Monday, June 14, 2010

My New Bike

I got my Bike Friday New World Tourist a couple weeks ago and just now got around to taking a photo. Riding the bike, it turns out, is much more fun than taking pictures of it.

This is the bike I got to replace my custom-fitted cooler than snot touring bike; the one I forgot was on top of the car when I pulled into the garage last winter. It feels like home again after being on my 1980s ALAN racing bike for the last 7 or so months; the difference is that this bike is geared really low. I may have to move the 52-tooth chainring into the center, and put something truly giant on the outside. On the other hand, I haven't yet run out of gears, and my inner cheapskate is inclined to leave well enough alone. I might be able to haul a Corolla with this crazy low gearing.

I've been riding home every day from my job downtown, and one of the side effects of the more upright handlebars and lower gearing is that I'm no longer going as fast as I possibly can. This has made my ride really nice. If you haven't tried riding slowly, I highly recommend it. I'm probably only losing a minute or two on my commute. No riding today though, I'm too hung over from the Benadryl I took last night.

My wife and I took our Fridays down to Albuquerque last weekend, and rode from Bernalillo to UNM. Parts of our ride were along the route for the Albuquerque Century, and just about everybody we met up with wanted to know about the folding bikes we had: I think I folded and unfolded mine at least 5 times, just demonstrating. We rode the train back and answered another couple of queries about the bikes. Don't get a folder if you dislike talking to people!


Khal said...


Nice to finally see the picture. I was thinking of also getting a Friday. Meena has commandeered the Giant for her "learning bike" so I don't want to mess with it by adding higher gear ratios or clipless pedals or other nonsense.

Steve A said...

Is OK to ride the train with a regular bike or just folders? Those handlebars do certainly look interesting.

Khal said...

The RailRunner allows "normal" bikes as long as there is room. They don't like tandems, apparently.

Those kinda look like time trial bars, Neale.

Neale said...

Rail Runner allows bikes, they even have spaces marked for them. Four bikes per car, but I've been told by multiple passengers that they turn a blind eye to overloading the bike area. Clearly they didn't anticipate the demand to put bicycles on the train, which I think is great.

I'm unclear whether they'll let you bring a folded bike in as luggage. It might be wise to put it into a bag first so as not to appeal to anyone's inner bureaucrat and cause a "bikes only in the bike area" debate.

The bars are called "STI handlebars". They're similar to H bars, but curved up at the end. They're not mind-blowing or anything; they did feel fine on our 30-mile trip, so I guess they're okay. I ordered them because I already have a pair of unused drops I can put on if I decide I don't like them. I have a feeling it may take years before I have a firm opinion on them. Which probably means they're just fine for the riding I do (touring and commuting).

Neale said...

I think it's great they didn't anticipate how many bikes would be on trains because it means that there's a high demand for people to use bicycles as transportation when they feel like facilities are in place. In my mind, that's great evidence for further investment in bicycling facilities.

It's kinda lame that you have to worry a little about whether or not you can get your bike on the train, but apparently that's not such a huge concern.

ALBERT said...


Fridays are awesome bikes. If you are thinking of taking the plunge, go for it you will not be disappointed. I have toured the CA wine country, completed 7 RAGBRAIs, and placed in my age group in the Tour de Los Alamos on my Fridays, along with numerous trips around the country.