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  1. #1
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    Folding bikes on buses during rush hour

    I take the express bus each morning and for the first time witnessed someone actually carrying a cheap 20' inch folder inside the bus! I was surprised the driver allowed him in the first place but he actually did it!

    What gets me is all the carrying and how cumbersome the whole situation looked. You see once boarding, he had to carry the bike with two hands and drop it in front of the driver who is getting ready to move the bus. The bike did not want to stay still and was tipping over while he rushed to put money in the fare box. Then while the bus was moving and jerking all over the place, he had to carry the bike with both hands and balance his way to the back of the bus. Do you see why you’ll never see anyone well dressed doing this? I wish I’d been in the back to see all the eyes roll as he approached. At the last stop, he exited the bus carrying that heavy bike down to catch the subway which would have been packed with passengers.

    Does anyone see the problem? This is the reason I stopped carrying my folder because it became too heavy was quite cumbersome when using transit in the morning. This is the reason I see more Xooter kick scooters on public transit than folding bikes since it's a much smaller and lighter package.

    I guess what I ment to say is that unless public transit becomes more friendly and actually makes space for folding bikes, you'll rarely see anyone with them. I suspect the young man will become exhausted of carrying his bike in about 6 months and you'll never see him doing that again
    Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 07-13-10 at 09:20 PM. Reason: carriage returns

  2. #2
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    ehm, well I guess that's why most of us carry our folders on the bus initially, but then roll it to the seat.

  3. #3
    Senior Member badrad's Avatar
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    yeh, guess it depends on the folder. a cheap folder can be miserable on a crowded train. like selecting any work tool, get the proper one for the job.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Kind of why/where Bromptons work so well .. folds into a space of 4 cu ft. ... 24x24x12 is sufficient space.

    Stands well on its rear end, folded under, but if you don't want it to fall over
    while the bus lurches into motion, straddle it with your legs.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-13-10 at 11:21 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Wrong tool for the job it sounds like. You can drive trim nails with a 22 ounce waffle face framing hammer...but that doesn't mean you should.

    Aaron
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  6. #6
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    yup. this is why I got a Brompton and I couldn't be more happier. My first folder was a sea foam green Dahon Speed D7. I loved it and I still have it and occasionally ride it. I commute by bicycle or bus (and often both) to campus and around the city. If I hop on the bus, 99% of the time, I would put the Dahon on the front bus rack even when it was pouring rain resulting in a soggy bicycle. Furthermore, when folded, it still took up a lot of space in my 600 sq ft apartment. Even though the Dahon can fold faster than a Brompton, it is cumbersome and somewhat unpractical in it's folded size which did not suit my needs.

    This is where my Brompton changed my life. After several test rides and getting used to the smaller tires (meaning it is more responsive and nimble), my Brompton has become my American Express card-- I never leave home without it--and I keep it with me most of the time--I rarely leave it outside. The Brompton is designed to be folded where my Dahon seems to be a bike that is able to be folded. I personally think this is one of the most significant differences. The Brompton folds smaller and is easily carried by 1 hand (especially if you have the stock saddle with the hand grip underneath--one of my favorite features and I find the saddle pretty comfortable) like a large brief case.

    Although my Brompton takes longer to fold, is it SIGNIFICANTLY easier to carry around both inside and outside. I take it into all business establishments and most bars and restaurants. And I always bring it on the bus with me--even during rush hour. In fact, I have been on buses where people had suitcases with them that were larger than my folded Brompton. If the bus looks really busy or my Brompton is wet/dirty, I just toss it into my big blue Ikea bag (which is actually way bigger than necessary, but for a $3 folding bike bag it is perfect) so it keeps its mess to itself.

    I understand the problems with cumbersome objects on buses at busy times (I have seen it all--desktop computers with CRT monitors, , large musical equipment, full size car tire, even a stack of 8' long 2"x4"s) and no one even bats an eye with Brompton except for the occasional "Hey, is that a folding bike?" which stirs up great conversation for the bus ride.

    I know I'm a big time Brompton fanboy, but when I saw this post, I had to respond--because NOT all folding bikes are a nuisance and this is why I spent 1k on it. Which is a lot. But when it comes down to it, I take my folder with me almost everywhere I go. It has definitely become a useful daily tool in my life, just as much as my smartphone (which I use less for calling, more for searching and researching stuff on the go).

  7. #7
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I take the express bus each morning and for the first time witnessed someone actually carrying a cheap 20' inch folder inside the bus! I was surprised the driver allowed him in the first place but he actually did it!

    What gets me is all the carrying and how cumbersome the whole situation looked. You see once boarding, he had to carry the bike with two hands and drop it in front of the driver who is getting ready to move the bus. The bike did not want to stay still and was tipping over while he rushed to put money in the fare box. Then while the bus was moving and jerking all over the place, he had to carry the bike with both hands and balance his way to the back of the bus. Do you see why you’ll never see anyone well dressed doing this? I wish I’d been in the back to see all the eyes roll as he approached. At the last stop, he exited the bus carrying that heavy bike down to catch the subway which would have been packed with passengers.

    Does anyone see the problem? This is the reason I stopped carrying my folder because it became too heavy was quite cumbersome when using transit in the morning. This is the reason I see more Xooter kick scooters on public transit than folding bikes since it's a much smaller and lighter package.

