Sunday, November 07, 2010

folding bikes - an experiment

Europe continues to open my eyes to alternative lifestyles.

It was here I realized how wasteful going around in cars really was. In my favorite cities - Madrid, Barcelona, Nice - everyone got around by using trains, walking, or biking. The most common bicycles were actually folding types. They collapse into the size of half a small bike, which is the only size allowable for boarding in trains. This makes sense if you want to bike from your apartment to the train station.

Folding bikes in Paris

By the Louvre, also in Paris

A couple enjoys a bike ride by Barcelona's Barceloneta beach

Bike lane in Barcelona (wish we had bike lanes here!)

Another couple gets around Madrid using folding bikes

* * * *

Can I use a folding bike in Manila?

We live in a city of cars; they're just the most sensible and cheapest mode of transport around Manila.

I seriously doubt that a strict "bike only" lifestyle is feasible. That said, I am thinking of making my life less car dependent by using a bike (a) for shorter distances and (b) during good weather.

And so I decided to get a folding bike.

In order for my bicycle to truly be eco-friendly, it had to be secondhand. If I bought a new folding bike, I would be letting an old salvageable bike just go to waste. So MSP helped me search online for a used folding bike, which was about 1/8 of the price of a new one. It worked perfectly and just needed a little cleaning. TA-DA!

Here it is, folded in the condo's "foyer."

Last weekend, we took it out for a spin just to check if it really works flawlessly. We jammed it into the car trunk (it fits!) and off we went to the university.

MSP did his usual running routine while I re-learned biking. I used to be a decent biker as a child, but after 20 years of non-use, my skills have faded. And until I can bike gracefully like a Parisian, I cannot take the bike out on the road.

In my dreams, I can someday bike to the office. It's less than a KM away, after all. The only problem is that I have to pass by the very busy highway with cars and buses that go at least 50kph. But I've done stranger things. So maybe I can do this.

If not, I can at least take the folding bike to Europe on our next trip. (Yes - it will fit in a regular Samsonite when folded.)

Maybe I'll even be adorable, like these women:

The one on the right is wearing Chanel shoes. Tres chic.



Anonymous shimmy said...

hay chanel nga!!!!!! you have such a strong eye for design.

may nakita ako dito sa brooklyn na "fashionable active wear" for people who go around in bicycles but don't want to wear polyester. i have their women's pants and shirt:

they are a little pricey kasi $180 for the pants and i think $70 plus for the merino shirt but they really work ha. softer than cotton. if rea will be in NY i can send it to you through her. just PM me.

10:11 AM  
Blogger mussolini said...

yeah i heard you were here last week but stayed a few days lang! i missed you. nag-KOTR ka ba or did you just watch? are you back in NYC?

10:17 AM  
Anonymous shimmy said...

yessssss im back here. was in manila for just a week. no i didn't do KOTR but i watched my cousins run. galeng mo ha. world class running time. are you training for longer distances? na?

10:20 AM  
Blogger mussolini said...

no, i'm not training for longer distances formally. i don't take running THAT seriously. i'm still "recreational" -- i run between 15k to 20k a week pa rin for now.

pants look great but they're too pricey. lemme think.

10:22 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home