Sunday, June 26, 2011


We are cyclists with some experience. We enjoy riding fast and riding slow. We have navigated the streets of Los Angeles as well as the streets of Amsterdam, and we have gotten lost on dirt roads in Germany and Denmark. There have been days when we have taken our fully loaded touring bicycles down steep, freshly graveled roads. There have been days where the bike path was a flooded, muddy walking track.

There is nothing like following someone who knows where they are going. Riding in Newcastle, a reasonably sized city with neighborhoods and parks, was a pleasure. All we had to do to see the city? Follow Budge, knowledgeable cyclist who spends weekends sometimes with a road century race, sometimes with 7 hours straight of mountain bike racing. He took us on a cyclocross tour of his favorite park. Yes, we rode dirt paths and carried our bikes up stairs. It was beautiful.

In the middle of Newcastle!? Above you see the Shoe Tree. A huge tree with many shoes dangling from it. Budge doesn't think anyone knows why - but now it is a local site.

Then we went through downtown, were taunted by some hoodlums, and saw the old city wall, backed by an alley and the rear exits of Chinese food restaurants in Chinatown.

Dinner was delicious thai food, and then back to the local bars. If you're ever in Newcastle, go to The Free Trade.

We met up with Millie, Budge's cousin, and she agreed to come to the apartment the next morning and give us both haircuts. A stylist who makes house calls is dear to us both, and the last haircuts we had (besides the one I gave Joshua) were in LA, over a year ago.

Newcastle was a little rough around the edges, but we had a really great time with Budge.

- rolling post

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