Saturday, August 17, 2013

riding the brompton in dallas

the brompton is folded and unfolded in 20 seconds, it can be carried and even rolled anywhere you go. airline transport is free because ist does not exceed maximum dimensions for normal luggage even in a travel bag.

dallas is not the most bike-friendly city in the us. nevertheless you can find bike pathes of 20 km and more all around the city:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

bikefriday NWT for sale

this is a rare opportunity because high end bikefridays are sought after. i sell it with much regret because i do not do touring any more.
it was bought last year at bikefriday in eugene (see the photos from the beginning of this blog), custom built with the best components. the new price was close to 3000 dollars including all components and extras. the offered price of 1900 firm equals a discount of 40% vs new.

the ride is fantastic, after a while you will not even notice that you are on a folder. no other folder comes close.

it will fit riders from 1.80-195cm height

this is the high end version of bikefriday NWT:
chris king headset
shimano tiagra 27 gears
bar end shifters
brooks springsaddle
folding pedals mks

beautiful bike, included is also the carrier and two waterproof ortlieb panniers as well as the handy undercarrier bag

all is like new, in best condition

Monday, September 26, 2011

biking in thailand

arrival at the airport:

siam is an amazing country. it is probably the best deal in the world. people are friendly, food is cheap and the weather is good- at least most of the time.

when i arrived with my bike at the survarnabhumi airport  it was raining cats and dogs. that is not unusual in asia.
i put my thin thai raincoat on and tried to bike away to my hotel. the friendly airport guards warned me not to leave the airport. i thought the road was closed for bikes, that is something i have heard from mexico for example. no-they just warned me not to go outside of the safe airport roof because it was raining !!
rain is very bad for most people in asia. they were all looking at me and smiling as if i was crazy to go into the rain on a bike. they were so friendly and so welcoming that i decided to chat with them for a while. i shared my potato chips with them and we shared the usual pleasantries. anything more did not work because of language.

finally the rain ended. one of the guards told me that i would better go down to the first level because the road on the arrival level would be too dangerous in his opinion. anyway he would not stop me to go there. i listened to him and went down to the first level biking away. i felt very good because everyone was extremely friendly.

the road was still wet. my hotel was located near the airport. i was there when i had left bangkok three weeks before. the airport area is huge and i had trouble finding the hotel again. finally i arrived in the dark:

hotels in thailand are very cheap. this was an excellent hotel charging 20 dollars including breakfast.
my bikefriday is in the box, the panniers are in the duffelbag.

Friday, June 17, 2011

biking in portland

portland is a beautiful city:

outstanding for biking. i have biked all over the world including all cities where biking is the most popular means of transportation like amsterdam, brugge,zurich,wien,vancouver,calgary,ottawa.

very nice biking at the river, many people were interested in my bike. these two ladies asked many questions before they moved on, maybe bikefriday has twenty more costomers after my ride at the river...

portland beats any of those first class cities by far: portland is large, there is a lot of space, it never feels crowded . the people of portland are relaxed, polite and extremely friendly, at least the majority is. portland is also cheap compared to any of the other biking cities mentioned. 30-60% cheaper

there are bike lanes on most streets, even when there are noone it is easy to bike because drivers are friendly and not aggressive.

portland is so bike friendly that you can even bike to the airport where you can find a full infrasttructure for bikes like bike lockers, dedicated space for assembling bikes etc.

the scenic river bikeway runs parallel to the airport. you climb the small hill and have a sneak peak:

another outstanding feature of portland is the fact that it has no sales tax. you pay what you see. that is nice. i bought everything i needed for my bike. you can easily get into a buying-frenzy if you are not disciplined. i wrote a list of all things i need and worked the list.

when you bike in asia it is way too hot for shoes. i would get sweaty feet within ten minutes. the only choice that i found are sandals. so i went downtown to a store called usaoutdoors. i did not find the address and asked a man passing by, he stopped and searched the address on his blackberry for me and gave me exact directions. i was overwhelmed by the friendliness. finally i found the store and bought the sandals. i even got a 50% discount because they hand a 50% discount on 2nd article promotion. all salesguys were superfriendly. i met a guy who had visited my mother country and exchanged some memories. just when i left the store the guy invited me for a beer. a girl joined and we sat outside the little pub just by the outdoorstore. fabulous.  sitting there watching people passing by i noticed that portland has something trendy and fashionable.

