I’ve always wanted to be a bicycle commuter, however circumstances have never really made it possible. Whether because I lived too far away, poor traffic conditions or poor end of trip facilities, it’s not really been possible. So, with the purchase of a folding bike, I officially joined the ranks of (semi) bicycle commuters!
My commute into town is about 7 kms. It is mostly on quiet roads and bikeway. I can do the whole commute on cycleway, however it adds 2 big hills and about 1.5kms onto the journey. As I’m a bit lazy, I take the flat, 3 lane road for 5 blocks instead.
All in all, the Dahon performs really well. The bike folds up and down really really easily. It’s not at all onerous, and easy to do at the train station. On the train, it takes up about half of the aisle. I had it bagged (as required by the RTA), so it just looked like a largish bean bag (just less squishy). It also fits nicely beside my desk, and doesn’t take up much space, which means that I don’t have to leave it outside (at the mercy of bike thieves), but can bring it into my office.
My only real complaint is about the gearing. I think the gearing has been set up either for someone with bigger legs than me, or someone who wants to pedal with a much slower cadence than me. I like to spin my legs reasonably fast, but it meant that I ran out of gears pretty quickly.
I also rode with a backpack, as the bike doesn’t have a rear rack. This, I didn’t really enjoy. The backpack obscured my vision to the rear, which made me a bit more hesitant in lane changing. I’ve ordered a rear rack to rectify the problem.
All in all, though, it’s a really nice feeling to arrive at work having done something. It’s a short enough commute not to be onerous or taxing, more like a pleasant morning stroll.