    I guess what I ment to say is that unless public transit becomes more friendly and actually makes space for folding bikes, you'll rarely see anyone with them. I suspect the young man will become exhausted of carrying his bike in about 6 months and you'll never see him doing that again
    I invite you to visit the Los Angeles area's sorry excuse of public transit and really experience the unique "crap on board" people like to tote along with them anytime-be it rush hour or not. If you think a 20" folding bike takes up space or is awkward, wait until you experience for yourself the constant fighting over seats, lugging aboard full shopping strollers of everything from smelly used cans to the necessary to live food purchased from stores, the mandatory wheelchairs & walkers jamming aisles because the people can't park them correctly, and don't forget the screaming babies-not paying their share of fares-place right on the first seats in front of the bus (supposed to be reserved for the disabled) because their lazy overweight moms plop themselves there too. So the rare times I elect to bring my carefully slipcovered 20" folding bike aboard with me, the bus drivers never blinks an eye as folding bikes are welcomed anytime. As a matter of fact they have told me not to place the bike on the front racks. Someone might grab it there and it takes far longer to unload the bike from the rack assuming it does not disappear first!

    And don't forget the mass exodus to cars & driving former bus & train riders do here just as soon as they can afford it.

    Quote Originally Posted by extracrispy View Post
    yup. this is why I got a Brompton and I couldn't be more happier. My first folder was a sea foam green Dahon Speed D7. I loved it and I still have it and occasionally ride it. I commute by bicycle or bus (and often both) to campus and around the city. If I hop on the bus, 99% of the time, I would put the Dahon on the front bus rack even when it was pouring rain resulting in a soggy bicycle. Furthermore, when folded, it still took up a lot of space in my 600 sq ft apartment. Even though the Dahon can fold faster than a Brompton, it is cumbersome and somewhat unpractical in it's folded size which did not suit my needs.

    This is where my Brompton changed my life. After several test rides and getting used to the smaller tires (meaning it is more responsive and nimble), my Brompton has become my American Express card-- I never leave home without it--and I keep it with me most of the time--I rarely leave it outside. The Brompton is designed to be folded where my Dahon seems to be a bike that is able to be folded. I personally think this is one of the most significant differences. The Brompton folds smaller and is easily carried by 1 hand (especially if you have the stock saddle with the hand grip underneath--one of my favorite features and I find the saddle pretty comfortable) like a large brief case.

    Although my Brompton takes longer to fold, is it SIGNIFICANTLY easier to carry around both inside and outside. I take it into all business establishments and most bars and restaurants. And I always bring it on the bus with me--even during rush hour. In fact, I have been on buses where people had suitcases with them that were larger than my folded Brompton. If the bus looks really busy or my Brompton is wet/dirty, I just toss it into my big blue Ikea bag (which is actually way bigger than necessary, but for a $3 folding bike bag it is perfect) so it keeps its mess to itself.

    I understand the problems with cumbersome objects on buses at busy times (I have seen it all--desktop computers with CRT monitors, , large musical equipment, full size car tire, even a stack of 8' long 2"x4"s) and no one even bats an eye with Brompton except for the occasional "Hey, is that a folding bike?" which stirs up great conversation for the bus ride.

    I know I'm a big time Brompton fanboy, but when I saw this post, I had to respond--because NOT all folding bikes are a nuisance and this is why I spent 1k on it. Which is a lot. But when it comes down to it, I take my folder with me almost everywhere I go. It has definitely become a useful daily tool in my life, just as much as my smartphone (which I use less for calling, more for searching and researching stuff on the go).
    My favorite folding bike seems to be the one which is designed to be not interfering with other people's space. With or without it's protective cover, it is always welcome everywhere it goes (and gains new fans). Here it is on a very crowded bus heading toward the central civic center one morning a couple of years ago on Bike To Work Day. I just tucked it behind some seats and took no extra space from any other paying fare:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 07-14-10 at 06:59 AM.

  8. #8
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    I've taken my folded Tokyo on the bus, without a whole lot of hassle. One long pootle got TOO long for me, so I found a bus stop for a bus I knew would get me home, folded with a velcro strap to keep it closed, and carried it aboard, no problem. It was non-rush, however, so the bus was fairly empty and I could put the bike in the aisle between the bench seats, leaving plenty of room for other riders. Even in rush hour, I've taken the bike on a bus in its blue IKEA bag, or black canvas cargo bag. Takes no more room than big suitcases I've seen others bring on board.

    But I prefer to leave it unfolded and use the bike rack at the front of the bus. The first time I did this was on a Saturday, and the bus driver got out to show me how to secure it - on a regular bike the securing rod goes behind the front wheel, but on mine, it is best to put it on the frame behind the handlebars.

  9. #9
    Senior Member highroller's Avatar
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    I usually do a rail trip and dont bother folding most of the time. If I take it on a bus I need to bag it or use a slip cover. Buses normally have a standing section for people with prams/baby strollers.

  10. #10
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    really no problems at all for my strida cause it folds up into a neat package. On the subway I just put it against the car ends so it is totally out of the way. when it's pouring rain and I rode into work I took the bus home once during rush hour but since I had to stand I just locked up my brakes on the wheels and just leaned on the bike like a walking stick on the bus. Works pretty awesome! they really designed this bike for multi modal to the max.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
    My favorite folding bike seems to be the one which is designed to be not interfering with other people's space. With or without it's protective cover, it is always welcome everywhere it goes (and gains new fans). Here it is on a very crowded bus heading toward the central civic center one morning a couple of years ago on Bike To Work Day. I just tucked it behind some seats and took no extra space from any other paying fare:
    Great picture!!! I have a picture of my Brommie behind the seat also. But yours has awesome flames! First Brompton I have seen with flames. nice.

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