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Old 01-13-09, 09:12 PM   #1
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Anyone Else Get Giddy When They See Another Folder

I was waiting to get on the Metro elevator this afternoon when a guy getting off the elevator was carrying a red Dahon folder (I have the mango-colored speed pro TT). We sort of looked at one another and laughed a bit. It made me so happy to see someone else with a folding bike! Am I the only one who feels this way?
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Old 01-13-09, 09:19 PM   #2
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No you're not the only one!
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Old 01-13-09, 10:12 PM   #3
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That was me! Red Dahon, full Fred gear! Glad to have bumped into you. I'm sure we'll pass again, though I am usually a tad later than that.
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Old 01-13-09, 10:13 PM   #4
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P.S I secretly covet your Speed TT. Does that make me shallow? It does? Oh well.
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Old 01-13-09, 11:20 PM   #5
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Oh yes, very giddy! It's the thrill that occurs when meeting a kindred spirit. There's a moment of "hey, you're another member of my species!" that passes between us foldie riders when we meet in the wild
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you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p
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Old 01-13-09, 11:23 PM   #6
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I love seeing other folders. I makes me giddy with joy. If the owner is on the bike or nearby I say "Hi" to them. Sometimes, if the situation and time permits, I stop and ask them about their folder, where they got it, how long they've had it, any issues they've had with it and how they like it.

I love making new friends that share my passion for folding bikes.
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Old 01-14-09, 12:04 AM   #7
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Giddy? I don't know, but I do feel a perhaps unwarranted kinship with the Few Fine Folder Fellows Found. A 5-F Club member is a rare one hereabouts.
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Old 01-14-09, 03:04 AM   #8
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She (the owner) has to be good looking for me to get giddy.....

But I do feel a kinship to other people with folders. There is a guy I regularly see with a Dahon speed Pro and another with a Bike Friday blue Tikit.
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Old 01-14-09, 04:06 AM   #9
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Not me. There's a folder on every street corner and every road and sidewalk here in Okinawa. Not even I want to be happy that much.

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Old 01-14-09, 07:06 AM   #10
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It depends. If the folder is being ridden the wrong way up a one way street in heavy New York traffic, it does not make me happy. There are a couple guys whom I race (in an informal way, of course) up 8th avenue in the mornings; I guess seeing them makes me happy... well, sweaty anyway.
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Old 01-14-09, 07:58 AM   #11
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I wouldn't know. I've never seen another folder in my area. More likely to see a recumbent in Eastern Loudoun County, VA than a folder. But if I did I think I'd be giddy
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Old 01-14-09, 08:20 AM   #12
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She (the owner) has to be good looking for me to get giddy.....

But I do feel a kinship to other people with folders. There is a guy I regularly see with a Dahon speed Pro and another with a Bike Friday blue Tikit.
I agree. If I felt giddy at the prospect of meeting another folder rider, I would seek help. It might cause a crash if one was riding at the time and besides - it is rather an over-reaction. We British are somewhat more restrained than some other people obviously. Must be all the wet weather.
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Old 01-14-09, 09:17 AM   #13
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Where I live, folders aren't that common, so naturally, I smile whenever I do see one One time, about 3 months ago, while riding on a local paved bike trail, a young couple were going in the opposite direction. The male was on a full size mountain bike, and the female was riding what could have been either a Dahon Boardwalk 6, or a Speed D-7. They had stopped, and I turned around, and chatted with them for about a minute. They thought that for some reason, my Qile Duo folder was a Bikefriday. The conversation was enjoyable but too short.

It would definitely be a lot of fun to spend more time to "talk shop" with another folding bike rider. It does bring a sense of camaraderie.

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I was waiting to get on the Metro elevator this afternoon when a guy getting off the elevator was carrying a red Dahon folder (I have the mango-colored speed pro TT). We sort of looked at one another and laughed a bit. It made me so happy to see someone else with a folding bike! Am I the only one who feels this way?
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Old 01-14-09, 12:28 PM   #14
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I don't own a folder (YET!) but I enjoy seeing them. I saw a guy with an older Dahon on the Georgetown end of Key Bridge not long ago. I stopped him to ask him about his bike - nice guy, nice conversation.
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Old 01-14-09, 03:00 PM   #15
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That was me! Red Dahon, full Fred gear! Glad to have bumped into you. I'm sure we'll pass again, though I am usually a tad later than that.
Haha!! Well, we meet again. I had to stop myself from looking like a total idiot and screaming, "Oh my god!!! You've got a folder!!!" like a school girl. Exercising self-restraint around folding bikes is difficult for me
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Old 01-14-09, 03:23 PM   #16
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I agree. If I felt giddy at the prospect of meeting another folder rider, I would seek help. It might cause a crash if one was riding at the time and besides - it is rather an over-reaction. We British are somewhat more restrained than some other people obviously. Must be all the wet weather.
I think here in the U.S., because there are so many obstacles for cyclists, we tend to feel a certain sense of camaraderie when they see one another, a kind of "drawn together through adversity" thing. And now the cycling community is getting large enough that we get to have sub-groups too! I've traipsed around the UK more than once on bike and it is so much more bike friendly than here in the U.S. You may get the wet weather, but you get better cycling and better health care. Lucky
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Old 01-14-09, 06:32 PM   #17
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You may get the wet weather, but you get better cycling and better health care. Lucky
Are you sure that was the UK? [health care sarcasm... ]

I do feel a kinship with most folder riders I see, and smile in the same way I do at people I see in the same camper van we have. We're an oddball bunch though - hard to put in a box that says 'generic folder rider'.



