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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 08-19-08, 10:28 PM   #1
veggie_lover
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Taking folding bike to London?

I am toying with the idea to pack my Dahon D7 in a suitcase to bring to London . My question is there a train from Heathrow to London I can bring my slightly oversized suitcase on? Can I transfer to the tube with this suitcase or is this out of the question?
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Old 08-19-08, 10:35 PM   #2
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The Tube map shows that the Picadilly goes to Heathrow. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/livetravel...dilly-now.html
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Old 08-20-08, 12:24 AM   #3
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Yes, the Tube goes from Heathrow to central London. You should have no problem taking the bike case. I hope you have wheels on your bike case as you could have lot of walking, and escalators to negotiate
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Old 08-20-08, 01:38 AM   #4
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Not an issue, you are even allowed folding bikes on the tube, bagged or unbagged.

The Piccadilly line goes from Heathrow every few mins. Takes about 50 mins to central London. Faster service is the Heathrow Express train which only takes 15 mins into London Paddington but this is much more expensive at over $30.
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Old 08-20-08, 05:08 AM   #5
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You can always hire a folder from Velorution (Brompton, Strida and others I believe). Whatever enjoy London - I recomend using the cycleways where possible (others may prefer to dice with traffic to be a tad quicker - i'd rather be alive than that bit quicker) .. there are free cycling route maps available from tube stations (and also bike shops like velorusion). There are also many more scenic routes shown on the maps (eg pootle along the canals, and along the river all well worth going a bit out of your way just to experience - they make biking really worthwhile.)
Maps >> http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/roadusers/...aps-guides.asp
Velorution (central london - just north of oxford st.) >> http://www.velorution.biz/

Last edited by Simple Simon; 08-20-08 at 05:10 AM. Reason: multi typos - durrr
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Old 08-20-08, 05:28 AM   #6
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Just to elaborate on the Piccadilly line; it's a normal subway train (part of the 'Tube' that runs from Heathrow west then north-west through the centre of the city). The train-cars are specifically designed for extra luggage as it's always been the 'airport train' so areas around the doors in the centre of each carriage have less built-in seats, instead offering a larger wider luggage area with folding seats for when this space isn't used by luggage. These trains start their journey at the airport pretty much empty so you shouldn't have a problem getting your luggage on board or getting a seat.

However - if you need to change to another line when you get into the centre - especially if this is during the morning or evening rush hour then the prospect of continuing your journey with big luggage gets a bit more complicated. Not insurmountable but definitely not as easy or pleasant. My advice if you have to travel between 7-10hrs am or 17-19hrs pm is work out the nearest stop to where you'll need to be on the using only the Picadillly line, then come out of the station and hail a cab for the last bit of your journey.
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Old 08-20-08, 06:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggie_lover View Post
I am toying with the idea to pack my Dahon D7 in a suitcase to bring to London . My question is there a train from Heathrow to London I can bring my slightly oversized suitcase on? Can I transfer to the tube with this suitcase or is this out of the question?
Do you know where in London you're staying ?
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Old 08-26-08, 09:14 PM   #8
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" Dice it with traffic"
That is the only downside but really you shouldn't hesitate to bring your folder to London it is, after all, a folder town if ever there was one! Just don't leave it locked on the street overnight and remove your lights blinky lamps, bell etc or some one else will, petty thief-louts are common there unlike Seoul, Korea, really it is worse than NYC for that.
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Old 08-27-08, 12:07 AM   #9
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London traffic is really, really not that bad. Compared to NYC, from what I've seen in videos of that city, London is a picnic. I ride there all the time with no problems.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:09 AM   #10
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Depends what part of London. There are many areas where people drive like maniacs, but so far I'm still alive. The only accidents I've had have been my fault. So far.
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Old 08-29-08, 11:50 AM   #11
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I was a bicycle messenger there for years. As pointed out, most accidents are your own fault. I hit a bus, hit a truck, hit pedestrians, hit taxis, hit curbs and broke ribs! Traffic is major, but that means actual traffic speeds are slow. Manhattan IS very different, much more random and faster. Major city cycling is a very different kind of cycling.
Fold-up bikes are allowed on the subways, and on all 'overground' trains. I think on Sundays any bikes are allowed on certain subways too(check with a guard).
Don't take your eyes of your bike (even locked) Just watch for everything, go slow, don't get out of your depth, avoid pedestrians etc you'll have a huge amount of fun!
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Old 08-29-08, 11:57 AM   #12
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Try not to take you folder on the the tube during rush hour - There are stupidly packed.

If you see a black recumbent, that'll be me. Have fun while your here

One thing you might like is that only buses, bikes, and black cabs(taxis) and maybe scooter (not sure about these) are allowed in bus lanes duing weekdays. Cars/vans/etc get fined if caught on camera. So its quite easy to get about by bike, even during rush hour

Last edited by Myqul; 08-29-08 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 08-29-08, 02:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
Depends what part of London. There are many areas where people drive like maniacs, but so far I'm still alive. The only accidents I've had have been my fault. So far.
Which bits are you thinking of? I think I've been all over, but I could be wrong! I ride all over the C charge zone, plus I've ridden regularly out into Newham, Ealing, and a couple of times right down from just inside the M25 in the North back to Waterloo. I don't have as much experience South of the River however.
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Old 08-29-08, 10:16 PM   #14
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New York City isn't so bad because I know where the traffic is behind me at ALL times. I use the Take A Look mirror and without it, I'm scared out of my mind. New York City traffic is faster and that's due to the lights favoring traffic to travel longer distances and this increases overall speed. Even though London, might be slower, you still need a rear view mirror.
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Old 08-30-08, 01:31 AM   #15
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I disagree. I have a mirror on one bike, and I find it a distraction in heavy traffic.
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Old 08-30-08, 02:34 AM   #16
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Good judgment and peripheral vision is the best tool. Wing mirrors distract from forward and inside awareness of pedestrians or side-road junctions.
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