Four Folding Bikes for Four Friends—Bicycle Bliss?
After a wildfire put the hurt on our chosen campground for this year’s get-together, Barbara and I asked our old friends if a stay at our place would be better. Some barbequing, time around the pool and maybe a few bike rides would have to replace our normal tent and campfire routine. All but one made the trek and we had a great time. One evening we all saddled up on E-bikes to visit a favorite local restaurant. That was a cool way to spend the first night of our adventure.
On the final day of the ‘campout’, our numbers had dwindled slightly. We decided a afternoon at the bay would be the perfect way to cap off the long, fun holiday weekend. Taking the bikes would add to the excitement, so we piled ourselves and the four folding bikes into our two cars (an econo car and a mini SUV) and headed the few miles to the water.
Our mix of bikes was an interesting one. I did figure during the ride two things would happen, one that we would swap the bikes between us to be able to try each one out. And that it would be just a short ride along the east side of Mission Bay. The couple with us wanted to beat the traffic home and they had a few stops along the way. Funny thing is that once we started riding each person was happy with their bike and the fun was more important than the need to leave town on schedule.
So we just kept riding, enjoying the bikes and the company. We took the long way and fully encircled the bay, taking in all the sights and friendship the day had to offer. We stopped for photos and refreshments as needed, maintaining the best relaxing pace a day-off can give. Here are the bikes and the riders.
First up was me (of course) on the Tern Link P24h. I just received this folding bike for testing after giving up the Tern Link D8 I had for quite a while. This Link has the hybrid drive that mates a 3-speed geared hub with a 8-speed free-wheel set-up. It has more gears than you need and some other cool features. A built-in floor-type tire pump in the seat post and a full lighting system powered by a front hub generator are standard.
It rides great and I was glad to get extra some seat time as I gained more information for the posts I will write about it. For this mostly flat 12 mile ride around the bay I didn’t need all the available gears, but you can be sure I was always in one that felt just right. I didn’t need the pump either, yet I left the lights on the whole ride. Barbara and I use our blinking lights day or night, and each bike in the group was equipped with them.
I had Barbara ride the E-Brompton. She is always more than comfortable on this awesome high-end folding bike. It has been converted to electric-assist by the great folks at NYCeWheels and gets ridden so much since they sent it to me for an extended test and shake-down. I recently asked them if they wanted it back and they responded by sending me an extra-range 15 Ah battery up-grade. They love the fact that I am always showing it off and letting anyone interested in riding it give it a try. Great bike.
Dave was on the IZIP E3 Compact. This light-weight E-bike folds easy and small. Dave was enjoying the motor power and didn’t seem to pedal much. It is a single-speed bike, with the gearing being just right for this type of ride, even though Dave didn’t take much advantage of that feature. It easily made the loop around the bay and I have completed rides of 35 miles and better a few times on it. Another thing Dave seemed to enjoy was the fact that this bike has the widest and cushiest seat of the group.
Vickie, Dave’s wife, wanted some extra exercise so she opted for the Tern Link P9 that actually belongs to us. I have posted much about this well-made and riding folding bike here on my site and others. In shiny black and with 9 speeds to chose from, it is possibly the best folding bike you will find. Reasonably priced and well speced, Barbara and I are glad we got it. In the near future it will get a stable mate, either another P9 or maybe the Tern Link D8. This bike has been on many local and distant rides and we love it. Vickie did too.
So as we arrived near the ex-visitor’s center on the east side of Mission Bay, it took no time at all to get the bikes unloaded and unfolded. A quick run-down on each bike’s operation and turning on all the blinking lights was fast and easy. We headed south on the wide-open walking and riding path. This side of the bay has no residences and was fairly quiet and calm on this day. I thought for sure we would go just for a while and turn back, but the smiles pointed the way to extend the ride.
Watching swimmers, stand-up paddle boarders and boaters from our bikes was fun. We passed many walkers, riders and picnickers as our wheels turned. Soon we rounded Sea World and headed north towards Belmont Park and the many houses and time-shares near-by. Mission Bay is a great place for a relaxing ride and the weather on this fun-filled day couldn’t of been better either. I was hoping we would see the new water jet pack action at full-force, but a sign said they were temporary out of service.
It is hard to tell you all we saw and felt on this ride, you just need to experience yourself. You can do it on any type of bike, but if you ask today’s group, a folding bike was they only way to go. When we got back to the cars, a quick fold and pack of the bikes got us on our way. We stopped at the very first Rubios on the way back for a early dinner before heading back to the house to bid our friends goodbye. I made sure to get the bikes back from them before they left, as they really talked up getting a pair of fun and convenient folding bikes for themselves.
Want fun? Folding bikes could be the answer, Turbo Bob.
“I dream on two wheels.”—Adventure Cycling Association
You can find Tern Folding bikes on the web and Facebook
You can get the awesome E-Brompton from NYCeWheels. In fact you can get most of the bikes featured in this post there. What a great bike shop.
IZIP E-bikes—web and Facebook—Also available from NYCeWheels