(note: original date of this entry: July 15, 2012)
|Dozing on the ICE|
|Tomas 'unfolding' his Gazelle|
|Doesn't look like a folding bike.|
I tried out the Di Blasi. It seemed like a good bike and easy to fold/unfold. The chain needed to be replaced and the rear wheel/sprocket made a bit of noise. The gear shifter marginally functional. But it rode smoothly, even comfortably. I also tried a Kentex, a little aluminum thing that was quite light, and a couple of "folding" Gazelles. These looked like normal bikes but instead of folding, they come apart in two pieces by simply releasing a latch. I remember seeing one of these on a train to Utrecht--that old guy who coincidentally turned up in my car on the return trip--and I recall lusting after that bike. But it didn't seem practical for our tour, and it only had one speed. So I took the Di Blasi.
|All these photos by Del Rey|
Having purchased the bike, we rode back to downtown Rotterdam over the Erasmusbrug. It was a pretty, sunny afternoon. The Di Blasi rode ok but it was a bit rough climbing the ramp to the bridge since shifting down did not appear to have any effect.
When we reached the central station, which seems finally near completion with a massive modernist steel canopy, I went looking for West Kruiskade, the avenue with all the Chinese restaurants. We found a nice little joint where I'd eaten before. Since I had no lock for my new bike and Del always carried her Brompton with her, I asked the proprietor if we could take our bikes inside the restaurant, now full of people. He hesitated, but as we stood outside, looking at the menu, he offered to lock them away for us. We had a superb lunch of prawn-stuffed tofu and greens with spiced beef and lots of rice.