Folding Bikes - Folding bike saves the day
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12-05-08, 09:12 PM
Rode my Jetstream XP to yoga class this morning. Not very far but a couple miles away. Soon as I got there I realized that I was very smart and had brought my lock however not smart enough to bring the key.
Folded it up and stuck it in the corner of the yoga studio. Really saved the day. I would not have left my bike unlocked outside and would have missed yoga (which is something I dearly love) without a doubt.
Last night I went out for a brew and a friend called and he was way across town. No sweat. Folded the bike and hopped on a local bus. I'd have ridden but it was brutally windy and big time uphill into that wind.
Came home though. Downhill and wind at my back. Had to stay on the sidewalks and took it painfully easy though because I wasn't too red hot on riding in the street with beers in me.
Anybody can say anything about foldies that they want but I find them to be so practical and so flexible.
I've got a road bike that I do long rides on but when I'm on it that's all I can do is ride. I've got a commuter bike but if I need to ditch it and get somewhere fast like last night you ain't getting a commuter bike in a bus or taxi.
I'm heading over to a nearby island via a ferry for work probably Monday and I'm taking the folder and spending the night on the island and riding around the island with camera in tow.
And next week I've got to fly to another base likely on a military cargo aircraft. You can better believe I'm taking my foldie.
12-05-08, 09:56 PM
I know what you mean by a folder "saving the day". About 10 years ago, I purchased my first folder through the mail. It was a neat single speed 20" folding bike that came equipped with fenders, rack, and chain guard. It was a "fire engine red" if I recall right.
I used to carry it in the trunk of my 1986 Cadillac Sedan de Ville. I had a job as a junior software developer with a small local company, and during many of my lunch hours, I would take it out of the trunk and go for a ride. I would come back to my desk feeling refreshed, and perky for the rest of the day.
Anyway, not too long after, that old Caddy developed a problem in the engine caused by a failing computer, that would cause it to shut down after driving for about 10 minutes. The car would die about 1/2 mile from home, and I would get the folder out, and ride home. I'd have supper, and then ride back to get the car, as it was cooled down enough to get it home.
This went on for about two weeks. I didn't want to spend the money to replace the car's computer, as it cost more than what the car was worth. So one day while driving home in the afternoon, the car completely died on me. I knew it was a "goner". So as usual, I took the bike out of the trunk, and rode home. Of course I wound up buying another vehicle, but that little folder took me home on several occasions.
One day, I sold that bike to a local "Play It Again Sports" store for about $40, and then wished I hadn't. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say.
Just this afternoon my Birdy saved the day.
My wife & I were out on a big training ride to prepare for a loaded tour. After 3 hours we were close to home when my daughter called - she'd just had a car accident in my only car. The car could still drive though. I was about 20 minutes away so rode there, consoled my daughter, handled the situation, then folded the Birdy, put it in the back, hopped in the car and drove it home.
12-05-08, 11:32 PM
I went to my brother-in-law's wedding with the Dahon MU P24 in the trunk of the car. When the wedding was over, the car had to ferry extra people, like my mom and dad, home. So I told the wife to drive the gang home, and I would ride home myself. So nice, the evening air and not having to pay for a cab with midnight surcharges (50% more than the meter, ouch).
12-06-08, 12:13 AM
Not quite saving the day, but more like saving the wallet. I flew a budget airline, Tiger Airways, recently with a friend who went along with me for a ride from Thailand to Laos. He used a Trek Hybrid and was slapped a "sports equipment" surcharge. He wasn't pleased. My Dahon foldie, snuck under the radar as it was in a suitcase.
Upon reaching our destination, the hotel insisted that he parked his bike in the lobby but mine could stay safely beside my bedside. He was annoyed.
Going back, we took a tuk tuk (a motorbike taxi with a carriage) and my Dahon in a suitcase fitted beautifully inside. His full size bike had to hang precariously on the side of the carriage. He was worried.
On the road, the Dahon kept up with his full size Trek with no issue and at some points, I went ahead of him. He was impressed!
Viva la foldies!
12-06-08, 01:07 AM
TrekJapan if you are coming to osan i will be looking for you.
12-06-08, 02:59 AM
The amount of time my 2 folding bikes save, I've lost count!
Also the Jetstream XP is a very nice bike too! Lucky you :)
12-06-08, 12:51 PM
Ditto to everything said above! Folders are awesome!
12-06-08, 02:26 PM
Ever have to look for parking in Manhattan? My Brompton is a JOY. Today I had to drive in for a music lesson at 36th street and 8th Ave. I know parking in that neighborhood is impossible, but who cares? I just picked another neighborhood (Chelsea), found parking, popped my bike out of the trunk and I was at my lesson in not time. I get SO STRESSED about parking in the city but that's all history with my folder and getting around Manhattan on bike is incredibly easy and fast. After lesson I had lunch at a Thai restaurant - brought my bike in, no problem - and then biked to B-fold bike store on 13th St. (both on the East Side) to pick up some touchup paint, and finally round-tripped it back to my car. Nothing beats the flexibility and convenience of folders!
12-06-08, 03:02 PM
You've all inspired me, thanks!! I have a Birdy which typically is only used by visiting friends/relatives to scoot around DC when here (by definition, almost, folders are pretty adjustable for differing riders.) But sits around alot, unsued. I'm going to start spending more time on it.
12-06-08, 04:24 PM
Daibutsu, I, too live in DC, and have had my Dahon for about a month. I find myself out and about more and more, riding my Dahon to weekend spanish class, and using it to bike-metro-bike to work, too. Short trips to tennis clinic--yup, out comes the bike. No parking hassle, no circling the block hoping a car will leave. Pizza pickup? a 14-inch pizza box fits nicely on the rear rack :)
12-06-08, 05:51 PM
I have had my Dahon for about 6 months now. During this time, I have saved ~$900 in gas and parking, and additional money on car wear-and-tear. There's also the exercise, which is invaluable. The best thing about my Dahon is that it's made my commute fun and flexible. If I take the train into the city, I am constrained by having to get back to wherever I left my car. This makes it almost impossible to do things after work or make a last minute adjustment in the likely event that the Amtrak trains are running behind schedule. With my folder, I can take the Amtrak in and the Metro home or vice verse. Never am I a slave to getting back to wherever I left my car!!
12-06-08, 07:11 PM
I think the folder saved me twice. Once when the lightrail broke down, everyone was dumped at a station in a bad neighborhood! I just rode the rest of the way home. The second time was when I arrived late and missed the last train. Fortunately, the ferry runs 24/7 so I took that rode over a bridge and when home by folder.
Being dependant on transit usually means you have to be home by midnight. With the folder, I can choose to ignore the last bus/train/lightrail and make my own schedule.
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