I’ve picked up my bike! It’s so beautiful and shiny! It’s a Bickerton Junction 1707 Country.
The people in Evans were lovely. It was wheeled out to me, unfolded, and after I requested to learn how to fold it, I was shown a few times, then tried myself. Didn’t want to have to try and work that out in public whilst waiting for the train.
It is pretty easy, there’s a few tricks to remember, like tilting the saddle slightly to make sure it clicks together when folded. And I’m fairly certain it doesn’t currently have the pedals folded in. I was flustered, on a busy train, and just pleased it was folded. It’s currently on the floor of the luggage rack, with a man sat on the top shelf. I’m hoping he doesn’t kick it in anyway, it’s too beautiful to be kicked.
So, the next challenge, getting off the train with it, unfolding it, and actually riding it. Eek.
So far so good. Got to the station in 7 minutes this morning, normally takes 20, so that’s an extra ten minutes in bed for me.
I also rode it to rugby training on Friday evening. Normally, if my partner is working nights, I can’t go because he takes the car. Now, I am free, I can go anywhere my legs and bike can carry me. Cycling back at 9pm in the dark was a bit scary, but I stole my partners fluorescent running jacket, so was very bright. And my bike comes with a dynamo front light.
As it’s my birthday today, I will be treating myself to my own fluorescent jacket, and a rear light for the cycle home from rugby training tonight.
Next challenge, cycling to work. Central London cycling. My helmet is attached to my bag and ready to go.
I love it!
Feels so free, just jumping on my bike and heading off. It’s especially fun in the evening on the journey to King’s Cross. As you get closer and closer, following the cycle route, more and more bikes join, til there’s a big group of you, all heading for the same destination.
I’m also getting better at the slalom through to my estate, (difficult to describe, I’ll take a picture). I’m hoping one day to not even have to slow down for it, like the other cyclists I’ve seen.
I suppose I should review my bike a bit, not just the actual cycling part. So far, brilliant. So easy to put up and take down, I haven’t timed myself yet, but it’s definitely less than a minute. (The Bickerton website does say it can be done it 10 seconds, but I’m unsure I could do it that quickly) The gears are really easy to change, all 7 of them, though I tend to use 5-7 most often. Typical triathlete, get into the big gears and grind away .It also has 20” wheels. I don’t know how these affect the ride, but they’re bigger than most of the other folding bikes, so I feel slightly superior.
The ride position is very different to my road bike, as you would expect. I could lower the handlebars to put myself in a more streamlined position, but for the stop start cycling that is commuting in London, I’m choosing comfort over speed. Ooh, and the dynamo light on the front is a great idea, the only issue I’ve found with it is the brake cables tend to sit over the front of it, but I’m sure if I weren’t so lazy I could fix this.
It is quite heavy, meaning I will take that extra 10 seconds to a minute to unfold it and wheel it, even if I am just transporting it from my car. But I’ve never been in such a rush to get into my house, that that extra minute is a problem. And it fits in my car great, and because it folds, I can keep it in the downstairs loo overnight. Safely in the house, but out of the way.
There are two negatives I have found so far, neither of them really the bike’s fault.
- My butt hurts! I know it’s only been two days of cycling in a row, but I’d really like it to get used to the saddle. Hurts every time I got on for the first few minutes. I’ve been assured I’ll get used to it, but I’d like my butt to hurry up.
- Helmet hair. If you thought hat hair was bad, you obviously haven’t had helmet hair. I have very long hair, and there’s no way I’m going to be washing it twice a day after each commute. I like to wash it three times a week, max. So my hair is currently going from plait (so the helmet fits on my head) to ponytail for work, and back again. If only there was a dry shampoo I could use. (The normal ones make me look grey, and the one’s for brown hair are the wrong colour so make it look like my roots need doing).
All in all, I can highly recommend the Bickerton 1707 Country. It’s a beautiful bike, great selection of gears, and the tyres have coped with me riding across a field (maybe that’s how having a bigger circumference helps?). Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the luggage rack. I’ve only used it once, as my work bag is a rucksack, so I’ve just been wearing it on my back, but having it as standard is a great perk.
Do you cycle commute? What’s your favourite thing about it?