This morning was one of those mornings. I woke up late, and it got worse from there. I could go on about my United customer service call woes, or my lost credit card, or the fact that I spent 30 minutes looking for the gloves that I wore home yesterday night, but I’ll spare you. All you need to know is that I left the house almost an hour after I’d planned to wearing socks on my hands. At least I didn’t have to wait for my car to warm up.
My commute put me in a much better mood, though. It was a beautiful, if cold, day, and the ride was pleasant and uneventful — no doors to dodge or other complications. Well, except for my encounter with two trucks unloading in the bike lane. Despite being in a rush to get to work, I was indignant enough to stop to take a picture.
Of course, it was after 9 a.m. and the worst of the traffic had subsided. Maybe this was my lucky morning after all?
I’ve decided that the handling issues with the Dahon mostly come from not being used to it — I was far less wobbly today. But it is definitely a rougher ride than a full-sized bike. Perhaps it’s the smaller tires, or the pressure they need to be at, but running over a large pebble can throw you off balance. I found myself bracing against the pedals if I had to go over any slightly irregular patch in the pavement.
And strangely enough, despite the lighter weight, my commute is no faster on the Dahon. Perhaps I am just a slow cyclist in general? Or the small tires make up for the advantage you would otherwise get on a lighter bike? No telling, but it made me feel better about buying another heavy(ish) bike. Everyone who knows me is probably stunned that it took me so long to mention that today, I bought a Batavus!
I found one at an amazing price through a really wonderful Dutch bike shop in the UK, Littlehampton Dutch Bike Shop. They can’t ship to the states, so I’m going to pick it up when I go over there in April. It will be a long wait but it should be worth it! This is my first new bike in 18 years and the thought of having an actual commuter bike is very exciting. As you can tell by looking at my current bike, I don’t believe you have to have anything special to start riding and love it — but now that I know it’s something I’ll be doing for some time, it’s nice to find a bike I can ride every day for another 18 years.
But back to the Dahon: as requested, I have some pictures of me actually on the bike, courtesy of my generous coworker Alice.
As you can see, my wallet and a book are strapped to the back. I am in love with that rack and the built-in bungee that comes with it!
Despite its small size, I don’t feel like I look completely ridiculous on this bike, but feel free to voice your own opinion in the comments. :) I did encounter a valet at happy hour this evening who thought the bike was a trick bike! (P, don’t worry, I didn’t let him park the bike, and I did not risk getting a BWI — one of the perks of your bike is that it is very easy for someone to give you a ride home!)
My ride to happy hour was very pleasant, not too much traffic (though a couple of the roads weren’t ones I see bikes on often, if ever). The valet couldn’t believe I’d ridden all the way from the Village, two whole miles! But it wasn’t long ago that I would have said the same thing.
The light is beautiful at this time of day. Or is it that everything looks better when you’re on a bike?