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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 03-21-14, 02:00 PM   #1
FedericoMena
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Folding bike + car

I'm intentionally not posting this in the "folding bike" forum since they'll just tell me to Do It

Does anyone keep a folding bike more or less permanently in the trunk of a car?

I'm getting annoyed with this pattern in my not-daily errand run:

1. Get wife and daughter ready for school; they drive off in the first car.

2. In the second car, I drive my mom to the elderly care home for the day.

3. Drive back home.

4. If I have an errand to run downtown, I consider if I have time/energy to bike there. It's 10 Km away, 200 meters ascent, and takes me half an hour. The ride is okay minus a few stressful spots, but the roundtrip takes slightly more than one hour.

5. Get back home and work (I work from home).

I'm thinking that if I had a folding bike, I could drive to the limits of downtown, park there, run my errands on the bike, and save some time.

(Plus, I could probably take the folding bike on trips - I frequently travel to conferences and having a bike would be fantastic.)

Does anyone do something like this? How does it work for you?
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Old 03-21-14, 08:46 PM   #2
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I have been hauling bikes around the country for work for the past 15+ years. I used to drive a very large pickup truck so hauling a full sized bike was not a problem, I usually took my old beater Raleigh 3 speed. I have been downsized to a Nissan Altima, my current travel bike is a 1984 Dahon Classic 3. I do occasionally take my Raleigh Twenty which is more comfortable for longer rides than my Dahon. I use the bikes for everything from backup transportation to touring a new area.

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Old 03-22-14, 05:14 AM   #3
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I'm not the person you want advice from, being a contributor in the folding bike forum, but...

Absolutely go for it! Unless you have regular needs to use the trunk space, why not? You could also consider a mini-velo--both the Raleigh R20 I had and the BikesDirect mini fit sideways in the back seat of the car without removing front wheels. Car was a sub-compact Mazda Protege5.

Worst case: you find out that you are not using it much and sell it along. Pick up a cheap used folder and see if it works for you.

PS. The fun part of it, you don't just have a spare tire in your vehicle, you've got a spare vehicle in your vehicle...
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Old 03-22-14, 07:08 AM   #4
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I don't know what the crime situation is like in Xalapa, but here in Spain I'd be afraid it'd get nicked.
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Old 03-22-14, 01:37 PM   #5
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I don't know what the crime situation is like in Xalapa, but here in Spain I'd be afraid it'd get nicked.
Out of your car trunk? Yikes!
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Old 03-22-14, 02:31 PM   #6
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Out of your car trunk? Yikes!
Definitely! You dare not leave anything inside a car, not even in the trunk. The thieves open them in an eyeblink and seem to have a sixth sense about which vehicles are most likely to have valuable items locked inside. Every year at Christmas you read about people who've been out shopping, filled their trunks with expensive gifts and had them all stolen.

I think if I were Federico I'd try to find a way to securely lock his folder to the inside of the trunk.
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Old 03-22-14, 03:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FedericoMena View Post
I'm intentionally not posting this in the "folding bike" forum since they'll just tell me to Do It

Does anyone keep a folding bike more or less permanently in the trunk of a car?

I'm getting annoyed with this pattern in my not-daily errand run:

1. Get wife and daughter ready for school; they drive off in the first car.

2. In the second car, I drive my mom to the elderly care home for the day.

3. Drive back home.

4. If I have an errand to run downtown, I consider if I have time/energy to bike there. It's 10 Km away, 200 meters ascent, and takes me half an hour. The ride is okay minus a few stressful spots, but the roundtrip takes slightly more than one hour.

5. Get back home and work (I work from home).

I'm thinking that if I had a folding bike, I could drive to the limits of downtown, park there, run my errands on the bike, and save some time.

(Plus, I could probably take the folding bike on trips - I frequently travel to conferences and having a bike would be fantastic.)

Does anyone do something like this? How does it work for you?

I keep my folding bike in my trunk for emergencies, before I had one though I would keep my full size in my trunk with both quick release wheels off it fit nicely. It was always handy to have in case of emergencies or if I had to do errands where parking costs were crazy expensive and I had to move around many different places. It's a lot easier to get around down town on a bike anyways. I just keep a blanket around it so it doesn't get scratched up. For me it's comforting to know that if I need a bike when i'm driving places I have one handy. As far as theft I didn't pay much for my folder so it's not the end of the world.



Bridgestone Picnica (I cleaned it up a lot better than it looks in this picture but it's the only one I have of it)

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Old 03-22-14, 04:47 PM   #8
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A folding bike in the trunk is good. Another option that's only slightly more fussy is a stripped down single speed with the wheels removed. I really got into riding that style while riding to work 35 miles away, then hitching a ride home (with my bike) in a friend's Honda Civic.
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Old 03-22-14, 05:42 PM   #9
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I've sometimes kept my regular road bike in my car's trunk, but have never done this with my folder. This really isn't a folder-specific question since my regular 60cm frame, 700c road bike fits easily in the trunk of a Corolla (or similar small car) with the car seats up so the bike is completely hidden. And putting the wheels back on is about as quick and easy as unfolding a Brompton or similar folding bike.

If you would find it handy to have your bike along when you travel by car then go ahead - no need to buy a special folding bike just for that purpose. OTOH, my folder has been convenient when traveling by plane since it fits in a normal suitcase and avoids the airlines' frequently excessive oversize charges. And it is also nice to have when doing a multi-modal trip using mass transit systems that restrict regular bicycles but allow folders.
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Old 03-22-14, 06:31 PM   #10
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OK, full disclosure, I don't have a folder. I want one so bad though, one that I could break down into a bag and fly with when I travel for work, particularly when I fly to Denver.

However, I do have a large vehicle that I drive to get art supplies and to make deliveries, a large van that I usually put a road bike and a mountain bike in. Its fantastic having a bike to run around on. I have often thought that if I had to downsize vehicles I would get a minivelo as mconlonx suggests, or a folder. Something cheaper like a citizen, till I knew I liked it.

You do realize that you are asking bike enthusiasts if they think you should get a bike.
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Old 03-22-14, 06:55 PM   #11
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OK, full disclosure, I don't have a folder. I want one so bad though, one that I could break down into a bag and fly with when I travel for work, particularly when I fly to Denver.
Yep, I think you need a folder! Denver is way more fun if you have a bike.
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Old 03-24-14, 12:24 PM   #12
FedericoMena
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Thanks to all! Securing the bike inside the trunk is definitely interesting, and sounds like a good idea, anyway.

I don't think I could handle a single-speed with the wheels removed; this is a *very* hilly city. I have put my regular bike, with the front wheel removed, in the trunk of the Renault Clio, but I need to pull both back seats down and it's just really awkward. I haven't tried removing both wheels. I'm not sure how well it would work given that I have rigid fenders on both wheels these days...

I'll definitely start looking for a folding bike. It would also be fantastic to take it on travels.
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