Monday, July 28, 2008

Bolder on a folder.

I bought myself another bike. The Flying Pigeon was great but I went shopping and saw this six-speed for the equivalent of $A250 and thought it was a buy too good to resist. I sold the Mighty Pigeon to a mate for about what I paid for it.

It's a Dahon folding bike. I've not had a folder before and I'm very impressed. It's a Chinese-market only model and some of the running gear is a bit average, but it goes like a rocket, goes round corners like a greased rat and is very comfortable to ride. Hopefully it will go in the bag without too much of a struggle.

The picture to the left is taken inside the Olympic precinct yesterday. A couple of us managed to find a checkpoint which somehow allowed us into the heart of the Games. There was nobody else about and for about 20 minutes we had the place to ourselves as we zoomed down empty road past deserted venues. In 11 days time these will be packed with athletes, officials and spectators. We didn't see anyone much apart from security staff until passing out through the gate near the Main Press Centre, where I work.

I put a bike computer on the bike today. Now all I need is a bell and I'm set. Off to the Summer Palace in the morning. I reckon it's about 30km each way, which should be fun in the 35 degree heat.

3,298km so far this year.

5 comments:

Grant said...

That's a pretty cool folder, you could even bring that one back.
Looks like an awesome spot to ride - but is that smog?? I'd be getting a mask if it is....

NancyBoy said...

But where's the basket?????

Warwick said...

Hey Dave,

Which bike shop in Beijing did you pick this up at? I lived in BJ for about a year but didn't get up to riding - a little scary with a young child in tow for me - although the locals sure get around on bike.

Cheers, Warwick

Surly Dave said...

I got the bike from a shop on Dongzihmen Inner Street. It cost about Y1490. The riding is great. Very safe, although I can't say what it's like when there's twice as much traffic on the road like there is normally.

Stewart Midwinter said...

Dave, I was in Beijing last week and also bought a Dahon folder, only mine is a 16" wheel version with one speed, for 1466 RMB, while yours looks to be a 20" version. I got mine from a Dahon store across the street from the Carrefour near the Exhibition Centre in the NE. See http://www.my-dahon.com.

while walking to the store from the 1st stop on the No. 13 subway line, along Liufang St., I passed another bike store that sells Giant folding bikes.

Actually, in Beijing you can find over 20 different models of folder bikes but many are of low quality and use drum brakes on the rear wheel. The Dahon is of a higher quality than most.

Riding in Beijing turns out to be surprisingly relaxing due to all of cycle-lanes. Just ride as slowly as the locals do and do as they do, and you soon how to interact with motorists - who also seem to drive more slowly than you'd expect in such a large city.

Shame about the air pollution, though.