Monday, July 28, 2008

Cargo Bike - My next toy?

A marriage enhancer!

A "no worries" grocery run

I've always been very fascinated with foldies, and in fact all sorts of other interesting bicycles. The biking capital of the world is Copenhagen, Denmark and there, riding a bike is such a part of their lifestyle. The Cargo Bike, which has Danish roots, has caught me attention recently and its a most intriguing way of going car-free. Its basically an extended bicycle with a big box between its wheels.

Its ability to transport kids to school or ice cream treats, go out with your special someone for a nice evening ride, make a trip to the groceries and even haul all sorts of things are wonderful options that the Cargo Bike offers. The social and fun factor in making music together as per the video is awesome! I think it can fit several foldies easily as well.

A beautiful song that goes with a care-free bicycle ride - as it should be!

I've been making some enquiries with Tim Paton from Cargo Bikes Australia and am getting excited. Thinking very hard indeed...

Pics taken from -

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Beating inflation the FUN way

Fully loaded 94' Bridgestone XO5 - loaded with laundry that is

The lovely Ghim Moh Bike Track

Classic Priest Handlebar. Note 41.3kmh registered on Speedo

Inflation has really hit Singapore hard. The latest govt stats say its 7% but we all know its more like 20% across the board. Even the neighbourhood Dry Cleaners has raised prices. One jacket $12. More for the comforter. Outrageous!

Which explains why I had to travel to the heartlands of Commonwealth Housing Estate where I managed to get those items cleaned for nearly half the price. What's more, a plate of my fav Nasi Briyani (Indian curry rice) is only $3 compared to $4 where I live. Only problem is its a 17km round trip and when you factor transport/petrol costs, it may not be worth the trouble - unless you bike there.

My 94 Bridgestone XO5 hybrid bicycle, a neglected child regrettably, has been languishing on the side lines. I got this for my beloved when we were courting and its a supremely comfortable old style bike with eccentric "priest" moustache handlebars. Throw on the trusty panniers and some air in the tires, Bob's your uncle (there you are, in old Australian). Chris kindly upgraded this Grant Petersen steel classic recently with new road bike gears, new Panaracer 700c tires etc and its truly a stealthy bike. I have cycled down the East Coast of Malaysia on the XO5 in 2006 and enjoyed that ride immensely.

700c race bike tires, capable of 150psi

With some bungees, I managed to tie the laundry on the bike. What was supposed to be a boring trip to the cleaners turned out to be 53 minutes of great fun on the saddle (avg an easy 20kmh). Fresh air, sunshine, flying 41.3kmh on a downhill and just being in the lovely outdoors. Topped that with a great Briyani lunch, a chance meeting with my Uncle Harry and some ice cream at MacD, its not a bad way to beat inflation, would you say?

Briyani - Basmati rice cooked with spices and herbs. Served with curry chicken, mutton & pickles. Yumz!
Grant Petersen on Bridgestone Bicycles, extinct 1994
We tried to make bikes conspicuously different and better. It seemed like a great idea because the things that make bikes unique were things we liked anyway: round chainrings, cantilevers instead of U-brakes, higher-volume clinchers, bar-end shifters, and the moustache bar.Some people got the idea that we were anti-technology or anti-progress... Being different is what made it fun!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The world's best commuter bike + chick magnet

I had to meet my wife today in the city and instead of getting stucked with two cars, I decided to use the Carry Me in conjunction with the bus. Its 8kg weight plus super compact stroller size made for the easiest handling. Beats Brompton and Strida hands down for this type of use. Truly sui generis in design! Perfect for 2-3 km commutes.
The Carry Me also caught the attention of two young American ladies at the bus stop. They approached me and asked the usual questions about the Carry Me. One of the cute ladies offered to take a photo of the bike and I.
Here's the proof. Don't worry honey, its the bike they were interested in :)

The world's best bike for going up buses and trains + chick magnet!

*My cheeky friend ChrisW, in the comments column, called for photo evidence that the CM (Chick Magnet) attracts. I don't have those pics of the bus stop ladies unfortunately but here is Audrey Hepburn "Senior" admiring my other CM in Chiang Mai,Thailand recently. Not quite a chick but hope that counts too?

Monday, July 14, 2008

OSIM race results out - Tikit IS fast!

Who says you can't race with a foldy?

This folded package becomes a "race" bike in 5 secs

Finishing top 30% !

Tri race results OUT! Jem was the fastest Australian (out of 3, where were all the Aussies?) in the 10-12 yo boys category. But what is of interest is that riding the Bike Friday tikit, his 10km time was better than the 24 gear Speed Pro used last year on the same route.

Position - 48/113
Race # - 0378
Nationality: Australia
Swim 200m - 00:04:05
Cycle 10km - 00:30:15 vs 31:48 (S Pro, 2007)
Run 2km - 00:12:15
Total time 00:46:34

OK, so Jem is older by a year and has gotten a bit bigger and stronger. He did 51:24 last year and has improved his overall time by 5 mins. It could also be the weather was better, maybe Jem had a bigger breakfast, I cheered louder etc but it shows that the tikit is not a slow bike.

Overall in terms of cycling results, the only folding bike beat 70% of the all the cyclists including roadies and other full-size bikes.

Not bad for a boy who spends most of his time playing computer games, and had only one pre Tri ride. Now Jem is encouraged to work harder for next year, and that is what the Tri is about - improving oneself in every sense of the word. And having fun!

This may be a very rough lab test on the performance of the Bike Friday tikit but finishing top 30% in an open bicycle race for the only folder is very commendable indeed. Perhaps its time for an Air Friday next time?

My prince and the Malaysian Prince competing together

*The Malaysian Prince did very well too for his first attempt - 55:31

Saturday, July 12, 2008

OSIM Tri - a tribute to supporters

Proud Mom

" Bruce Willis" Dad & dog - cheering his kid on!

Why do a Tri? Because it helps the triathlete to develop life-skills in strategy, perseverence, endurance, grace, humility and achievement. But more than these, a successful Tri participant quickly learns he can't do it alone. He knows he needs strong support from family and friends.

I saw plenty of parents, family and friends just encouraging, coaching, helping, feeding and cheering that day. It was a beautiful sight to see parents expressing their love for their kids. Even the Malaysian King was there to support his son, who took part for the first time. There are no losers here, everyone is truly a winner and that makes Tri so fun!

A tribute to supporters indeed. And yes, some foldies were there too.

Mike, proud father of Bryan, with a Dahon Easy 6

Carry Me - Excellent transport to faraway carparks

OSIM Tri - Cycling

Let's see what the tikit can do...

Parking the tikit, ready for race

Can this Roadie eat the tikit for breakfast?

Surprisingly, the answer is mostly the other way around

Taking on BIG wheels with small ones

This is the stage that is most relevant to Lovethefold readers. How does the tikit compare with other full size bikes, and also, the impressive Dahon Speed Pro which was used last year? I asked Jem about the tikit and he said he prefered the tikit. He liked the overall performance in terms of nimbleness, riding position, responsiveness and ease of handling/pushing (100m worth), though the wider range gearing of the Pro was better for stronger riders.

Despite its smaller 16" wheels compared to the 20" S Pro, Jem felt that the tikit was just as stable. He remarked how he overtook 4 riders on his first leg, and another 9 on the return leg of the 10km ride. He was not overtaken by anyone in his class! One roadie rider yelled, "Oii!" presumably in disbelief at the shame of being overtaken by a circus bike. Another rider exclaimed, "Why the wheels so small?"

The tikit was the ONLY folder in the entire Tri race. An impressive commuter bike, don't you think?

The Speed Pro did 10km in 31:48 mins last year. Can the tikit beat this? Stay tune! Results out Tuesday July 15.

OSIM Tri July 08 - Swimming & Running

A most exciting start to the Tri. The swim into the open sea is not as easy as it seems. There are the current and waves to begin with, as well as the clashing and battling of swimming in close proximity.

Running is the last stage, and by this time, one is pretty spent. Its about endurance here and it shows on the face. If you have to run out of energy, this is the safest stage. You just walk, instead of drown or fall from your bike!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A tikit to Tri

Jem will be using the Bike Friday tikit for his 3rd OSIM Tri this Sat, 12 July. He will be swimming 200m, cycling 10km and running 2km. He has been using foldies (Helios & Speed Pro) last 2 Tris with respectable results. It will be interesting to see how he competes against those Tri bikes with 700c wheels, with the tikit's smallish 16".
This is the first time the *fastest folding bike in the world is used for a Tri in S'pore.

