As I bicycle commute here in Greater Lansing, it is quite common to see other cycling enthusiasts on their way to/from work or school. What is much less common is seeing a fellow urban folding bike commuter.
At the intersection of Grand River Avenue and Okemos Road, such a fortuitous encounter took place. Me, on my gray and black Citizen “Miami” waiting for the signal to change and lo and behold a young woman rode up on her impressive white Brompton that she had decorated with some stickers. We quickly exchanged pleasantries and complemented each other’s bicycle before happily pedaling off to work. I was particularly struck by how much smaller her two wheels were than my 20 inch ones.
I thoroughly enjoy riding my Citizen “Miami” for commuting and errands. Its compact size and durability are perfect for distances of less than five miles. Sometimes, I wish I had been more bold in my color selection – not only for bicycling advocacy/marketing purposes – “see the bike commuter, folks – this is fun and you can do it too,” but also to improve my overall visibility. Just last Wednesday evening, I was “bumped” by a car for the first time, as it started edging forward at an intersection that I was passing through. Fortunately, I did not fall or get injured, but it was a solemn reminder of the inherent risks and dangers all of us encounter on a daily basis. Perhaps, If my bicycle had been shocking orange or screaming yellow I might have been seen sooner?
Urban folding bikes are a wonderful trend that has added some new pizzazz and creative buzz to bicycling that I think will draw more riders, regardless of age – they are very easy to ride and to mount or dismount. Hopefully, as each commuting week passes, my encounters with other weekday bike commuters pedaling an urban folding bike will no longer be an exception, but will instead trend towards being more of the rule. Cheers!