First, the picture of my bike (a new to me Tikit). It used to have a Superflash rear blinky, but it fell off the mount sometime the previous day. What a crappy mount! At least I still have my trusty Cateye.
Today I commuted a little over 19 miles (one way) to work using my Bike Friday Tikit. It handled admirably, although there were a couple things I didn't like. The front rack position in combination with the front brakes makes mounting wide panniers an issue. I used one of my Arkel XM-45 panniers that I normally use with my Old Man Mountain Cold Springs rack (for my mountain bike), and found that the pannier was wide enough that the back of it pushed the curved brake noodle, causing the brakes to touch the rim on that side. This is probably just an issue with the pannier I have, but if the noodle were on the other side of the brakes, it would not have been an issue. A quick search of linear pull brakes shows them all to have the noodle on that side. Maybe I'll zip tie the brake cable so that it stays closer to the stem. I actually had to mount the pannier a little forward, more so than it was designed to go (the right/front latch was past the little knob on the top of the rack).
At least the mounting system on the Arkel is great, so I didn't have to worry about it falling off. Another issue: the lowest gear isn't low enough for my "skills". I used to ride my road bike and mountain bike to commute to work, and I ran a 10 mile, 8k, and a half marathon in the second half of last year, but I haven't really done anything since prior to graduating college in December. Today was really the first super duper physical activity I've done (minus the occasional 2 or 3 mile run), and I thought the low gear could have been lower. Just imagine this picture (me looking down), but with lots of whining and complaining:
I'm sure I'll get back in shape and I'll be able to plow up those hills in no time, but for now, those hills suck! Here's a map of the route I took, with the lines color coded with the elevation:
The rest of the photos