Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bicycle Time

Springtime is the time to break our bikes back out. I've read lots of things about boats and bikes and the compatibility (or lack thereof) the two. Well, Jenny and I both like biking for exercise, and I like commuting (it's only 4.5 miles from the boat to the museum I work at). Luckily, we are at a marina which has a nice big bike rack inside the marina gates. It is safe and out of the way. On the other hand, Jenny and I don't plan on being here forever. This creates a lot of dilemmas:

Dilemma 1) We are both tired of cheap crappy wal-mart bikes that breakdown after a year of moderate use- yet we wish to keep them in a marine environment.

Dilemma 2) How to store the bike on board during passages.

Dilemma 3) How to store the bike if we are somewhere we can't safely leave them.

This led us to the conclusion that, like so many things on boats, the bikes will have to be a compromise. We started looking at folding bikes and through gobs of research we each managed to find ones that suit us perfectly.

Last spring I purchased a Dahon Matrix, as seen here and in the picture below.

Shortly after that, Jenny opted to go old school and get a Raleigh 20 as seen at this rather eccentric gentleman's homepage here. and also pictured below.

Yes, mine is a little flashier and more expensive but I use it for commuting and didn't want to sacrifice tons of speed in order for it to fold. On the other hand Jenny's is very cute, has a nice 70's feel, and suits her leisurely riding style perfectly. We love both these bikes.

They both fold down quickly and neatly and we can then strap them to the stern rail, or if need be store them in the quarterberth... or under the cockpit... or in the lazarette... or wherever we choose. They are both made with good quality metals and nice paints. They have good gears made by quality companies. If any bikes can survive a life at sea, we think it is these two.

That said, I had a nice ride in to work today and it is a great sign of the approaching summer.

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