The ride

Posted on October 5, 2011


Today I picked up my new bike.  A brand new folding bike!  My new Dahon is a dusky shade of blue and has panniers, lights, a pump and of course, a bell.  At first I pooh poohed a folding bike.  How could a folding bike be a real bike? ‘Isn’t it just some kind of gimmick?’, I thought.  For those not in the know, folding bikes are designed to be folded so that they can be carried, either because the rider needs to get onto public transport as part of their journey, or because, they want to put it easily in the back of the car.  So, the idea of the folding bike, while sensible, always had an air of difficulty about it.  It goes like this: get up in the morning and change into cycling gear.  Chuck down some breakfast, pack work-wear along with the usual accoutrement necessary for the working day – wallet, keys, phones, entrance passes, travel passes, pens, note pad, lap-top, lunch, fruit…huh….I’m exhausted already!  Then, get on bike.  Ride to station.  Get off bike.  Fold bike up.  Get on train.  Travel while stinky.  Get off train trailing dirty looks from fellow travellers.  Unfold bike.  Get on bike.  Ride bike to work.  Go in basement.  Park and lock bike (or fold bike and take lift while stinky up to desk to deposit bike and work accoutrement).  Cop disapproving looks from those clearly more professional than I. Find shower, get in shower, wash, get out of shower, (discover towel was not packed), dry with sweaty shirt, get into work gear (happy dance – ‘this time you packed the right shoes!’).  Get in lift, sit at desk, and thank fuck I made it!

So…with this mental map in mind, I was not fussed on the old folding bike…not at all!  But then.  I slowly got seduced.  Was it the techie thing?  The funky wheels?  The number of folds?  Or was it actually the inherent flexibility that the design brings – was it in truth that I realised that not only was it a joy to ride (dinky wheels, easy gears, great for my dodgy back), but it offered a level of flexibility for which I would be forever grateful.  Instead of having to leave the imagined grand chariot (the full-sized, rigid frame number) at work overnight because it was too late, I was too tired, I was too pissed having been to the pub for a few, I could simply fold the dinkster, pop it under the arm and head home.

Ahhh the glorious folding dinkster!  So now let the joy last!  For I am intending use my funky new ride to get to work and to get around town.  Freedom from the drudgery of the tube.  Freedom from the sheeplike commute.  I can’t wait to feel the morning air as I carve through the frost and mist and morningness of it all.

Let’s see how long I feel enraptured, but for now….phoah!  Check out my dusky ride!