Issue 50 - I suppose this should be regarded as something of a milestone. However, it should also be a time to review where we are at the moment, and where we are going in the future. Since issue 1, we have moved from a short newsletter to something bordering on an electronic magazine. This makes for a lot of work in preparing each issue - hence the fact that this issue is a week late. The next issue will concentrate on future plans for FSN - however, these are still not fixed, so if you have any views, please let us know in the next few days.
For the second time running I have made the journey from Bristol to Birmingham sitting on the floor of the coach lobby. As is so often the case a Bristol Temple Meads, total chaos reigned: most of the video screens were out of order (as usual), the station announcements were frequently inaudible, and station staff seemed to have little if any more idea what was going on than the would-be passengers.
The 15.06 for Newcastle, via Birmingham New Street, was shown on the displays as being due to leave from platform 3, but it was soon clear that this would not be the case, as a mail train pulled in there and began to be loaded, slowly and noisily. In due course the sign was amended to show no platform at all for the 15.06, and the departure time came and went. At 15.10 we were told the train would now leave from platform 7, but as we all arrived at that platform, we were told the next train at platform 7 was for Portsmouth Harbour, and the Newcastle train would arrive after that. The signs indicated that the Portsmouth train would not leave until 15.22, so it was clear that the Newcastle train would be quite late. Many of the passengers were for Birmingham or Cheltenham, and with an alternative service for Edinburgh via these locations due to leave at 15.28, and already in the station, what we wanted to know was which would leave first, and which would arrive first. At no time did the station announcements give any clues, and the station staff gave conflicting advice.
In the end many of us boarded the Edinburgh train, shortly after which the Newcastle train pulled in. It was impossible to get any reliable information at this stage, and it was not until the Newcastle train actually pulled out that we knew it would leave first - at 15.29, after the Edinburgh train was due to leave. Meanwhile, on the Edinburgh train almost all the seats seemed booked, though many were not occupied. Not being willing to struggle through the train carrying the Brompton and a heavy bag containing, amongst other things, a portable computer and reference books, I settled for travelling on the floor of the lobby again. To add insult to injury, platform staff now started telling passengers they should have taken the Newcastle train, when only 5 minutes before their own colleagues recommended taking the Edinburgh train.
Later, leaving Cheltenham Spa, the Train Manager was able to announce that the train was running 10 minutes late, but that they hoped to catch up some of this time.
The reasoning behind some staff advising us to take the Edinburgh train was that the Newcastle one had and additional stop to make at Gloucester - suspect reasoning, as the (theoretical) timetable actually showed a shorter journey time despite the slight diversion and extra stop - probably because the Edinburgh trains take a much slower route into Birmingham over the last few miles. In the event, it seemed we made the right decision, if not necessarily for the right reason, as when we arrived at Birmingham the station signs showed that the Newcastle train was still not due for another ten minutes.
Using public transport can have its advantages, and using private transport has its bad moments as well. However, I can only conclude, sadly, that until the railways and other public transport facilities are managed and operated in a satisfactory way, they are not going to be regarded as an acceptable solution to those who have the choice. Personally, I can accept that sometimes the trains are going to be delayed, though it can cause immense problems if you have connections to catch, but being given no, unclear and contradictory information when there is a problem is unacceptable - it adds enormously to the stress and aggravation.
The system of booking seats on trains is also totally unsatisfactory. Many people who book a seat seem to sit anywhere they feel like, usually seats with no booking, so that the seats they were intended to take are left marekd as booked, but unoccupied. My own experience of booking a seat in the past is that half the times the seat has already been occupied by someone who claims to have the same reservation, and I have had to stand.
After that nightmare, it was with some foreboding that I set off on the local trip from Tipton to Tile Hill the next day, but happily this is in the Centro area, and operated by Central Trains. At least on this occasion all the trains were on time. I didn't need to change at New Street, but it is unusual, though not unknown, for the display screens not to be working there, and as usual clear information was being broadcast on the PA system at the station and in the train.
Better still was the next day, when good weather persuaded me to go out for a ride on the Moulton NS, with no need for a train journey at all. As usual, this bike was blissfully smooth and effortless to ride, and left me feeling completely fresh at the end of the 65km ride. So enjoyable was the experience that I decided that the NS should be the choice for the Origami ride the following day. This was another excellent ride, though strangely with only 7 riders despite the superb weather - 3 Moultons, one standard Brompton, a Brompton-SP and two conventional machines. Again, the Central trains performed admirably, restoring somewhat my faith in the merits of travel by train.
Nowadays it is quite difficult to advise people on which folder to choose, because there are so many good products on the market. The conflicting requirements imposed on designers by the priorities given by different owners to cost, ease of folding, weight, suitability for longer rides, etc, mean that the first thing to be determined when giving advice is how the prospective owner is planning to use the bike. Even then, in the current market there are still usually several suitable machines to choose from. Frankly, I almost hope that we shall not see too many more manufacturers enter the market, because at present the market is barely large enough to sustain the current number of suppliers, and the result is that some will fail, despite having good products, and even the survivors will not make any money, resulting in a lack of future development and service to existing customers.
Apart from the increase in the number of folders on the market, an interesting development over the last 18 months or so has been the number of people offering upgrades and accessories for these machines. It has long been said that you never saw two identical Moultons - every owner customised their bike to suit their individual needs and personalities - but until then almost every Brompton was the same. Now Bromptons too are beginning to reflect their owners personalities, and we have a splendid choice of modifications and add-ons available from a variety of sources. Some people moan about the absence of particular features, or quality of components, fitted as standard to bikes, but the general market - unlike the minority of enthusiasts who belong to the Folding Society - is not particularly interested in these features, and is very price conscious, and it is only sensible for the manufacturers to concentrate on the larger market. Producing customised specials for enthusiasts isn't really an economic proposition for volume manufacturers, and given that the enthusiasts will never agree anyway about the specification of the improvements they want, it really makes more sense to accept that we will spend time and money customising the standard model to meet our individual requirements. Personally, I think that is part of the interest and pleasure in owning a bike (or rather, bikes). Now that it is relatively easy to get the equipment needed to modify and upgrade the specification of many of the most popular folders and separables, it is even more pleasurable to own one.
If you receive this issue of FSN in a plain text form, please remember that a formatted version is available on our web pages at http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/fsn/fsn050.html, and you can receive the formatted version (suitable for reading with a web browser) just be emailing us to let us know you prefer this version.
Please remember that the Folding Society web pages are now at http://www.foldsoc.co.uk. All new material is being put at that new address, and the old site now only consists of a link to the new one. If you haven't yet changed the address in your 'favourites' list, please do so now.
In the last issue of FSN we discussed the importance of being able to achieve a comfortable riding position, and that what suits one person, even if they are the same size, may not suit another, and that some bikes seem to be more comfortable adopting a different riding position from that which you use on others. What this means is that being able to adjust the riding position to meet your individual requirements is important, and that lack of adjustment makes it difficult to be sure you have the ideal position. In this article, we'll look at some of the best and most popular portable cycles, and what provision they make for adjusting your riding position. We'll start with the B's - Bike Friday, Birdy and Brompton - in this issue, and cover the rest in the next issue.
Most Bike Fridays are custom built, although the Metros come in two fixed sizes. This should mean that they are a good basic fit, but of course you may not always be sure of the precise sizing required when you order, you may have bought second hand, or the bike may be used by more than one person. Saddle height is easily adjusted, and there is usually plenty of adjustment available, so unless you bought a used bike intended for someone a very different size, you should not have problems. Bike Fridays suit a very wide range of rider sizes - under 5ft to over 6 1/2 feet. Horizontal position of the saddle can be varied in the usual way through a couple of inches, but of course this should really be used to get the correct position relative to the bottom bracket, rather than for adjusting handlebar reach, even though it is the latter which most people probably use this for. Handlebar height is more difficult to adjust on those models with the elegant and light swan neck stem - in fact you cannot alter the bar height or reach without replacing the whole stem, which is made to order. This makes the stem which takes a standard handlebar stem unit a more attractive proposition, since these provide a limited degree of height adjustment, and an alternative standard stem could be fitted to adjust the reach if this is a problem. If you do have the swan neck stem, and it does not suit, replacements are available, but of course at a price. I believe that in the USA Bike Friday make it easier for those purchasing this type of stem to find out just which size they need, but this does not seem to apply in the UK.
Saddle height is easily adjusted on the Birdy, and should accommodate even the shortest riders; there seems plenty of adjustment for tall riders, though I have not examined this in detail, and if you are exceptionally tall, you might need to check on the available adjustment. Reach is more of a problem with the Birdy. The seat tube is behind the bottom bracket, and is angled so that raising the saddle moves the saddle back further than would be the case for a similar amount of raising on most bikes. With the standard bars, the reach is long for shorter riders, and because of the seat tube angle, it remains long for taller riders as well. It is no accident that every photograph of the Birdy in their literature, and every other picture I have seen, shows the saddle moved as far forward as it can go. The standard bars are not adjustable for height either, and as they do not have a standard bar stem fixing, this cannot easily be changed. There is an alternative Comfort stem, which brings the bars closer to the rider, and this also has the advantage of being adjustable for height. Unfortunately, for me this moves the bars too close, and I settled for the standard bars, which suited me quite well for height and reach - perhaps 1 or 2cm less reach would have been better. If you are buying a Birdy, it is well worth examining the Comfort stem - it is an option when new, and it is cheaper to have it fitted then than to have to buy one later.
The Brompton is characterised by its rather upright riding position - I'm not very keen on this personally, but I have never found it uncomfortable, even on quite long rides. Saddle height as standard will suit anything from very short to about average male height. The optional long seat post or telescopic seat post extend the range to cover anyone who is not a giant - some VERY tall riders use Bromptons with these seat pillars. Reach is normally rather short - as standard Bromptons are (or at least used to be) fitted with a small forward extension for the saddle, which makes the bike more compact when folded. Most people remove this to give a slightly less constrained riding position - it is still too short in reach for most, but an improvement, and only adds about 3cm to the length when folded, and only at the top of the saddle. The extension can actually be reversed to increase reach, but this puts more load on it and the post, and further increases the folded size, so it is not recommended. The saddle generally will be put as far back as possible, but even then for most riders the reach is on the short side. The bars can be angled very slightly forward, but the fixing for the bars limits this adjustment, and with stubby bar ends, these foul the front wheel when folding if the angle is increased. Don't be tempted to fit a quick release and twist the bars forward when unfolding and back when folding - you will scratch the bars, and the resulting stress raiser makes a handlebar breakage much more likely - very dangerous. The best solution on reach for most people is to remove the forward extension on the saddle, put the saddle as far back as it will go, fit stubby bar ends, and keep the bars angled as far forward as is practical - it may still feel rather upright and close, but it is acceptable and not uncomfortable.
Bar height cannot be adjusted, and for riders of average height or less the bars may be higher than they would like. The tallest riders may, I suppose, find the bars a bit low. Fitting different bars is not easy, as most would reduce the bar height by more than you want, and, additionally, the standard bars are shaped the way they are, and deliberately have a small amount of flex, to help soak up the discomfort which can result from very small wheels on an unsuspended bike. If you are still not happy, there are some third party alternatives which improve the handlebar positioning. Steve Parry uses a suspension seat post and a shim fitted to a cut-off and modified Brompton stem. This provides some height adjustment, from rather lower than the standard Brompton position to rather higher. It does not provide any reach adjustment, and in fact brings the bars a little further back if anything, but I find the overall result is better than the standard system. Perhaps more importantly, it gives better insulation from road irregularities, and is very stiff – the slight bending of the bars and stem felt on a standard Brompton when pulling on the bars is eliminated, at least unless you are particularly brutal. This stem is fitted by Steve to his 2-speed and 12-speed SPs, which are Brompton based, but although he does sell some parts separate from complete SP bikes, the stem is not amongst them. However, something which appears to be very similar is available from Kinetics, and is sold as a complete replacements stem unit which replaces the Brompton unit. Kinetics also offer an unsuspended stem with adjustment of height and reach, which looks as though it should cater for the needs of those looking for something lower, higher and/or with a longer reach, albeit perhaps with a rather harsher ride in the absence of suspension.
Useful contacts for the Brompton modifications mentioned above are:
Avon Valley Cyclery – 01225 442442, web pages at http://www.bikeshop.uk.com
Kinetics - web pages at http://www.kinetics.org.uk
Steve Parry – 01934 516158 – specifications and other information on SP bikes and modifications can be found on our web pages at http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/sp.html
As we commented recently, the excellent choice of 349 (16 inch) tyres now available makes the idea of changing AM Moultons to this size sound attractive. Tony Hadland has already done this to one of his bikes, and also fitted a 7-speed Shimano Nexus to the rear. In response to an enquiry about how he went about this, Tony provided the following summary:
"I had the work carried out by a small cycle dealer in Alcester ("Cycle Centre") who used to be with Priory Cycles before they sold out to the Kelvin Cycles chain. Paul is a very good wheel builder and does a lot of wheel work for club riders. I'm not sure what brand the rims are but will ask him. I thought they were Alesa but they do not seem to be marked, so I can't check at present. I went for 36 spokes for reliability (I am about 15 stone!) The front wheel is radially spoked onto a Shimano RX100 Q/R hub, if memory serves. The rear hub is a Shimano Nexus 7-speed.
We elected for single cross lacing, as otherwise the spokes enter the rim at ridiculous angles and bend too much near the rim. Spoke lengths were calculated using the "Spokes" computer program. Accurate calculation is quite difficult, as the variables make a big difference at these wheel sizes. As you might imagine, the spokes had to be cut specially.
To get the Shimano Nexus into an AM5 rear triangle required some jiggery-pokery with washers but was much easier than Shimano's technical literature indicated. (That is, if you do not fit a coaster or roller brake.)
Brakes are Alhonga dual pivot and work very well."
As usual, don't attempt any modifications unless you have expertise and experience to judge for yourself whether the change is safe, and don't attempt to do the job unless you have the necessary skills and equipment. However, this is certainly an interesting modification.
With the crisis at Rover Cars still in the news, people have asked if the leader of the Alchemy bid, John Moulton, is related - the answer is NO. However, by an odd coincidence, the mother of one of the leading figures in the rival bid helps on a part-time basis with the finances of Alex Moulton Bicycles.
Birdy prices have been revised downwards, at least in the UK. A Birdy Red is now listed at £700, a Blue at £870, Black (replacing the Elox) £1130 and the Green is £800.
As you will see in the article below, I have now sold my Red - the combination of a standard Brompton, SP and the Bike Fridays really meant that there was nothing it could do that wasn't done better by one of the others, whatever the particular intended use, and as regular readers will know, I have been irritated, perhaps disproportionately, by some of its features that are not to my liking. There was actually one other major reason for disposing of it - money. Next to go is the Marin East Peak - if you are looking for a good, full suspension, conventional mountain bike, 18 months old and very low mileage, let me know!
By Dick Hanson
Chatting with Mike Hessey on the March Origami ride, it turned out that he might consider selling his Birdy Red. Despite one or two warning notes sounded by various reviews in the Folding Society pages, I had been considering a Birdy for some time. The advantages over a Brompton for longer rides seemed to outweigh the disadvantages. Having two Bromptons in the family and a colleague at work desperate to buy one, this seemed a perfect time to take the plunge.
Having arranged the deal for the Brompton at work, I arranged to visit Mike one Sunday evening. After a quick whizz round the block, the immaculate bike and its bags of spares proved too much of a temptation and the deal was done. Mike subsequently came to ponder his decision on the Bath to Bradford on Avon towpath during the following week!
Sunday March 26 provided the first opportunity to try the Birdy on a decent run. My brother had been walking to the source of the Thames and phoned to see if we wanted to meet for a pub lunch at Ashton Keynes south of Cirencester. We live in Cheltenham.
Folding the Birdy and loading it into the car was certainly less convenient than the equivalent operation with a Brompton, but was still achieved fairly rapidly with few problems. Two points emerged during this process. One - it seems important to have the cranks in the correct position before folding or scratching of the frame can result and two - the folded Birdy is far less stable than a Brompton and prone to falling over. Related to this is that on a hard surface one or two of the folded bike's components such as the left crank can scratch, as the bike sits on them.
Following an excellent lunch with real ale at the White Hart in Ashton Keynes, everyone departed, leaving me alone to contemplate a 26 mile ride on an unfamiliar bike. No sooner had I set off towards Cirencester than a hail storm started! Up until that point, the day had been dry with reasonable amounts of sunshine. Fortunately the storm was over very quickly and the weather remained dry for the rest of the journey.
The riding position of the bike seemed to suit me very well, slightly leaning forward on the stubby end bars that Mike had fitted. This certainly seemed a better position for longer distance riding than that of the Brompton. Gear changing was superbly smooth with the Shimano LX mech and 9 speed block - again refinements added by Mike.
After Mike's comments on the rolling resistance of Birdy tyres I was a bit concerned about how they would feel. Having ridden my AM Moulton the previous week, the bike did seem slightly sluggish, but as all AM and New Series owners know, Moultons don't really need pedalling at all, they seem to go along on their own! In fact the Birdy seemed much smoother than most conventional bikes and certainly flew down hills.
Another point that had concerned me was Mike's report of various creaks and rattles from the aluminium frame and components. I found no problem at all in this respect, even though Mike had removed the copious amounts of Bluetac that had been applied to alleviate the problem! I even stored the pump in the seat tube and found that it rattled very little.
Heading up the long straight road to Siddington I really began to get into the swing of the bike and maintained a steady 22kph whatever that is! Subsequently, I reached a maximum speed of 57kph. The bike came equipped with a cycle computer, something I had never used before, and I found my eyes were drawn inexorably to it.
Having passed Cirencester, I headed out along the main road to Stratton. There is a footpath along this road that doubles as a cycle track, so it's nice to be out of the traffic. At Stratton I turned in towards Daglingworth and the Duntisbournes. This is a superb lane and motor vehicles were almost non existent. Daffodils and spring blossom lined the route and I felt I was in cycling heaven. The gearing of the bike seemed perfect and all of the steep hills on the route were conquered without ever having to use the very lowest gear. During this part of the ride, the heavy lunch and beer seemed to be taking their toll, and for a short while my legs felt somewhat jelly like. This all changed a bit later on when the calories in the food seemed to kick in and I flew along for the rest of the journey.
Along this section of the ride I became increasingly aware of seat height. Were my knees getting closer to my arms, or was it my imagination? I find that seat height is critical in getting the most out of a bike. I couldn't decide whether I was slowly sinking or not, so I stopped anyway, tightened up the quick release and readjusted the saddle. This time I seemed to tower over the bike and stretch from one side to the other like in some strange comedy film. Another stop and all was adjusted perfectly and remained perfect until I got home. A mark was made on the seat post when I put the bike away.
At Duntisbourne Abbots I had the opportunity to try the bike's off road capabilities. There are two tracks here heading towards the tarmac road to Winstone. The longer track makes the best short cut, but I knew from previous experience that this contained a section only really suitable for mountain bikes. I had not tried the shorter track before, so set off along a very good surface of well compacted Cotswold stone. The bike coped perfectly, even when the track became somewhat rutted. The Birdy certainly seemed a better tool for this sort of riding than either my Brompton or Moulton.
Rounding a bend I was confronted with a lake where the track should have been. A small bank on the left offered a way on foot, so I picked up the bike and set off. The unfolded bike was very easy to carry and the weight, even with the underframe bag, seemed very light. I particularly liked the ease of carrying, holding the bike's main frame tube. Regaining the Cotswold stone surface I was soon back on tarmac and heading towards Winstone.
Elkstone, Cowley and Ullenwood rapidly came and went and in no time I was shooting down Leckhampton Hill into Cheltenham. Back home I considered that the Birdy had been all I had hoped it would be. Mike's loss had been my gain!
I'm sad in many ways to have parted with the Birdy, but there is a limit to how many bicycles you can ride at the same time, and, in particular, the addition of the SP last year meant that the Birdy had a less important role. I'm pleased that Dick likes the bike. One additional comment regarding rattles etc - although my original investigation identified many possible contributors, by far the most significant factor was the brakes, and this was one reason why I replaced the original Dia Compes with Shimano ones. This eliminated most, though not all, of the noises, and removing various pieces of sticky tape etc that I had fitted previously in attempt to quieten things did not significantly increase the noise. I expect to see the Birdy again at some future Origami rides, and I hope that Dick will provide an update on his experience with it when he has covered some further distance.
by Leslie Norman
After cycling every day for many years on a standard roadster, I became interested in mountain bikes when they appeared. I did not want or need to climb mountains, but all those gears seemed an improvement and there was a rugged look to frame and wheels which seemed to promise toughness and long life. I bought one and immediately wondered where the power in my legs had gone. The mudguardless mount was hopeless for my many wet journeys and I began to modify the cycle to a more practical mount. Mudguards on, BMX handlebars for a more upright riding position and smaller section, slick high pressure tyres made a world of difference and the cycle shop owner told me I now possessed a Hybrid bike. I was charmed by the effect these changes had, and embarked on a test program to see the effect of ever higher tyre pressures.
Now misfortune struck! A last minute dash to town with tyres at an all time high of 80 psi and a not typical fit and strong rider combined to have rider and mount proceeding at a cracking pace….well a good 25 mph. The council had just patched a bit of road and the traffic had formed a hard-to-spot depression, which fitted the curve of the front wheel almost to perfection. The bike took off with an alacrity which confused your humble pilot, worried by the milling crowds of pedestrians doing last minute shopping. They were in for a surprise, if not shock. The BMX ‘bars had been fitted despite a few problems with not-exactly-fitting parts, and now the handlebars started to fold from under my hands fighting to keep control. I lost the steering and careered towards the packed pavement. I had a slow motion vision of jaws dropping as I swooped from my apogee. From mere happening to disaster as the front wheel hit the kerb and sprang to renewed heights, the shock knocking both my feet from the peddles. Then it happened…….I fell footless towards the rising crossbar, and crutch and steel met. Steel won hands down and red hot pain seared high, and vision became blurred - very!. With the luck one needs at such moments I missed a mass of pedestrians who wondered why I was suddenly crying my eyes out! The pain was incredible, but shuddering to a stop I straightened out the ‘bars and with feet placed on the pedals, escaped to a quieter place to collect my thoughts. Life was never QUITE to same again.
The reason for recounting this story is simple…gentlemen pad your crossbars (MTB accessories can be purchased for this job) or ride a sensible cycle like a Brompton where there IS no crossbar… and NEVER compromise safety; if you are not sure what you are doing mechanically, get a cycle shop or expert to do a proper job for you. This story could have had a much different ending with people disabled for life or even killed.
Leslie's original report contained some harrowing medical details, but we have removed these for the sake of our more sensitive readers. Happily he is now fully recovered from this unpleasant incident. Of course, most folders have small wheels and no dangerously-positioned crossbar to inflict such injuries - another advantage of using a folder!
The specifications of the current SP models - 1, 2 and 12 - have finally been loaded onto the web pages, although pictures have still to be added. You can find this information at http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/sp.html .
Roy Benson has a query regarding lighting - please let us
know if you can help:
"I am particularly interested to hear if anyone has fitted one of the Schmidt lighting hubs. I have one on my 700c wheeled normal bike and it is excellent. However, advice from other users would be welcome, especially regarding its use on a Birdy or Brompton."
James Greig writes with information which may be of
interest to some of our members:
"Lidl, the discount supermarket, true to its origins in Neckarsulm, Germany, home of the NSU cycle and motorcycle firm, is selling various things for cyclists on week by week new promotions. I bought a bike cover today for 3.99. Intended for campers to cover a full-size bike, I thought the green woven polythene cover would be good for turning a folder into hand luggage, safe from the prying eyes of those who would like loudly to declare "no bikes allowed in here!"
I also bought what I thought was a puncture kit complete with feathered edge patches for 99p, only to find that it was a pack of 2. Useful for Primo tyres in cities. Next week's special is bicycle gloves for 1.99 a pair.
While trying to support my local dealer, I find a bargain hard to resist. But my local dealer has sold me some fancy new Brompton tyres which have transformed the performance of the bike."
Paul Stobbs provides a brief update on the progress of his
"After not hearing from Jun Kataoka in Japan for ages, a day or so ago 2 tyres and 2 tubes arrived. That was the good news; the bad news - the cost was a staggering £36 each for the tyres and £11 each for the tubes. Those prices include proportions of the shipping and currency charges, but even without these, the prices are £24 and £7.50 respectively. Evidently Jun had quite a job getting them. Makes one wonder how many Traincles are being used, and how much. Ironically I'd settled on an available alternative tube as long ago as Portmeirion (November 1999), and a month or so back came to have (due to someone else's error) some replacement tyres, though both are considerably heavier."
Knowing Paul, I'd certainly doubt if there are many other Traincle owners covering such large distances!
The S&W list is still quite active - if you have a folder, separable, or accessories to dispose of, or you want to buy, you can use the Sales and Wants page (http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/sandw.html). If you want to have something put on the list, just email us the details (firstname.lastname@example.org) - there is no charge, but please let us know when it is sold so that we can take it off the list. As I strongly suspect that I am not being told when items are sold, I intend to introduce some changes to the Sales and Wants section. In future all entries will be dated, and will be deleted after 3 months unless a request is received to retain the entry on the list. However, please do still tell us as soon as anything is sold, so that we can remove it and avoid creating annoyance to those using the list. Take all normal precautions when buying and selling goods - the Folding Society and its officers are not responsible for the descriptions and products and services contained in the Sales & Wants list.
The events listed below are a combination of those organised by Folding Society members or of potential interest to members.
Remember that cycling can be dangerous (so is travelling by car, bus, train, air or water, breathing and living!); anyone participating in any way in any event does so at their own risk.
Saturday 6th May - Mud Dock
As usual, meet from about 10.30 at the Mud Dock Cafe in Bristol. Contact Gary Lovell, Tel: 0117 932 4633.
Saturday13th May - Origami Ride
The May Origami Ride will be at its usual location, the Tearooms at Meriden; arrive from 10.30 for an 11.00 start. We hope that John Pinkerton himself may actually put in an appearance this month, unless he flees the country yet again! For more information, contact John Pinkerton on 0121 350 0685, email email@example.com, or look at his web site at http://www.users.mwfree.net/~pinkertn/origami.html.
12-14 May 2000 - Mystery Brompton Riders meet, Weymouth Pavilion. "Strictly no organisation, other folders welcome". This notice appeared under "Events" in issue 16 of A to B. Previous events in Weymouth have been very enjoyable, and even if this is a strictly unofficial gathering, I hope a good number of members will be able to get them. Several leading members of The Folding Society are known to have already booked their accommodation!
Saturday 20th May - San Francisco Bay Area Spring 2000 Folding Bike
Meet at 10:30am at the Sausalito Ferry Terminal (Blue & Gold Ferry leaves at 10:40am from Pier 41 in S.F., arrives Sausalito 11:05am). Ride will leave at 11:15a and proceed along the Mill Valley bike trail, through the wetlands, around Tiburon, and back to Sausalito. Lunch in Tiburon. As always, bring your non-folding friends - we'll convert them during them the ride. The next ride will be 21st October 2000. Organiser Tom Vogt ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Sunday 21st May Sussex Coastal Plain Ride
30 miles approx Meet Chichester Railway Station 10.00 for 10.30 start. Further details from Eric Jones, Tel 01903 782631
Saturday 3rd June Leominster, Herefordshire Ride
Meet at Etnam Street free car park at 10am for 10.30 start for an easy 20 mile ride along very pleasant country lanes with cafe stops. Further details from Alan Mason Tel 01568 612905
June, 2000 - Vondelpark Amsterdam
Enno Roosink, email@example.com, tells us that the party is going to be like a fair with lots of activities and exhibitors of special bicycles, recumbents, folders and the like. Please have a look at www.velomondial2000.nl for details. All participants of our annual Bike Friday Meeting will be attending the Bicycle Party/Fair; the general idea is to ride mixed with the Moultons and the Bike Fridays. The BF meeting will be stretched over the weekends 17-18 June and 24 - 25 June.
July 28-31 2000, Spokesfest 2000, Leicester. Spokesfest will have a large display area in The Shires shopping centre from Saturday 22nd July to Sunday July 30th. and has the use of Humberstone Gate event arena for both the Saturday and Sunday of Spokesfest (29th and 30th July).
CycleFest 2000 - Lancaster,
The bi-annual cycling feast will soon be coming around again, and it'll all be up and running from Wednesday 2nd to Tuesday 8th August at St Martins College, Lancaster, UK. Quite a bit has been planned already of course, and as usual there's a theme for the sessions - this year it's "Transmissions", and we already have some great speakers booked for this (Tony Hadland, Florian Schlumfp, Izzi Ureili et al) and some interesting new activities planned (50m sprints, midnight torchlight parade and BBQ etc). However, further ideas are always welcome. There will be announcements in Folding Society News, The Moultoneer and other publications in due course. The Cyclefest web pages are currently available at http://www.whooper.demon.co.uk/cyclefest/index.html, but will move to a new and more memorable address soon, and will be regularly updated as the event approaches. We hope there will be a major folder/separable presence at Cyclefest 2000 - the very provisional program already includes one event specifically for folders. We also understand that Alex Moulton will have a stand there this year. If you have any queries concerning CycleFest, contact: John Bradshaw, Tel/Fax: 01524 384474 (day) or Tel: 01524 66658 (eve)
9-10 September - Moulton Bicycle Club Bradford-on-Avon
The annual Moulton Bicycle Club weekend is scheduled for 9-10th September this year, and preliminary information suggests that it should be better than ever this year.
A to B Magazine remains the ultimate source of authoritative information on folding cycles. In the unlikely event that you aren't aware of A to B and/or don't read this magazine, then we would urge you to take out a subscription without delay. A to B can be found on the web pages at http://www.a2bmagazine.demon.co.uk, or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can be reached by telephone or fax on 01963 351649, address 19 West Park, Castle Cary, Somerset BA7 7DB, England. A subscription to A to B is only £10 per year in the UK, or $24, and the magazine is published ever two months and is packed with news, reviews and other interesting information on effective integrated transport systems in general, and folding cycles in particular.
Note: The views expressed by contributors and correspondents are those of the writers, and are not necessarily those of The Folding Society or its organisers.
Back numbers of all issues of Folding Society News are available on our web site - go to http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/fsn/fsn.html for the full list.
We would very much welcome articles, photographs or any other material for inclusion in future issues of FSN, or on our web pages. Please send any material to The Folding Society at the address given below. However, if you are planning to send pictures by email, please send them at an appropriate resolution to avoid high telephone bills - a picture of 50K or less is ample for use in FSN or on the web pages.
The Folding Society
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Last updated: 15 April 2000