Stay tune. Please cheer for #378!!!
*5 sec folding time

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The best medicine

Click on pic for better viewing, esp if over 40.

Thanks so much Ken & Blanche!

One of the great joys in travelling is meeting interesting folks. Ken & Blanche Stewart were staying in the same B&B with us in a small town in British Columbia last June. We somehow got along so well and shared a nice dinner. The Stewarts live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. I blog while Ken captures significant moments in his life with drawing cartoons. And boy, has he got a wonderful sense of humour and amazing skill.

He sent this to me last Christmas. And this humorous cartoon of yours truly and the tikit up the hill never fails to bring a smile and a chuckle upon my face. The best medicine I reckon after a silly spill is some witty laughter!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I can't believe I crashed!

Having just cleaned my road rash on my elbow and shin, and icing a sprained toe, I'm still in the state of disbelief. I have travelled to all sorts of far away and menacing places unscathed. How did a simple golf-ball size fruit throw me off? And at all places, East Coast Park - playground for children and novice bike riders. Talk about a humbling experience.

This morning's ride was organised for Patrick and Justina (Dahon owner), new friends from Perth Australia who are visiting. Pat, like me, has a serious bike addiction problem and has 8, maybe more. He is an all weather roadie and rides a fixie. He is also a fellow Bike Friday rider (Pocket Pro) and wanted to test my collection of folders. His new job required him to travel so he needed a bike that he could take along.

So it was a most intriguing morning, exchanging views and experiences. We were talking about Stelvio tires - at how fast they are. At 120psi, they are about the fastest tires available for foldies and my Speed Pro has them standard. They are also quite fragile, susceptable to cuts etc but hi performance always have cost. There we were, chatting riding side by side at a leisurely 20km/h, when I did not notice those golf-ball fruits (plenty just opposite the Changi Airport runway section). They did not have much effect on Big Apples (went over them last week with no issue) so I was riding nonchalantly when before I knew it, I was up in the air and landed on my back. I could feel my helmet hit the ground hard and I knew I was in trouble.

Thanks to safety gear, I rode away only with some bruises and sprains. Helmet cracked, Bike Friday jersey torn, gloves sandpapered but bike ok. Keong, who rode behind me, saw first hand how it all happened. He was impressed with my "smooth" fall (several motorcycle accidents, you get the hang of it). The importance of wearing safety gear was tattooed on his chest today, forever. And indeed, on all of us!

I still can't believe I crashed... but thank God for His care and protection :)
If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm.
Though he should stumble, he will not fall Psalm 37:23,24

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Lovethefold on Bike Friday website & more...

Cool 17c mornings in the c'tryside make for beautiful rides & conversations in Pai - Switzerland of Thailand

A valley in the mountains

Having fun off-road with the Tikit

Was quite surprised to see Lovethefold linked in the Bike Friday Tikit webpage under 'Customer Blogs'.

My famous blog "partner" from Canada, Vik is also featured:

In their summer flyer, a little story I wrote about our inaugural trip to Pai, Thailand in Oct 07 was printed. You can read more about it here:

Hope it encourages you to take your foldie along on your next overseas trip. It is your tikit to exploratory fun and priceless adventures!
Thanks Bike Friday for the honor :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Slow down you move too fast...

Realise it or not, the 2nd half of 2008 has snucked up on us.

Depending on which part of the planet you are from, life can be a flurry of activity or an unhurried one. If you are reading this blog, I suspect you, like me, belong to the former. Busy, stressed, hurried and overworked would be words used to describe our world. And it reminds me of cycling frantically in a gym, sweating furiously and getting nowhere (which is why I prefer bikes that move).

Perhaps there is some wisdom in the English idiom to "stop and smell the roses". The roses and other forms of nature remind us that there is a special beauty in being alive. I'm so glad that my friend RW took the effort to stop and "shoot" the roses during our recent Highlands trip. Thanks for sharing them RW :)

I hope you will enjoy and appreciate these natural works of art. They are given to us by our Creator to savor and to reflect upon what's really important in our garden of life. Maybe we should all slow down to see more, to smell more.
Wishing you a meaningful and unrushed second half , on and off the saddle.
Slow down, you move too fast, you've got to make the morning last. Just kickin' down the cobble-stones, lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy...
Simon & Garfunkel - 59th Street Bridge Song, 1970s (OK so I'm old...)