Come July/August, it’s hot here in Colorado, and when it comes to outdoor activity, I’m not doing much besides riding my bike between my house and the bus stop. (A side note: It didn’t used to be like this. I remember my childhood summers in Denver as pleasant, with highs in the 80s and thundershowers in the afternoons. But I’ll save climate change for another post.) Every weekday morning I lug my bike down the stairs into the bus terminal, hoist it onto the front of the bus for the 35-mile journey to our office, and worry for the entire ride that some pulley somewhere will break and send my Bianchi careening into traffic or under the bus. All that hassle for just 3 miles of riding.
This week, however, I threw down $170 for an A-Bike—a foldable, 12.5-pound, two-wheel British export that my fiancé found on YouTube. Okay, it’s a little funky looking and it feels way flimsier than my usual ride, but the thing folds down to a knapsack-size bundle in about 5 seconds, making it perfect for quasi bike commuters like me. The saddle is even marginally comfortable. The only downers: A 187-pound weight limit; pedals that feel like they’re on the cheapo side; and the time gap to adjust to the bike’s super-uprightness. Also, the valves for blowing up the mini tires are hard to access with a standard bike pump. But overall, I give my A-Bike a B+ for innovation, urban practicality, and ease of use. Cheerio.