Had to pop in to kmart for one quick item. Wheeled my bike in to the shopping centre - why not, everyone else is wheeling shopping trolleys. Tried to wheel it past the kmart door guy.
"you can't bring that in here".
"ok, I'll lock it to the railing next to you here, then".
"no, bikes shouldn't be in the centre at all".
"how about I fold it up and put it in a trolley?"
"ok" (in an "as if" tone)
Twist, click, clack, flick, push, click. Lift into nearby trolley.
"wow, that's amazing, isn't it?" (to nearby kmart lady)
"wow yeah"
"so you're ok for me to take it in now?"
"yes, go ahead"
Grab item, checkout, a minute to reassemble and strap purchase on the back, wheel out through the shopping centre.

I love my folding bike's ability to turn "no" into "ok then"!

Views: 524

Comment by Dabba on June 28, 2009 at 8:52am
It has always intrigued me why bikes are treated so differently from shopping trolleys, prams/strollers and wheelchairs. Try getting an answer on that the next time you are stopped!
Comment by DamianM on June 28, 2009 at 2:07pm

Welcome back too Fiona!
Comment by Jonathon Troy on June 28, 2009 at 2:12pm
I have often thought about using a folding bike for rail trips to Melbourne (basically just fold it up, bag it, stow it as luggage and then when I get to Southern Cross Station unpack it and ride off) & was looking at suggesting them to people at work who are looking taking the train to a station close to work and then riding in (same principle to avoid the child fare).
How are folding bikes for commuting/shopping? I know you use a Dahon. I have heard that the lower end models don't do well for commuting but thought I would get an opinion from someone who knows.
Comment by Ma Dame Vélo on June 28, 2009 at 6:02pm
I know a couple of people who ride Birdies. Some come on BIke North rides and seem to keep up the same speed as everyone else on all but the "hard" grade rides. I see plenty of them on Big Rides too. Again, there is a range within the brand, some flat bars, some drop bars, some lighter than others etc. I would expect that if you knew what your priorities were you could find one to suit any purpose.
Comment by BikeSaint on June 28, 2009 at 6:27pm
Kylie, I have 20" wheels, same as bmx, so it makes it easy to get a range of spare tyres & tubes.

Jonathon, folding bikes are the same as all bikes on Australian trains. In Europe folded up bikes = luggage.

My Dahon is great for commuting and shopping (with panniers and trailer) - how fast you go or what loads you carry depends largely on your gearing, same as any bike. Lower end ones have fewer gears.

My small wheels mean I have less (help me here engineer MadameBike) centrifigal? force so it is easier to accelerate and go up hills but I have less momentum to keep up the speed on flat or downhill. Suits me, as I like being able to take off a bit faster on a hill when I have a bus behind me. The front wheel rake of the Dahon also means the steering is very responsive/twitchy (depending on your point of view) which is handy for being nimble, say, in crowded areas. Perfect for city commuting, imo.

And fun, occasionally, when it challenges people's thinking and rules.
Comment by DamianM on June 30, 2009 at 4:03pm
You're the threadkilla!
Comment by BikeSaint on June 30, 2009 at 4:46pm
Sorry to spook you by not replying earlier. I've swapped from a Dahon Speed TR (which is heavier due to hub gears and panniers full of junk) to a lighter Dahon Boardwalk, so it's a pretty easy lift. :o)


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