Any Tips for Trip? Bicycles, London?

meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevationMay 17, 2007


I'm solidifying the trip to Oxford and London in August. We are staying at the cutest place before my Exam in Oxford!!

"The name of the hotel has rather an unusual origin. In days gone by, wealthy farming gentry sent their offspring to be educated in Oxford and would arrive there complete with their horses and hunting dogs. The Colleges allowed their students to stable horses but not the dogs! Alas, with nowhere else to house the animals, the proprietor of the local inn offered an invaluable 'dog sitting' service and the venue became known as the Dog House. In recent times, it has still been requested that we provide a dog sitting service! "

After the exam, we have a cute apartment with a walled garden and where we can cook on Magdalen Rd. That week after exams is Summer School on campus.

Cycling! Ugh. Honestly, that is the suggestion for getting around Oxford, but I am skeptical that my back will be any good for it. Plus I've always hated cycling and cars. How easy is it to do?

Aaack. Walking is OK except for carrying books, etc. I got a very light laptop, so maybe that'll just have to do. Any ideas are welcomed. The walk is supposed to be 30 minutes. Still checking on buses.... maybe slower but back-saving.

Whew, and where on earth to stay in London? What are must-sees? I've got the first leg of the trip pinned down except for the walking thing and I'm just now trying to figure out London. Help!

[You think I'm bad... they still haven't given us the address for classes, lol... and do we wear Gowns?, I forget what it is called at the moment but Exams are still taken in what we think of as 'graduation gowns' at Oxford! Wouldn't want to be the only one in that getup, lol...]

We are not doing France this trip... waiting till next year to see how my back likes this trip.

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pete41(9ab FL.)

Too bad you aren't going to Paris-they are going to have free bikes for Tourists to reduce traffic.
As an avid biker I would say that riding in heavy traffic requires Practice as you need to respond instinctively.
Ex.-in a tight spot you do not focus on the danger or you will ram into it every time.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 1:59PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I was hoping you'd answer about the bikes, Pete. I'd have to practice around here first, wouldn't I? I'm intimidated by it [my brother got hit in Baltimore traffic] but the city is very bike-friendly they say.

**Do they have bikes where you can sit straighter up?

I know I can't do that lean-over thing long with this back... walking even carrying stuff in a backpack is a better bet then. They do have tons of rental shops in Oxford that are supposed to have a great selection of styles [not online, sadly].

Lower back is strong as a bull any pushup position or outreaching where you hold your arms up is an issue...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 5:49PM
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pete41(9ab FL.)

Your upper back should not be a problem but if you rent one take their word as to the correct seat height.Most people ride short pedalled at first and that will cause lower back problems.You aren't going into heavy traffic and feel comfortable without practice.We have 80 and 90 yr.olds riding a couple miles a day around the park but in a city they won't let you ride on the sidewalk.In the street is rough.Watch out for doors opening.Follow the crowds on their bikes and you should be okay.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 6:42PM
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take a backpack on wheels and walk - when I was in grad school I ended up using a wheeled luggage carrier thing, loaded my books and tabletop into a large black bag and wheeled around fairly easy. Couldn't have managed a bike though - even one of those recumbent ones was too much!

I wish I were going with you - have a great time and visit lots of gardens!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 9:15AM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Hmmmm... thanks, y'all, for the advice! I think I'm going to have to rent one here and see how my back does. Strangely, I can ride mow with hardly an issue, yet pushing a cart has been problematic... I guess I have to do the thing to see whether the nerves are affected.

Pete, good to hear about the old dudes, lol. That helps my confidence at least, although my grandmother did stuff I can't do right up till the day she died [push mowed with a heavy as heck mower!]

Dad still hasn't pinned down Heathrow or Gatwick so I'm stuck on London reservations anyway, y'all...

I did find Warwick Castle near Oxford! I'm getting Dad a falconry experience for his B-day!! Me, too... owls though :) :)

Pagan, feel free to come....[don't you hop over the pond at the drop of a hat, lol?]! Magdalen Rd the week after the 4th... everyone welcome!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 12:50PM
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What about a moped?

You probably can't do the bike because of the position, plus the moving of the legs, my guess anyway. I know it would kill me lol

Can't ya borrow the neighbor kids bike? (trying to be funny)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 5:41PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

There are complicated laws about mopeds in England, darnit. But my legs do absolutely fine - mine's all neck and shoulders. Thanks!

LOL @ the kid's bike. Actually, they've been coming over and picking tremendous bouquets for their mom with me - great fun and I can't help but notice how many blooms I have for needing such gardening criticism all the time ;] She ain't got nada blooming, mwuhaha ;)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 4:35PM
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What does you in pushing a cart?

I was figuring on a bike that being bent over, arms out and the leg movement; in that position may add to you being in pain. You may be ok for a while, but eventually the lower / mid back would start getting sore, then it would travel up

Have you tried an exercise bike?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 4:10PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

No, I haven't even tried an exercise bike, lol.

Pushing anything gets me unless I can somehow not use my arms... pretty much anything that uses my arms gets me at some [too quick] point unless it's just the forearms.

My lower back is seriously strong as a bull - I use the well-known 'bad for the lower back' positions TO lift, lol. Legs are still best of course.

My pain never travels up - there's always a nerve spot beside C6-7 that starts the ball a'rollin'. Then that always-hateful spot through the trapezius and eventually making my scapulas wing if I keep it up or if the movement is too severe. I put the med patches on that spine spot, BTW. It's a little monster, I swear.

So it's all the arms and head movement [or just holding the body/head up like sitting too long]. Bikes still take arms, so I'll try one for a day to see if it's nice like a ride-mower or one of the bad-arm positions.

Of course, Dad has his mind set on a car it sounds like [he always has free rentals 'cos of work]. Perhaps he can drop me off closer, although Oxford is largely a pedestrian town.

They mailed info on exams and a link to OLD EXAMS! Yeah! The tutors are emphasizing that the exam isn't as hard as the coursework, so that's one worry minimized.

Here's one from facebook: "Oxford - where your best isn't good enough since 1117". Bwahaha!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 9:24AM
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