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Old 01-15-09, 05:44 AM   #18
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I think here in the U.S., because there are so many obstacles for cyclists, we tend to feel a certain sense of camaraderie when they see one another, a kind of "drawn together through adversity" thing. And now the cycling community is getting large enough that we get to have sub-groups too! I've traipsed around the UK more than once on bike and it is so much more bike friendly than here in the U.S. You may get the wet weather, but you get better cycling and better health care. Lucky
Yes I do have a sense of camaraderie with other folder users and if I meet them in the right place, I stop and have a chat. I even swapped bikes once with a Brompton rider and let him ride my Merc for a part of our journey. I don't see many folders truth be told. This city is compact enough to ride to work directly for most people, so the impetus to have a folder is less than say London where thousands of people could use a folder and the train.

Some cities are extremely bike friendly, like York is. They are generally in pretty flat areas and thousands ride bikes there. I'm sure that's why the Dutch all ride their bikes - the only thing you need to fight against is the wind there.

Health care is a sore topic so I won't say much except that being free at the point of use is a great advantage to people when they are sick. It isn't free of course because we pay in taxation instead. Also, we have a constant debate about which drugs are too expensive to be used and see people on tv with cancer saying they have been refused drugs that cost tens of thousands of pounds a year, but would save their lives. Somehow, I doubt they really would save them. Drug companies can charge astronomical fees for some products. European health care is better than ours by far, but their tax levels are huge. They do rate as happier than we do though, with a much higher self reported sense of wellbeing.
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Old 01-15-09, 07:50 AM   #19
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Health care is a sore topic so I won't say much except that being free at the point of use is a great advantage to people when they are sick. It isn't free of course because we pay in taxation instead. Also, we have a constant debate about which drugs are too expensive to be used and see people on tv with cancer saying they have been refused drugs that cost tens of thousands of pounds a year, but would save their lives. Somehow, I doubt they really would save them. Drug companies can charge astronomical fees for some products. European health care is better than ours by far, but their tax levels are huge. They do rate as happier than we do though, with a much higher self reported sense of wellbeing.
Interesting...I do health care policy analyst for the government here in the U.S. Not long ago, I met with some officials from the NHS on the other side of the pond. These people were pretty high up and the funniest part of the meeting was that they just couldn't grasp how everyone in the U.S. couldn't have some sort of basic health care coverage. They kept throwing out scenarios and we kept explaining that some people literally have to sell their home or file for bankruptcy because of medical bills they've racked up. The NHS officials admitted that they were shocked to learn just how bad it was here.

The problem here in the U.S. (IMO) is that we already have socialized health care which we pay for via taxation - it's called Medicare & Medicaid but the system is so bass-ackwards because it doesn't kick in until you're REALLY sick and REALLY poor. And you usually get really sick because you've lacked basic health care from the beginning. So, in the end, we end up spending more money and have worse health care outcomes. In addition, we now have a huge problem with college students and young adults lacking insurance. Even something as mundane as a broken leg or acute illness like appendicitis can put you into financial ruin at a very young age. Also, the hospitals are constantly writing off costs (uncompensated care) and then passing those costs onto those of us with insurance. Even if you have insurance, you always have out-of-pocket costs that can run upwards of several thousand dollars. So, some people say, "I have health insurance, but I can't afford to use it." Finally, there's the whole issue of end-of-life care. An estimated 25% of ALL Medicare expenditures are for people in their last year of life. That indicates that people are getting lots of really expensive treatment and still not living any longer.

Unfortunately, both the UK and USA have fallen prey to drug lobbyists - drug companies in both countries charge huge fees for drugs that really aren't any better than the cheap generic medications developed 50 years ago and proven time and time again to successfully treat conditions. And because the drug companies are sometimes in bed with doctors, you have to be very careful when a physician hands you a free packet of some new drug or recommends that you try a drug for a condition that really isn't bothering you. He/she might be getting a free trip to Hawaii because they're passing out some new pill.

The US has done some wonderful things with medical research and technology, but we've failed miserably at providing basic health care to all citizens. I do think we're reaching a tipping point where something has to be done to provide basic coverage to every citizen. I'm currently reading Tom Daschle's new book (Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis). He was recently appointed Secretary of HHS and he has some interesting ideas for fixing our health care system. I really think it could happen this time around.

