One of the top recommendations on there was for Cambridge Bike Tours, the link to which I will need to insert once I am no longer using my partially functioning iPhone for blogging. I decided that a bike tour with a knowledgable and entertaining guide would be a pretty cool way for us to get acquainted with some of the highlights of our new stomping grounds.
Since most of our family members qualify as city riding novices, we opted for the morning-only City Tour. We met the very congenial owner and operator, Anthony, his adorable basset hound Gus, and a bunch of other folks at Parker's Piece, a huge green space near city center where, Anthony told us, the rules of football (soccer) were invented.
(Gus was an instant hit with my kiddos. We miss our dog.)
When we assembled and started the lengthy process of getting fitted for bikes, I had one of those "Golly Gee, I'm an American!" moments. I thought the logical thing to wear on a bike tour was workout clothes and running shoes. I was set to sweat! Everyone else wore street clothes and shoes. And I was the only adult wearing a bike helmet. Hello, Captain Cautious! (Also, Captain Curious -- for some reason I was the only one who asked questions during the tour, which hopefully wasn't too annoyingly counter cultural).
We had a lovely time, though, cycling along the river and then threading through crowded streets, with Anthony stopping us now and then to inform and entertain with tidbits about the city and the university and their history. It's odd, coming from Texas, to hear a college building, still used today, described as bring built in the 13th century, or to see the window of Sir Isaac Newton's study, or to hear that the 802nd annual summer fair has just taken place. I mean, that fair was well underway when Christopher Columbus "discovered" America, and it's still chugging along every July.
In case you're wondering, the kids were able to do the 2-hour tour without too much trouble. Caroline (age 7) lagged a bit in the first half, when we were doing long stretches along the river, but she got her second wind and managed to more or less hang with the big boys. It helped that we were learning all about the most famous student pranks in the annals of Cambridge University!
(A glimpse from a bridge of punting, a signature Cambridge pastime)