A "get to the car" bike

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

A "get to the car" bike

Postby provoked » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:44 pm

Hi All,

Long time no post. I used to commute the 25km to work for over a year on my Giant TCR roadie, however life got rather complex with moving houses and some health issues. My poor TCR is hanging in the garage, however I refuse to sell it as I know I will one day start riding again.

However, to the current situation. Wife and I have been carpooling with our 2 friends into Melbourne CBD for a while now and with the two of us working in the city, getting home earlier by 30 or so minutes (compared to traveling via train) has been a godsend.

I recently scored a new job in South Melbourne. And we're trying to work out an easy way to make this carpooling work. My new workplace will be roughly 3km from the CBD (wife and friends are all CBD based) depending on where we park. I don't want to use the tram as I will have to pay for it every day (on-top of our share of parking and petrol costs). I don't mind walking (for fitness/health), however it's going to take around 30-40 minutes so will be leaving my wife/friends waiting.

So I thought about cycling the short distance somehow. There will be storage at the new workplace no problems, however I will need to put the bike in the boot of the car for the next day. Thought about using the TCR, but it's a PITA to get in the boot (without damaging the car) and kind of feel stupid for using that beauty for a 5km round trip (:oops:). I also want to ride in what I wear to work (shirt, pants). I would also use the bike to get into the CBD now and then to meet with people/do some shopping.

So. I thought a folding bike. I can't really think of anything else. Hence my post? Any ideas? Is a folding bike a good idea?
Giant TCR Alliance 2 '09

The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven. - John Milton
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by BNA » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:48 pm

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Re: A "get to the car" bike

Postby RonK » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:48 pm

Have you considered Bike Share?
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Re: A "get to the car" bike

Postby provoked » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:51 pm

RonK wrote:Have you considered Bike Share?


I had - but (stupidly) dismissed it on thinking there wouldn't be a station nearby, without checking. Just checked and there is! Might be an option.

My only concern is if I will always find one available when I need it?
Giant TCR Alliance 2 '09

The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven. - John Milton
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Re: A "get to the car" bike

Postby WestcoastPete » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:58 pm

Ah, I was going to chime in with ideas of folding bikes and dunga bikes etc, but the bikeshare idea sounds excellent! It's pretty much what they're designed for. I don't think you'll need to worry about the avaialbility of them either; no one seems to ever use them (just remember to bring your helmet!)

As for folding bikes; obviously Bromptons are the duck's knees, but expensive. Same as Bike Friday Tikits. Dahon and Tern would have a suitable option I'm sure, and Strida have an interesting new model out.

My other suggestion was a dunga bike, one that you can leave locked up at your pickup point without fretting about it too much. I'd still be more confident in the bikeshare bikes being there for you in the morning though...
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Re: A "get to the car" bike

Postby x8pg2qr » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:58 pm

I have a dahon 20". As a secondary bicycle it's ok. They aren't as small as you think. Putting one in the boot of a corolla takes up 3/4 to 3/5 of the boot surface area. Fold up is good though.

There are so many other brands. Eg birdy, brompton. Even strida for a short trip. There's also xootr swift, bike Friday, and that expensive one that detaches in half.

Also non bicycle stuff like razor scooter equivalents for adults, unicycle, skateboards, which will keep you on the sidewalk.

Honestly don't know what to tell you to wear. T shirt, backpack? Running shoes?

Beats walking.
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Re: A "get to the car" bike

Postby RonK » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:58 pm

provoked wrote:
RonK wrote:Have you considered Bike Share?


I had - but (stupidly) dismissed it on thinking there wouldn't be a station nearby, without checking. Just checked and there is! Might be an option.

My only concern is if I will find one available when I need it?


Well, I don't know about the Melbourne scheme, but despite having a choice of 4 bikes I could ride, I find a Brisbane CityCyle convenient for the short (about 2.5 km now) trip to the office. I can ride in my office clothing, don't have to worry about parking security, and my helmet fits easily in the small backpack I got for free from Fitness First.

There is an iPhone app that tells me which stations have bikes (and empty spaces for parking) available. Too easy.

Ah, I see Melbourne has an app too.
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Re: A "get to the car" bike

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:23 pm

I do carry the unicycle around in the boot when I am expecting to have to park a distance from where I am going, especially if I am also carrying stuff for family.

Realistically however it is not suitable for everyone for obvious reasons.

A scooter to my mind would be about the best choice for the most people. But not one with regular or oversized skateboard wheels. Soft pneumatic tyres are far safer. No great skills required. No assembly/disassembly, no oil and brake-dust, miminal user contact of anything except the hands and the soles of the feet.

Sometimes slopes will be a problem.
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Re: A "get to the car" bike

Postby clackers » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:16 pm

provoked wrote:
My only concern is if I will always find one available when I need it?


The Bike Share bikes, Provoked?

Take your pick, they'll be in mint condition, just take the cobwebs off first.

It's sad, but the scheme as intended is a dud. :(
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