Thursday, October 26, 2006


A-Bike in the rain

The weather is turning cold now, and the days grow shorter by almost 4 minutes each day! It has been raining quite hard and it has been windy. So here is a review of the riding the A-Bike under these conditions:

Bumps: The A-Bike handles bumps and small potholes better than I expected. In the dark rainy conditions, it was not possible to see the road surface very well, so I ploughed over some bumps that I would otherwise miss. Luckily I know this route well, which helped in avoiding most major obstacles.

Brakes: I did not have to use the brakes too much on this ride, but they performed OK, not great but not bad either.

Deep water!: Some parts of the bike-path were covered in a inch or two of water. The bike went through these OK, but I was wondering how long the wheel bearings would last under these conditions.
Fortunately they look like standard cartridge bearings, available at most bearing shops. The deep water also obscured some sharp bumps that added to the excitement.

Mud protection: All the trees over the bike-path are losing their leaves. They land on the bike-path, where they turn to a muddy slush as cyclists ride over them. So it was no surprise that when I got home, my A-Bike was filthy. So were my shoes and my lower legs. I was clean from my knees up though, so it looks like you don't get a spray up your back from the small wheels. However, the mudguards could be better. Luckily, cleaning the bike is simple: fold it up and stick it in the shower!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


York to Leeds - 50Km on my A-Bike

A nice cool morning, we decided to go for a ride to Leeds. I took my Birdy, while my wife Cathy took the A-Bike.

We followed quiet backroads through Copmanthorpe and Wighill. At Boston Spa, we stopped for lunch outside the library.

The bridge over the river Wharfe was closed to traffic, but it was still possible to walk across the bridge.
It was nice to hear the sound of the water flowing underneath, something that would be drowned out by the noise of motor traffic any other day.

This was Cathy's first long ride on the bike, but she found it very comfortable. She is about 5 foot 9 inches, and found the riding position just right. The bike did have my custom folding seat on it though.

The route we followed went over some small hills, nothing too steep. The A-Bike climbs very well, and the brakes did everything that was asked of them.

At Leeds we caught a bus back to York. The Birdy went into the luggage rack, while the A-Bike came up onto the top deck of the bus with us.

We really like doing rides like this. With folding bikes you can do longer rides in one direction and then bus or train back home.

Cathy now claims to hold the world record for the longest A-Bike day-ride at 50Km, but would love to hear from challengers!

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