Folders in Victoria BC

26 02 2010

Sharon on the move in Victoria BC...

I’m in Victoria BC for a few days.  My friend who is staying here has wisely brought two Brompton folding bicycles with her.  Naturally Sharon and I got out on them as quickly as we could for some exploring.  It took me 5 minutes to figure out how to unfold each bike, but once we got them on the road it was well worth the effort.

Lovely waterfront view...

We cruised along the waterfront in the Oak Bay area just enjoying the mild temperatures and lovely views. It was nice to see so much in the way of bicycle infrastructure.  Clearly pedestrians and cyclists are a priority in this town.

Sharon ready to roll....

I was really happy to have a bike to ride, but a day of riding a Brompton has certainly made me appreciate how great my Bike Friday Tikit is.  The Tikit rides much better, folds much more nicely and feels like a real bike.  The Brompton definitely folds smaller than my Tikit, but it’s a hassle to fold/unfold and always lets you know you are riding a folder.

....another amazing view

We dropped by Oak Bay Cycles to grab a cycling map of Victoria and chat with the staff.  Like everyone we’ve met in Victoria they were super friendly and really stoked about the city.  We left with some fun cycling ideas and headed to an English tea house for a warm cup of tea.

Mandatory helmet law in BC...*sigh*

I don’t love the mandatory helmet law for cyclists in BC, but at least the obvious priority cyclists get in the traffic planning here makes me feel like it’s worth doing what the authorities want if they’ll do lots of great stuff for cyclists.  Happily there was a stylie Bern helmet in my size available.

Fun with folders...

So far I’ve really been stoked to see so many cyclists, the respect cyclists get from drivers, fenders on all the bikes and people of all ages riding bikes for transportation. Victoria gets two thumbs up from a cycling perspective.

Water Porn!

We’ve got the weekend to explore some more and enjoy spring in BC before heading back to Calgary.  Hopefully we’ll return to some snow and great snowboarding….*fingers crossed*

Spring has sprung!



12 responses

26 02 2010
Paul Ledet

Hi Vic,

In Victoria, eh? I hope you enjoy our town! Your site and the info you put out on the Big Dummy were a big part in my decision to buy mine. I had it built up at North Park Bikes on North park and Quadra. Drop in if you have a chance. Joe and his crew were (and continue to be) wonderful to me and continue to help me tweak the BD.

Enjoy the visit. Let me know if I can offer any assistance.


26 02 2010

Hola Paul,

Victoria is great…I’m sure I’ll be back and next time I want to bring my own bike so I can really enjoy the cycling opportunities…=-)

Enjoy your BD – this town seems well suited for a cargo bike!

27 02 2010

So you like the Tikit better than the Brompton, eh?

27 02 2010

Yes the Brompton has only one thing going for it – smallest folded size of any folding bike…beyond that it’s expensive and not particularly a great bike. This is my 4th Brompton experience and I keep hoping I’ll like ’em more….

27 02 2010

Although I should say I’d rather have a Brompton to ride than nothing!

27 02 2010

Sounds like an awesome trip so far!

You’re looking pretty stylish in that helmet haha. I’ve been looking at Bern lately, I like their stuff. People in LA are too car crazy and crazy in their cars so it’s pretty much helmet time all the time.

28 02 2010

Thanks for the post–I appreciated both the heads-up on cycling in Victoria at this time of year and on the Brompton. When you write that the Brompton “always lets you know you are riding a folder,” what do you have in mind? I took my Express Tikit with me to Charleston, SC, this weekend, and did a 42-mile ride out to Isle of Palms and back; it felt pretty good, other than the slightly flexy stem and the twitchy steering (and reaching behind the seatpost for my water bottle). I do find, as someone at the upper limit of the Tikit’s weight restriction, that a sprung Brooks saddle makes the ride much smoother.

1 03 2010

Well I have a Tikit and a Dahon….the Tikit I ride like any of my regular bikes, it fits like a regular bike and if I stop thinking about it I don’t really know I’m riding a folder.

OTOH – both the Brompton and Dahon fit me smaller than a regular bike putting me into a very upright position I associate with a typical folder. They also don’t ride like a full size bike…you’ll never forget your on a folder while riding them. Having said that the Dahon is nicer than the Brompton as far as enjoying the ride goes. I’d never get to 42 miles on a Brompton….I would on a Dahon although I might not be uber stoked.

2 03 2010

Nice post, Vic!

I looked at the Brompton’s sometime and yes they are a bit pricey.

While I was not really looking hard, I happened upon my Raleigh Twenty on craigslist. It is not the easiest-to-fold and most compactly folding bike but it is a fun bike, in spite of its age.

BTW, I almost went to UVic but eventually decided to go to McMaster. Looks like a nice place to go on a vacation. Glad you got out to ride on your trip!

Peace 🙂

3 03 2010
Brian Ogilvie

Thanks for the reply. I agree that the Tikit rides like a regular bike, except I find that riding one-handed is tricky and I wouldn’t ride no-handed on it. It just seems too twitchy. What I really like about the idea of the Brompton is the compact fold, but everything else seems worse than a Tikit. I don’t think I’d want to take my Tikit on a brevet, though, so I’m wondering whether a New World Tourist or a Pocket Rocket is in my future.

22 03 2010

@Bryan: there’s one thing which will *really* improve the Tikit’s smoothness. Throw away your Marathons and go buy a pair of Greenspeed Scorcher TRs. Run them fairly low (which is fine for them — they’re still very efficient even then). You will be shocked.

I just spent six months with the Tikit on the mean cobblestone streets of Rome and the Scorchers saved my rear end.

23 03 2010
Brian Ogilvie

@Sean: I think your reply was meant for me (Brian with an I), not Bryan. I’m planning on getting Scorchers for my NWT; right now I have Primo Comets on the Tikit and they give a smooth ride.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: