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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 05-06-08, 01:52 PM   #1
gwd
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Folder Backlash

As living car free becomes more popular....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7372956.stm

It seems some of the folder people haul their bikes in cars and use them on the city end of their commute. I rarely see a folder when I'm on the rush hour trains in DC.
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Old 05-06-08, 05:54 PM   #2
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Seems like a next-generation issue to me. For right now, the crush of bicycles on public transport is not much of an issue in my town.

There was one neat comment :"My folding bike is smaller than the majority of bags, briefcases and suitcases that almost all commuters carry. Overcrowding is the issue."
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Old 05-06-08, 06:32 PM   #3
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As living car free becomes more popular....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7372956.stm

It seems some of the folder people haul their bikes in cars and use them on the city end of their commute. I rarely see a folder when I'm on the rush hour trains in DC.
Good article, you should have posted it on the folder forum.

What's happening is the success of folding bikes in the UK where trains are smaller than in the U.S. with no place for even a folder. Complicate matters worse, those trains are PACKED with people so that even a very small folder like the Brompton is just too big.

Someone gave a good comment in saying they should just bike to the station and lock up. However, my experience has been positive only if you park at least 2 blocks away from the station. Parking at a bike rack is a quick way to get your bike stolen and damaged.
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Old 05-06-08, 07:43 PM   #4
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I hate to say it, but as an American, I couldn't understand about half the language in that article.

What's a 'boot'? What's a 'Bowler hat'? "
'soggy brollies dangle'?
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Old 05-06-08, 08:10 PM   #5
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I hate to say it, but as an American, I couldn't understand about half the language in that article.

What's a 'boot'? What's a 'Bowler hat'? "
'soggy brollies dangle'?
boot=trunk

Bowler hat - Seriously? You don't know what a Bowler hat is?
Traditional headgear of the City of London office worker, less so now.
http://www.icons.org.uk/theicons/collection/bowler-hat

'soggy brollies dangle'= Wet umbrellas hanging.

Regular bicycles are banned on our light rail here during rush hour,
folding bikes have no restrictions. Nowhere near as crowded as London trains.
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Old 05-06-08, 08:15 PM   #6
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I JUST figured out the "soggy brollies dangle" line... lol

I couldn't think of where a trunk would be on the train, so my guess was that they were referring to that "cyclo git" taking his bike from the trunk of his car to carry it on the train.

A bowler hat -- I thought everyone knew that.

Now -- who else is going to clarify "Mac-clad passengers"? Hint: it has nothing to do with computers.
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Old 05-06-08, 08:44 PM   #7
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It's a jacket
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Old 05-06-08, 09:01 PM   #8
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It's a jacket
Its usually at least knee length, and as such, would be more properly called a coat.
A rain coat.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:36 PM   #9
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Its usually at least knee length, and as such, would be more properly called a coat.
A rain coat.
Sometimes even nicknamed "pac-a-mac", being a thin raincoat that you can pack into itself or into whatever bag you're carrying.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:52 PM   #10
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I've ridden the light rail in Dallas during rush hour and I can imagine fitting a bike unto the car would be next to impossible. Perhaps a rack system is in order? I wouldn't think it be too terribly difficult. But I guess it all depends on volume. Of course, they could just add more trains... DART was awful with that. They would run just one train car through during some of the busy night time hours and they would always be jam packed.
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Old 05-06-08, 10:36 PM   #11
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Riding the whole way is better anyway, if you can manage it. On the DART, there are lots of crazies.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdP1PANMRTo
I've actually been on the train with this guy, a couple times. There is another regular crazy, but I couldn't find a video of him.
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Old 05-07-08, 05:31 AM   #12
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Where is the trunk on a train?
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Old 05-07-08, 07:13 AM   #13
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I JUST figured out the "soggy brollies dangle" line... lol

I couldn't think of where a trunk would be on the train, so my guess was that they were referring to that "cyclo git" taking his bike from the trunk of his car to carry it on the train.

A bowler hat -- I thought everyone knew that.

Now -- who else is going to clarify "Mac-clad passengers"? Hint: it has nothing to do with computers.
"Mac" is short for "Mackintosh", the raincoat named after its inventor. See

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mackintosh
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Old 05-07-08, 08:46 AM   #14
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I'm going to make a few assumptions:

1. The trains that are the problem are commuter trains from the suburbs of big cities to city centers
2. People who bring their bikes on the trains plan on biking when they reach the city center
3. Most people (call it 80%) do not work within walking distance of commuter train stations so they have to take other public transportation to get to work such as subways (tubes).
4. When folded a folding bike occupies about the volume of 0.25 people.

From assumption 2 we can reason that the people bringing their bikes on trains are not members of the 20% of people working near major stations so without bikes they would be occupying space on the subway. This means that each cyclist is "costing" 100% of commuters 0.25 people's worth of space on the way into the city, but "saving" 80% of commuters 1 persons worth of space during their subway ride.

In other words, if a commuter train car (carriage) holds 100 people and 4% of them are cyclists (their bikes occupy 1 persons worth of space so there would be 99 people and 4 bikes in the car). When they arrive there will be 76 people trying to ride the subway instead of 80 resulting in a net savings of 3 people worth of space in the congested inner city at a cost of only 1 person on the commuter train.

In conclusion, bicyclists actually decrease congestion on public transportation.

(Sorry about the faux-mathematical analysis. I wanted to make a list of reasons and I got a little swept up in the whole thing.)
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Old 05-07-08, 09:06 AM   #15
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I've never seen a folded bike in person. Can they not go in your lap?
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Old 05-07-08, 10:00 AM   #16
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I've never seen a folded bike in person. Can they not go in your lap?
The folded size varies a lot. For many folders, it would be like balancing a big dog on your lap.
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Old 05-07-08, 05:55 PM   #17
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"Mac" is short for "Mackintosh", the raincoat named after its inventor. See

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mackintosh
Ohhh, cool.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:47 PM   #18
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I've never seen a folded bike in person. Can they not go in your lap?
The answer is no.

Most folders weight about 24-30 lbs or more! This weight is uneven and folding bikes have a lot of sharp points that would dig into your lap making it very uncomfortable after 5 minutes. In addition, a folder is a commuter bike with dirt and grease all over. Putting one on your lap is a sure way to arrive at work a mess!
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Old 05-08-08, 06:19 AM   #19
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The answer is no.

Most folders weight about 24-30 lbs or more! This weight is uneven and folding bikes have a lot of sharp points that would dig into your lap making it very uncomfortable after 5 minutes. In addition, a folder is a commuter bike with dirt and grease all over. Putting one on your lap is a sure way to arrive at work a mess!
The one folder I had experience with came with a carry bag to keep you clean. It was heavy and I wouldn't want to put it on my lap.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:37 AM   #20
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You know....

I love bicycling, but hauling around a heavy,clunky dirty folding bike just isn't appealing to me.

I would rather carry a long skateboard in a backpack and use that in the city. OR may have a real bike waiting for me at the train stations.
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