st 2018

Albania Day 14 Tirana Thirty degrees again today and we are bussed to Tirana. The journey crossed a huge fertile plain with a lot of activity with grass and crop cutting. Several small balers were in use and a big Class Combine was seen. It was not until we approached Tirana that we saw vehicle and tractor dealers selling new equipment of all brands. The rest of Albania only appears to sell used products. In Tirana a visit to the Bunkart (Bunker) was made, which depicted the history of the law enforcement by the gendarmerie and policia from 1913 to the fall of Communism in 1991. The museum is a huge concrete bunker with many small cells showing different aspects of the journey. Most harrowing is the way the secret police were set up and operated ... read more
Near the Bunkart
Bunker entrance
Bunker exit

Europe » Albania » West » Berat May 31st 2018

Albania. Day 13. Rest day or 47 km ride to Polican. A thunderstorm passed over last night without touching us and the sun is out again today. Whilst most are riding today I am taking it easy and helping John A to strip down my bike and put it on its box ready for departure. My front wheel is buckled but should straighten ok when I get it home, and maybe other minor damage. I have a bad limp on my left leg, a bruised left shoulder, bruising on my face and a badly bashed right forefinger in a splint, otherwise I am in good health. I may need assistance to drag it out of the airport in Manchester to my taxi, otherwise it should be easy to get home on Friday. The bike was soon ... read more
my next transport?
Berat old town
The old bridge in Berat

Europe » Albania » West » Berat May 29th 2018

Albania Day 12 Radhime to Berat 92km. 720 m Well the day set if well but ended badly, for me at least. After a good breakfast with the compulsory cheese and egg we headed north along the coast with gentle slopes and a view of the sea on our left. As we entered Vlorë we ignored another ’No Entry’ sign and went through the tunnel on the footpath which had vertical angle iron posts which would be deadly if we caught our bars on them. On our exit we followed a very pleasant cycle way along the boulevard into the town centre. We had a problem here at the central roundabout where our exit was completely blocked off due to roadworks. After some dodging around side streets and up and down steep kerbs and steps we ... read more
coffer break
Ship hotel?

Europe » Albania » South » Vlorë May 28th 2018

Albania Day 11. Himare to Radhime. 64km. 1600m ascent. A bright sunny day again, reaching 37 degrees by lunchtime in the sun which were in, dropping to 29 in the shade by late afternoon. The first 7km were on a 16% gradient so I rode in the van with Armand and Lynda, who is still having pain in her elbow and hand. She had this x rayed later and the bone had a little chip they think and could take a while to heal. After this climb I got on my bike and rode the rest of the day. The first part was 7% to the coffee break and after that it varied between 7% and 11% uphill for 15km. Over the day I covered 57km and climbed 1100 metres. The long pull after the coffee ... read more
Resting on 16% gradient
Part of out climb before lunch.
A cheeky beetle visitor.

Europe » Albania May 27th 2018

Albania Day 10 Samande to Himare Today out to a bright, cloudless sky and hot for an 8.45 start back over the hill out of town and left turn at the big roundabout where resurfacing is going on. Wet tar is all over the road and we had to go the wrong way around. The climb now starts with the hills on our left with a wide valley floor to our right looking green and the higher we go we find vast expanses of olive trees until we reached the coffee stop at Shen Vasil. A village with square around a small cross on a very tiny religious building. At the side a memorial to village freedom fighters, of Italian and German occupation during 2nd World War. Also we saw the old men sat under a ... read more
Shen Vasil
Old village guys.
Village donkey.

Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë May 26th 2018

Albania Day 9. Saturday 26th May. Resting in Sarande Most of the rest of the group have gone off cycling, or by bus, to visit the nearby ruins at Butrint whilst I languish on our balcony reading in the sun under a cloudless sky and listening to the three tenors and other chosen music on my pocket computer. My leg is little better at weight bearing and am suspecting damaged muscle. The thigh bruising is worse, as expected, but the swelling is down. However, there are much worse places to recover and non much better. The temperature is around 30 degrees so just a little warmer than NW England. Busy on the promenade tonight and nice and warm for our evening meal of chicken soup and fish plus lemon sorbet. On the roads again tomorrow, but ... read more
coastal sculpture
The pebble beach

Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë May 25th 2018

Albania Day 8. Friday 28 June. Gjirokaster to Sarande. Last night saw my hip improving and able to hobble across the room without crutches. Therefore looking forward to riding the bike again before too long. We went to a restaurant up the hill from our hotel for another excellent meal followed by yet another red wine at a nearby bar in the moonlight. I am of the opinion that red wine has a healing effect on my hip. Correct me if I am deluded in this matter. The crutches were a godsend and I never fell over once on the way down the hill. Nearly 11pm by the time we got back, I must remember to keep better company from now on. I am being lead astray. The breakfast today was on the top floor with ... read more
The road up the mountain.
Do you want a lift?
More wine madam?

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