I’ve been travelling to work by train for a number of years now. As a non-driver, I do it out of necessity, although as car tax and parking rates increase some people naturally assume I do it as a cost saving. On a rain soaked day like today, it would be difficult to convince anyone it was done for the sake of convenience. Looking around my carriage, there would be few other supporters of that claim here either. From the cyclist trying to find space in the luggage rack for her Brompton to the guy peeling off his showerproof outer clothes to reveal his crumpled suit. I have sympathy with these people, but if the bloke putting on aerosol anti-perspirant doesn’t stop it, I might have to throw him off at the next station.
Tag Archives: Brompton
I’ve been a moderately keen cyclist for a number of years. Not being able to drive will do that to you. This means I also travel on trains a lot, sometimes I even combine the two and take my folding Brompton onto a train with me.
Whilst I totally support this kind of multi-modal transportation, I do find myself grumbling when I come into contact with other cyclists on trains. Those that have non-folding bikes aggravate me for the extra space they take up. Those with folding bikes that don’t bother folding them also incur my quiet, seething rage.
However, on the positive side, it is good to see more people using pedal power and every cyclist represents a potential car that isn’t clogging up the roads. As such, despite my occasional moans, I can accommodate the ways of my fellow cyclists. Most of the time…
Today was laundry day, which instinctively feels wrong on a holiday but the choice was to pack twice as much and not wash clothes or to travel light and nip to the laundrette. Luckily, the apartments we’re in have clothes washing facilities and all machinery is labelled in English. There are only a few things I don’t like about Helsinki. Cars being able to turn right on red being one of them as I have enough trouble crossing the road as it is. Another thing is the general failure of most Helsinki men to understand the principal that ‘ladies go first’ through doorways. It makes many gentlemen seem ungentlemanly when they dash through a door that’s being held open. However, there are many more things that I like. The large space given to cyclists always makes me wish I had my Brompton with me. Also, the number of small islands just off the near coastline makes short boat trips an excellent way to spend the day. Gazing out over the expansive horizon from Suomenlinna is truly breath taking, if there’s a better place for a picnic, I can’t think of one!
As a non-driver I feel as though I spend a lot of time on trains. I don’t mind because most of the places I choose to go to are well connected by rail services. For those that require that little bit extra, I have been known to dust off my folding Brompton bike for the final mile. The weather is freezing in a morning these days so I’m glad to be on a heated carriage writing this, with a (just about drinkable) coffee available to me should I need it.