even the police is friendly in portland. i saw police on horses, said hi and asked for a picture, they smiled and agreed.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

visiting bikefriday in eugene

the cheapest way from portland to eugene is by rental car: 13 usd per day @budget.
travel time is about 1.5 hours each way. bikefriday is located in the outskirts of tiny  eugene on 11th ave

 i had asked them to deliver my bike in the shipping box because i will ship it as a free airline piece of luggage.
here is how it looked like:

i started to assemble the bike. kirk was the salesman in charge this day. he was extremely helpful and hospitable. kirk offered me free drinks and some snacks that other employees had given to him. i met many employees of bikefriday. everyone was joking around and all people seemed to enjoy themselves. bikefriday is a well managed company. this is another reason why it has so many happy customers.

it took me a while to assemble the bike because i intended to do it slowly and accurately. i also got drawn into many conversations with employees and customers because i was assembling my bike in the middle of the showroom. after three hours the bike looked like that:

and finally after almost one day of chatting, eating, drinking, repairing the front rack by service and some assembly like this:

it was late afternoon. i packed my beautiful bike into the trunk of the small rental car and headed back to portland.

Friday, May 6, 2011

choosing a light computer for touring

in order to report live from the tour a light and relatively small computer needs to be chosen:

ipads are small and light. unfortunately apple tries to keep it proprietary: no usb, no flash etc.
this does not work for me. hardware needs to be a cheap, standardised commodity. software is free. android pads have more appeal:

the asus ee transformer has a real keyboard that can be attached to the pad. working on a tablet without a keyboard is annoying. after a while even a light panel becomes terribly heavy if you have to hold it with one hand. that is why the asus ee transformer was sold out within minutes. noone knows if and when it will come back.


toshiba  tablet:

this is definitely a better version of the ipad2 fully industry standard compatible which the ipad is not. as per first week of may 2011 noone knows when it will be available. bestbuy says may 2011.

a little bit heavier by a few grams is this device for about the same price as the ipad:

11.6 inch screen, full keyboard, a little bit over one kg weight. this is a highly mobile device that can be taken on a bike easily

android is a cool os, i use it already in the froyo version on my mobile. having said that, it is not as mature as xp or win7. having struggled as a user of microsoft products for many years when windows was buggy, insecure and unstable, i have to admit that win7 is a very good, advanced and stable os which is highly qualified for business use. android is not there yet. it is more suited for fun applications, gaming, chatting , gps etc but i would not bet my business on it.

i do also feel that tablet prices are too high at the moment. you have to pay 600-700 dollars for a functionality that can easily be covered by most 10 inch netbooks for 250 dollars. there is nothing that an ipad can do or can do better than a 10 inch netbook.

if i can get a superior 11.6 netbook with a fast i5 processor and 500 gigabyte hd, why should i buy a tablet for the same price?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

what to do with the airline container at destination

many people asked this question on different bikinggroups on the web:

what do i do with my airline box at destination?
some bikefriday tourists use a traveltrailer:

price about 300 dollars

according to reviews found on the web most serious tourers do not like this solution: the trailer is too wide for some roads and they do not like the idea of having to worry about two additional wheels in a different dimension carrying two different spare tires and tubes.

alternative for 26 wheel s&s bikes: there is a soft bag available which can be used as a backpack, price from 200 dollars:

some people pack the bike into a suitcase and leave the suitcase in the hotel in order to pick it up when they return. other people use ups or fedex to send the container to an onward destination. that sounds expensive.

that is why most people use a carton to check it in with the airline. the dimension of the carton must not exceed 62 linear inches(158 cm) and stay under 23 kg. price: from 10 dollars
when you arrive, you dispose of the carton and ride away from the airport

i am still in the process of getting the original shipping materials delivered with my bike when i will pick it up at the end of may from the factory.

 what is the experience of other people who have packed and checked in a conforming carton at any airline?

update september 2011:
finally i found the best and even most cost efficient solution that conforms with airline regulations:
i use the original bikefriday carton and the bikefriday carry-on shoulder bag. i cut the carton into 28*22*12 , that is in total 62 linear inches which will be accepted by any airline as normal check-in luggage. the carton can be completely flattened out on the floor, all connecting sides are taped with utility tape. then the carry-on bag is put on top and it looks like a normal suitcase raising no flags with airlines. at destination i can fold the carton and carry it on the rear rack.
here you can see how it looks like: