Monday, February 19, 2018

Fold ‘N Go Bicycles

May 1, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Fold ‘N Go Bicycles
by Erin Donohue

Riding is one of the environmentally conscious ways to tackle our transportation woes. I am fortunate enough to live within biking distance to my marina, and the savings on gas and the lack of pollution is terrific. But boaters who don’t bike to their vessels should still consider bringing a bike aboard, in order to enjoy destinations where mass transportation just isn’t available at the transient dock.

Think there’s no room on your boat for bicycles?

Consider buying a foldable bicycle that fits compactly on your vessel. Bike manufacturer Dahon makes a model called the Mariner that takes boaters’ needs into consideration: it is foldable and features a rust resistant brushed aluminum frame and chain. The Dahon website claims that the bike folds in about 15 seconds; I witnessed this first hand at Brand’s Cycle and Fitness in Wantagh. From a kick of the kickstand to a fold of the handlebars, along with a few other steps, the process is quick and magnets hold the folds in place.

Dan Serota, whose family has owned Brand’s for 55 years, demonstrated that the Mariner’s folding technique and resultant compact size that would fit on even the smallest of boats. “Travelers including campers, pilots, and boaters are really the audience for these types of bicycles,” said Dan. “I see a lot of sales in this type of bike to those where space is a concern; boats would definitely qualify for that.” Though boaters want the bike to be small to fit aboard, I wondered: how big a boater could actually ride a foldable bicycle? “We have fitted bikes like this to people as tall as 6’ 4”, advised Dan, as “the seat heights are very flexible.” When you look at the neck of the seat to the squashed looking frame of this style, it reminds you of the bikes of your childhood. A folding bicycle is visually very different from the popular mountain bike styles that are commonly seen on Long Island. The Dahon Mariner runs about $549 and wheel sizes vary (Dahon’s basic Boardwalk folding bikes begin at $270).

Similar to the Dahon in space-conscious transportation is a tricycle style, the CarryALL, made by Pacific Cycles (they also manufacture a two-wheeled version called the CarryME). The CarryALL trike rolls easily with added stability; its combination of light weight but strong materials plus compact folding system make this bike a good alternative for the less experienced cycler.The CarryALL easily fits in the trunk of a car or can be taken along on public transport wherever you go, but unlike the Mariner it does not feature extra rustresistance, so a model like this should not be stored on a boat for any period of time. The Dahon models fold smaller but must be carried (a bag accessory is sold), while the CarryALL folds conveniently to a golf-cart type shape and is easily wheeled from location to location. A CarryALL retails for around $900.

For the budget conscious, Citizen Bike is another folding bicycle maker that sells online, with prices starting at under $200 for a 16”, six speed model.

Folded, the bike fits nicely into a bike bag for portability.

Whatever your price range, a folding bike gives you the ability to be environmentally conscious while extending the places you can explore when taking day trips on your boat.

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