And to bring this back to cycling, the US has to come together as a nation to take some personal responsibility for our health. So many of the chronic conditions (type 2 diabetes, heart disease, etc) are the result of people taking horrible care of themselves (not exercising, eating bad food). Obesity here is rampant. So much of this could be solved if people just got out of their cars and biked!!

Just curious, but do you think in the UK that people take better care of themselves because of the perception that they might not be able to get health care when they need it? Do you think there's a greater personal responsibility for maintaining good health?
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Old 01-15-09, 10:35 AM   #20
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I used to be excited about other folders around my area. Now I am not so sure. Over here, there are finite resources allocated for bikes (and with the proposed cutbacks even less). That translates into less space for any luggage because of the cutback of frequency of the bus/train services. And most cyclists of any bike type are absolutely clueless about riding a bike beyond balancing on one. So when any public institution is involved, I am prone to reserve judgment until I see what the future may bring of-hopefully-increased awareness of simply other people occupying the same space (not riding on sidewalks, blasting past startled pedestrians, jamming onto public transit with a dirty folding bike, and the like) before using any bikes, much less folding ones.

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Old 01-15-09, 11:20 AM   #21
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Just curious, but do you think in the UK that people take better care of themselves because of the perception that they might not be able to get health care when they need it? Do you think there's a greater personal responsibility for maintaining good health?
I'm really interested in discussing this, but am conscious that we are introducing a diversion in the thread and bringing up a very sensitive topic that could lead to folk falling out - LOL.

I'll just answer the last point you made notwithstanding that the whole of your post is interesting and I would like to comment on it.

They all know that they WILL be able to get health care when they need it. There is NO restriction or rationing of treatment for acute conditions. If a fat guy collapses with a heart problem, he will be wisked off to hospital in minutes in an NHS ambulance and will receive whatever intensive or less demanding care he needs. He will pay nothing for any of it - even his food will be free. I live 600 metres from the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle which does heart transplants all the time. http://www.newcastle-hospitals.org.u...als/index.aspxThe only limitation on the transplant numbers is that not enough people offer their hearts and lungs up. Where we do have rationing through waiting lists is for what are called 'elective procedures' - those that can be delayed without threatening life, such as joint replacements in the elderly. You can wait about 5 months for a hip operation. It used to be much worse, but now there are government targets which penalise hospitals with long waiting times. Look - I think our system is far from perfect, it is constantly in the news and under a lot of scrutiny, but nobody goes without and there is a massive amount of great treatment going on even though there are some failings too. Best of all maybe, nobody gets bankrupted or ends up in debt if they get sick.


I think people do take marginally better care of themselves here - the evidence is that we live a bit longer on average than you guys, but there are very big social class and regional differences. Scotland is the least healthy place in Western Europe with very high levels of obesity, heart disease, smoking related illness and diabetes. There are parts of the city of Glasgow where the life expectancy for males is 64 years. This is all lifestyle related: heavy drinking, heavy smoking, lack of exercise, and very bad diet.

The average life expectancy in males in the UK as a whole is 77 years and for females it is 82. My dad is 86 and is still pretty fit, if a bit absent minded. There are big differences within populations of different social class background. Better educated men and women live much longer than those in manual trades. They smoke much less, eat better and exercise more.

You are right about the health benefits of biking. There is a small risk you'll be squashed under a truck or a bus, but the exercise is likely to make you live longer if you don't end up squashed on the road.
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Old 01-15-09, 11:55 AM   #22
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EvilV, thank you so much for the response, even if it is off topic I love hearing about health care in other countries, the good and the bad, because it hopefully will help our nation work towards a better system. Not surprisingly that the socioeconomic disparities are similar, although in the States it's often along racial/ethnic divides as well (even when controlling for income and education). Here, obesity is definitely playing the most significant role in poor health outcomes. We now have CHILDREN being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes here, which was unheard of 20 years ago. Our diet here is HIGH in carbohydrates and our lifestyle is generally low exercise. Incorporating cycling into our lifestyle could have some amazingly positive benefits here. That's why I think folders are so great - their portability allows you to incorporate cycling into almost any commute. Even just cycling for 15 minutes and then riding the train the rest of the way could have such a positive impact on overall health.

An interesting side note - I was listening to the Bike to Work podcast not long ago (one of its creators lives in London I believe). They were discussing NHS facilities and how tipped they are towards acommodating automobiles for patients, visitors, and staff instead of providing cycling accomodations and how ironic it was that cyclists had to pay for bike storage in some NHS facilities while car parking was free! I believe some NHS facilities are now in the process of changing this to encourage cycling. Here, some states and towns are also increasing cycling accomodations as a way to reduce obesity and (ultimately) state spending on treating related complications. Obviously, this requires as much a change in public behavior as it does in the infrastructure, but I feel like we're heading in the right direction.
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