So I finally got sick of the mass transit in Toronto which recently was threatening to go on strike. The TTC, our transit system is pretty annoying lately. My ride to work ranges from 40 minutes on a good day to the extreme of 2+ hours. With horrible service, zero reliability and constant fee hikes, I’d had enough.
I live outside the downtown core right on Lake Ontario, so I am lucky in that I have a beautiful paved bike path all the way downtown for about 95% of my ride. So I headed to the Urbane Cyclist a bike co-op downtown and after two days of talking to the most helpful staff I think I’ve ever have the pleasure of dealing with and testing bikes out I decided to go with a Dahon 7 speed folding bike. Before I entered the shop a fold up bike had not entered my mind.
Why did I decide on the fold up bike? Well a few reasons, the first one being I live in a condo and they want everyone to leave their bikes in the garage downstairs in bike cages. Unfortunately they had no bike cages available for me and bike theft is extremely high in Toronto. You aren’t allowed to bring bikes through the front entrance, but what if you are carrying it in one hand? Well, so far no complaints.
Another reason was I often work late, so if I do I can go downstairs and fold the thing up and put it under my desk at work. Bike theft usually happens at night. I can also keep it in my front hall and stick it in a closet, it is that small. Check out the pictures below.
The bike also comes with mudguards. These things are a must on a commuter bike. I have already road to work on a rainy day and gone through puddles and mud. The wheels are splattered, but I am totally clean on arrival. It also has a great rack on the back with three bungee cords. I have fastened my lock down, a fleece, and my dinner picked up on the way home. I plan to get a bag eventually for it too.
So far I am extremely happy with this bike and my biking experience; it’s been years since I owned a bike. It takes me no more than 30 seconds to fold it up, and the workmanship is fantastic. Everything feels and looks solid. All the hinges work perfect, and I think it looks pretty damn cool. My ride into work right now is about 35 minutes and I’m pretty out of shape, so I’m hoping I can get it down to 30 or even 25 minutes on a good day. This also saves me on the costs of a month transit pass and saves my sanity.
This bike is a great little gadget. You’ll also notice people looking at you when you fold it up because it’s pretty cool. I can’t recommend a fold up like this enough, and the bike only cost me $475 Canadian. If you live in Toronto and do plan on getting yourself a bike, any bike, do yourself a favour and go to Urban Cyclist, these guys are phenomenally helpful.