The reason I added a question mark is because I think this will be a challenge for me – not just because of my fitness levels, but because of my time commitment – it takes me about an hour to do 7 miles at present, so that’s around a 15 hour commitment – however – I have started cycling to shops and am now planning to keep the folding bike easily accessible.
So far I’ve done just over 14 miles – all of it on the folding bike as I currently don’t have the mountain bike and as much as I love the BMX it really isn’t a distance bike as it has one speed.
So far so the rides have all been up the Manvers roads due to be being on a road bike at present. Wee Red can’t really cope with anything too arduous and Frankenbike is currently having a full new derailleur set fitted as the back one is really badly bent and keeps snapping mounting brackets.
I have to say though that I’m really enjoying riding Wee Red. There’s something really funky and quirky about it. The other half says I should ride it in a pinstripe suit in a Blott on the Landscape parody, although his folding bike looks like a Bickerton to me.
So I’m going to keep plodding on and trying to get myself to 100 miles; and I’m gonna look cool as fuck doing it!
I was passing a farm sale on Wednesday and something caught my eye… It was a folding bike in bright red – very unusual, and definitely rather cool!
I went and enquired about it, expecting it to be about £100 and the old chap said £20. It had been in his barn for years and was covered in chicken shit; but I saw through the coating and saw there was a really nice condition bike underneath all that grime so I bought it.
On arriving back at my unit I gave it a good wash down, and then a good lubrication. The chain and cables all moved straight away and the Sturmey Archer three speed gear hub engaged all three gears perfectly.
So it turns out it’s a DaHon III; made in 1989. The tyres and brake blocks are actually original articles and the bell is also from the 80’s.
The gears are really what drew me to it though – Sturmey Archer gears fascinate me, and unlike derailleur gears there’s no mechanism hanging down to catch on all matter of things – the gearing is all done inside the hub.
All the metal surfaces have a very slight rust pitting, but no rust is penetrating any metals and a bit of chrome polish and elbow grease will sort that.
The cutest thing is the tiny kickstand attached near the back wheel. It really is so dinky! Again, factory fitted.
The company who sold it no longer exist, and the BS it was made to has since been superceded.
Of course the ultimate thing is the USA Design logo – it looks like something from the late 80’s, because in essence it is!
It folds down to a really neat package too, and although it isn’t quite as light as newer folding bikes it’s still very portable – and having 16″ wheels it’s definitely compact enough to take on a tram.