Fling into Spring!

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6 thoughts on “Fling into Spring!

  1. Simon Kennett

    Thanks for putting this up Lisa.
    Eight people have registered interest so far (with 4 of them taking up free travel on the train from Wellington). Interesting to see the gender split is 50/50. That’s similar to the split for folding bike voucher requests (and not the gender bias we see in commuting cycling normally).

    Is it just that folding bikes have the low (dress-friendly) frame or does the option of hopping on public transport at the end of the day have more appeal to women than men? Alternatively, does this reflect an even gender split for new cyclists (c.f. the old school commuters who are often guys who used to ride for recreation)?

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    1. Another possible factor: When I bought my first bike around a year and a half ago I picked a folding one mainly because the wheels were small and the whole thing was very close to the ground and easy to manoeuvre. Having not ridden a bike since I was a kid, the full size bikes I tried out felt wobbly and terrifying. Maybe women are more likely to have less bike experience in general and find folders less intimidating.
      Interestingly, this website http://madamedepe.com/bikinginamsterdam.php (with stylish raincoats made for cycling) tells me that of the 2 million people biking to work every day in Amsterdam, half a million are women. Even cycling heaven has the cycling gender bias.

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  2. Rob Appleton

    The voucher scheme is a wonderful initiative however many people have been unable to purchase their bike due to an almost total lack of folders in bike shops not just in the Wellington region, but nation wide it seems. After much frustrated searching I was forced to buy mine from an internet trading site.

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    1. Simon Kennett

      Hopefully the frustration was worth it, now you’ve ended up with a Brompton, Rob.

      We were unlucky that Dahon (the worlds biggest manufacturer of folding bikes) suddenly went belly up in the middle of the year, so once their stock was sold out, that was it for that brand. Then Giant ordered a shipment of Expressways which seems to have fallen off the back of a container ship in the middle of nowhere. They re-ordered and the new shipment arrived here a few weeks ago. I understand they’ve just about soldout (Burkes has only one left) but there is another shipment due in this week (of which Burkes have ordered 10).

      The Bromptons are more expensive, but they fold up a lot smaller and seem to be one of the most loved bike brands.

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  3. Simon Kennett

    A small, but enthusiastic group turned up for the inaugural Fling in the Spring. The riders ranged from 8-yr old Alex on his dad’s Bike Friday tandem to a couple in their 50s on MTB folders. Of course, the bikes were interesting – there was even a mid-70s folder from the Soviet Union.

    We enjoyed a gentle tailwind all the way from Upper Hutt to Petone (and onwards back to Karori for Sian on his Giant Clip) and fine food from two of the Hutt Valley’s finest cafes.

    Fun times!

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