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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 02-16-08, 11:09 AM   #1
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Bikes: Mezzo D9, 2012 Giant Avail 2
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First week on a folder

First week of multi mode commuting.

I'm about 1 1/2 miles from the station at this end, 10 mile train trip that takes between 20 and 30 minutes and then another ~3 miles (Waterloo to Brick Lane, if you know London). Wednesday (a week and a half ago) I picked up a Mezzo D9.

I'm really enjoying it, but of course it's a mix.

Good thing: Morning journey from waterloo takes about the same time as it took to walk from Bank Station (i.e. I am saving the time of a tube journey and associated queuing and heartache)
Bad thing: Evening journey takes about 2 times that! I still haven't found a good route in the opposite direction, and I keep getting off course while experimenting with alternatives. It's darker, busier and drivers are more aggressive.
Good thing: Suddenly finding you are passing the British Museum or the Barbican or some other landmark after taking a wrong turn.
Bad thing: World's shortest nightmare: bike, car, BAM! (woke in the middle of the night after 3 days commuting. Estimate the dream lasted less than a second).
Good thing: Number of demonstrations done for curious passers-by: 2.
Bad thing: Number of trains missed due to bike: 5 (four of them were the same morning - don't ask!). 1 was because I couldn't fold it fast enough, the others due to overcrowding.
Good thing: Cycling is not (necessarily) harder than walking, so I've been able to keep it up although I've got a nasty chest cold.
Bad thing: Arriving at work exhausted because sometimes traffic forces you to pedal quickly, and you have a cold that by rights should have kept you in bed.
Bad thing: London bike lanes - they appear and disappear at will.
Good thing: The bounce in my step that seems to last the morning.
Bad thing: Passing between 2 double decker buses.
Good thing: Admiring looks the bike gets from colleagues - including a Brompton user.
Bad thing: London pedestrians (see commuting forum)
Good thing: Noticing how popular folders are: there are 3 in my section of maybe 30 people, and I see tons on the way through London.

That will do for now - I may add some more later.
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Old 02-16-08, 11:25 AM   #2
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Watch out at junctions and traffic lights for left turning buses and trucks. More cyclists are killed by being crushed under the swinging in of long vehicles doing left turns than anything else. Apparently the London bendy buses are especially bad for this. Keep either behind or ahead of of heavy vehicles at junctions, last place to be is down alongside them. More women than men suffer this accident because women tend to be more law abiding and wait patiently alongside trucks rather than moving out ahead of them which men tend to do. Certainly, if you see the links below, you'll see that more than half the cyclist killed in London are simply run over by left turning trucks and buses.

Glad you're generally enjoying the rides. You'll be far fitter in the long run, but bear this in mind. Divers of big vehicles simply turn left without checking whether you've sneaked up alongside. I expect that in other countries the problem area will vehicles turning right.

Last edited by EvilV; 02-16-08 at 11:36 AM.
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