Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jawa Nomad

Another European folder, this one Czech-made. Similar to other U-frames but with a slightly different frame. Other distinctions are the chain guard, and rear rack. More pictures here. There are two in the gallery, both were up for auction.

Google Bike Maps

Recent Announcement from Google:

"The best part about this new dataset is that we've been able to add a lot of new, detailed information to Google Maps - information that helps people better explore and get around the real world. For example, college students will be pleased to see maps of many campuses; and cyclists will now find many more trails and paths to explore. Soon we even plan on providing you with biking directions to take advantage of this new data. Of course, in the true Google spirit of "launch and iterate," we plan to work with more data sources to add new features in the map."

Taken from GoogleMapsBikeThere

More versions of Bike There have been popping up.
Twin Cities:


After a couple weeks of sitting in my apartment disassembled, the Peugeot is finally up and running. Really, the only repair work I did was replace the inner-tubes, but I've been cleaning misc parts here and there, replaced the tires and saddle as well. It rides nice and still shifts well, and all in all, i'm pretty happy with it. It still needs a few adjustments and fixes before I do any extensive riding. I'll get pictures soon, my digital camera shorted out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

22" Peugeot

As an owner of a folding Peugeot, I still like to keep an eye out for other folding bikes that are out there. I see this particular style pop up every once and while in various colors; orange, white, and this light seafoam green. Pretty unusual for a folding bike to have 22" wheels. Not a fan of the newer saddle, but still, I find myself wanting one everytime I see another one, maybe someday If the opportunity is right. This one is on craigslist in the San Jose area. It seems this area (SF) along with Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver is a hotspot for this sort thing. Craigslist

Monday, October 5, 2009

After all the failed attempts to pick up a bike in another state off craigslist and a recent outbid in the last four seconds on ebay, I've finally picked up a bike. It's not quite in the condition I was hoping for. In fact, It's a piece of shit. It's filthy, it's creaky, and cost me more than it's really worth. But it's gonna be damn fun to fix up. It's a Peugeot. My judgement might have been a little bit impaired when I got it after the past failed attempts.. or maybe it was the lack of decent folders in Nashville, I'm not sure. But still, it's gonna make a good project bike for now. I'm still going to keep an eye out for another one, hoping this one will give me some good maintenance experience.

And btw, the picture was taken by the owner, probably not recently either because it looks like the back tire still holds air! It's a lot dirtier than the picture shows.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Marilu Folder

Another bike I decided to pass on, due to it being 11 hours of a drive away. It was listed on ebay, with the option of pickup only, which I was almost willing to do. Also, the bike was listed under the brand Marilu, which I wasn't able to find any information about at all, which seemed a little suspicious. Still, a nice design for a folder. A fairly typical u-frame including a gear case, not something you see a lot of on folders. The bike sold for $37.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Hunt Continues...

Searching for a folder while living in Nashville is still continuing to be difficult. I've twice been close to finding a folder on craigslist that was in a location that could be comfortably driven to over a weekend. The first was in Cincinnati where this guy was selling a Peugeot folder, fairly basic but in good condition. I was prepared to drive there on a sunday, but he was busy, and had a possible buyer coming by to see it the next day. Unfortunately for me, it sold on monday.

The second was in Knoxville, or nearby, where a guy was selling a folding Chiorda, which seemed to be in pretty nice condition. I contacted him to see if it was still available, only to find he was reconfiguring the bike to a coaster brake "because it would work better for the folding mechanism". I myself prefer a bike with handbrakes and a freewheel, so I probably won't be pursuing this anymore. However, the Chiorda is not too different from my Bianchi back in California, and the handbrakes serve it just fine. And if the Chiorda's handbrakes are anything like my Bianchi's, then that means the brakes are welded to the handlebars, making this a lot of effort to reconfigure, I'm guessing. Especially if there's someone, like myself, who would prefer to buy it as is.

Oh well, for now there's still one other lead.. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bike There

You can drive there. You can take public transit there. You can even walk there. And you know it's probably not long until Google Maps adds a "bike there" option when you get directions somewhere. GoogleMapsBikeThere is a website encouraging Google Maps to make the change. They offer a petition for anyone to sign as well.

Or you can support RideTheCity, who now have maps for NYC, Chicago, and Austin. Help them support maps for your city. So far they offer direct routes, safe routes, and safer routes.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Legnano Bianchi

Right now on ebay, there's this beautiful Bianchi up for auction. This is just out of my price range, otherwise I might consider buying it. Beautiful design, though.

Legnano Bianchi

Locking Your Bike

As a folding bike owner, locking your bike isn't the biggest concern. It's easy to keep indoors when you're home, or in the trunk if your car isn't far. But it's inevitable, even folding bikes will have to be locked up at times.

Here's a humorous, but informative video on locking your bike.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The First

After my interest developed into an obsession I started to keep an eye out on craigslist for a decent folder. Nashville is not a good place to be looking for one. Luckily I found a few in California a week before I took a trip back home. I got this one the first week I was there.

This is what I hope is the first of a small folding bike collection. It says Bianchi, but I'm not completely sure if it is as I"ve seen tons of the same model online with different labels. But I've also seen others labeled Bianchi so I'll leave it as that. I originally didn't like the purple and was planning to paint it the first week I got it, but after a few rides with it, the color grew on me, so I think I'll be keeping it. I never thought I could get so attached to a bike.

I was never one to fuss with car racks, so the folder suits me best. When it's folded, it's not incredibly compact, but just enough to fit nicely in the trunk which is the main reason I wanted it. I took it to Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Mission/Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach and Newport, which is where the picture was taken. It's a great coaster, the wheels are 20" which is pretty much a BMX wheel which is what I've always been comfortable with. For photographers, it's great because you can pull over a lot easier for shots you stumble upon, and you seem to stumble on them more often. The phrase "stop and smell the roses" comes to mind.

And for bikers in Newport Beach, make sure and take the ferry to Balboa Island.

I did, however, leave the bike back in California, but I plan to get another one somewhere on this side of the country.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Start of Something

So I recently redeveloped a love for cycling, something I haven't had since I was roughly the age of 13. I used to keep my Dyno Nitro parked on the side of my house until it was stolen, and I haven't owned a bike since.

Last year I saw a documentary made about Reyner Banham, an architectural critic, exploring Los Angeles during the 1970s. Early on in the film, they show the architect riding around town on a bike with 16" wheels (I think). I had never seen such proportions on a bicycle, especially on an older model, and I quickly became intrigued by the style.

This is how I was introduced to the folding bicycle, a concept that was so new to me, but has been around for a while. My intrigue has since been my obsession.

Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles