Dear Dahon Vitesse,
I have a confession.
While you were left cold and alone in the garage this last month, I have been seeing another bike. In fact not just seeing but riding her as well. Sometimes as often as two or three times a day.
It's not my fault. She enticed me with shiny red paint, promises of 21 gears and a high top speed and I, being but a weak human, was taken in. Alas her promises were shallow. Yes, she was faster than you but not nearly so reliable. I even treated her to a rack, new slimmer tyres and mudguards. But two broken spokes in as many weeks have shown her to be the needy, high maintenance bike that you never were. She promised so much but failed to deliver.
So now I look to you my faithful old companion to forgive me and continue to deliver the reliable service that you always did.
Bloke (back on a Folding Bike)
Yes I've been back on my hybrid for a few weeks.
I can't honestly put my finger on what made me make the switch but it seemed like a good idea at the time. In truth, it has been a reasonably pleasant few weeks change and there is definitely a benefit in speed and flexibility to having 21 gears. But a second broken spoke this morning in as many weeks has seen it go back in the garage in favour of the Dahon. I only suffered spoke breakage once on the folder after a particularly rough ride home. The hybrid hasn't been over any such terrain though so I think it's just the physical limitations of £250 Halfords bikes showing through.
So this morning I whipped out the Dahon again for the ride to work. I had forgotten how light it is in comparison to the hybrid - really light and nippy - and I had a really pleaseant ride in. I'd love to take it on a decent city tour (fantasy bike-ride plan no. 457...) as it would be perfect in and out of traffic.
It was nice and sunny this morning if a little windy, though that headwind will be an awesome tailwind on the way home so no worries there. Best of all I was treated to a couple of huge queues of cars to cycle past, beating then through the traffic lights with ease.
I am constantly surprised how much faster a bike is than a car in even moderate traffic. Between work and the railway station (4 miles) there are some decent roads but also several sets of traffic lights and buses etc. The result is that I can usually get to the station in around the same time as a car that leaves the office when I do, even on the folding bike.
As another case in point, last night was utter chaos on the rail network. After a very long delay, the train I needed was eventually cancelled and the single replacement bus was nowhere near big enough to get everyone on. To burn off my rising frustration, I elected to cycle home the remaining 19 miles. This decision was vindicated when I passed through a small town about half-way there and passed a couple of people walking who had earlier been waiting at the station with me. The bus had driven them about 7 or 8 miles in only a little less time than I managed on my bike. I was enjoying myself anyway by then but that put a large smile on my face!
Cycle commuting for the win!