Folding Bike Blog

New to Bike Commuting in Cambridge, MA

I’ve always been impressed by people biking to work regardless of how bad the weather is.  Since I’m not really a ‘morning person’ and usually take a long time to wake up both physically and mentally, I used to commute by bus. It doesn’t take a lot of thinking: go outside, wait for the bus at the next stop, hop on and hop off. Theoretically, it should be easy and fast. The perfect way to slowly wake up and have a relaxed commute to work. That’s at least what I told myself for a long time.

As it turned out, commuting by public transit can be very stressful. Most of the time my bus was delayed or crowded. Sometimes it even never showed up. Although the distance between my home and the office is only about 4 miles, it can take 45-60 minutes to get to work with the waiting and the necessary bus transfer. Even though it enables me to stay in my physical comfort zone for a little longer by sitting down in a nice heated bus, I usually get to work mentally exhausted and stressed out. My concentration is gone and I’m often tired and listless. It was time for a change. A change to the world of cycling.

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I had my first bike commuting experience with the Paratrooper Pro. This mountain bike enabled me a quick and easy start into daily riding. Since we were still hanging onto the remnants of a historically snowy winter here in New England, it also kept me safe on the streets with it’s 2″ tires. When I was younger I used to ride my bike to school every day. I met with friends and together we rode all the way to school each morning, talking about the latest news in our daily lifes and having fun cruising through town. Getting back on the bike now brought up some great memories.

For safety reasons and as a tribute to my earlier cycling days, I’ve equipped my Paratrooper Pro with a funky ‘bell-pepper’. It always makes me smile when I hop on my bike.

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Of course, I picked one of the nicer routes to get from my home to work. It takes me along one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Cambridge and is well-balanced when it comes to comfort level and terrain. One of the roads I take is Brattle Street which is lined with many beautiful and historic buildings. I really enjoy riding here, especially in the morning when the sunshine peaks through the old trees and adds a warmth and glow to the passing scenery. Furthermore I’m riding by the oldest university in the United States: Harvard.

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Pictured above is the house that served as the headquarters for General George Washington during the Siege of Boston from July 1775- April 1776. It later was the home of renowned 19th century poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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I’ve been riding my bike to work now for over a month (it hasn’t been gone long, but the snow is finally melted now) and I can’t imagine going back to public transit or really any other kind of commuting. Instead of being dependent on the bus schedule, I can now decide when I want to leave the house. I don’t have to sit in a stuffy, crowded bus any more, and instead I get to enjoy the breeze and wind in my hair while riding.

I can feel my entire body and mind warming up and getting ready for the day while pedaling one mile after another. Moreover I have the freedom to take the route I decide to and make a stop wherever I want. I’m saving lots of money and time (about 30 minutes daily and $75 monthly with the bike!), and I’m doing something for my health every day. Biking to work is so much fun and it makes me feel energized and far more productive in my job. At the end of the day there’s nothing better to clear your head than a ride home in the sunset.

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2 Comments

  1. mpayton777
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I used to drive an UBER cab in Boston. I worry like crazy about bicycle commuters on those streets. I’m convinced that every single bicycle rider is destined to have a accident. And, that accident is likely to offer serious injury.

    Those street are simply too busy. There are just too many concerns to for each and every person involved in an exchange at an intersection, for instance. All of the drivers, each pedestrians, the biker, etc, etc; each person has a whole host of observations to process, and decisions to make so as not to be involved in an accident of some sort. It seems to me that breakdowns in those processes are inevitable and serious injury is always pending…..

    How do you account for that concern?

  2. Christopher
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know what Montague has to say, but I’ve been riding in Boston for over 20 years and have not had a serious accident. The important thing to remember is that, as a cyclist, you will always lose. So you should always ride as if the car near you is going to make a dumb decision. It’s worked for me. Oh, and don’t blow off red lights. Cars don’t expect anything to be coming through the intersection when they have a green light.

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Posted in Commute, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Spring Farmland Road Ride

If you happen to live near any farmland, I would encourage you to head in that direction when you’re seeking a route for your next bike ride. While it likely won’t provide any epic climbs, it’s usually light with traffic, sparsely populated with buildings, and full of beautiful views. If you’re lucky you’ll find some dirt roads too, which are always fun to ride.

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Last week I set off into the farmlands of Western Massachusetts. After a very harsh winter in New England, this was one was of the first truly warm weekends of the spring so far.

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South Amherst and Hadley are home to several small farms. While the fields weren’t a lush green just yet, there was the unmistakable feeling of spring in the air. While there aren’t large climbs around here, there are rolling hills which keep it interesting. 1000 feet of climbing in 20 miles was enough to warm up the legs.

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The best parts of the ride were the dirt roads. With knobby 33mm tires and disc brakes, this is what my custom built Montague FIT was made for.

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I recommend stopping by one of the local dairys for a mid-ride ice cream.

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New friends.

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Pictured is a grain silo which is filled with dried corn to feed the cows during winter. Many of the nearby fields grow corn with the very purpose of stocking these silos. Look closely, bicycle provided for scale.

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First ride of the season without leg warmers, and that sun felt good.

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After a great weekend of riding I was able to fold my Montague FIT for the car trunk and head back to Boston. Monday morning I was back to riding in busy city traffic on my way to Montague HQ, but it sure was nice to get away.

 

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Taipei Cycle Show Recap 2015

Montague just returned from the Taipei Cycle Show, the largest bicycle trade show in Asia. Bike manufacturers, component and accessory makers, distributors, and cycle press gather in Taipei, Taiwan every March to observe and create the latest trends in the bike business.

We were exhibiting our line of full-size folding bikes, but also had an opportunity to meet with many of our distributors, suppliers, and new business contacts. As always, our stay in Taiwan was filled with great food, great company, and fun times. Take a look at the gallery below!

Taipei-compilation-1After traveling for nearly 24 hours on our journey from Boston to Taipei, our first priority was food.

taipei-booth-1After a day of setting up, the show hall opened it’s doors to the bike industry.

IMG_4394Busy!

IMG_4383The streets of Taipei are full of culture.

IMG_4413BBQ!

taipei-bbq-compilationFlame on!

taipei-show-crowdTaipei Cycle Show is a 4 day convention, and it was packed this year.

taipei-show-fun-with-ryanOur Sales Manager, Jonathan having some fun with a larger than life Montague rider.

taipei-show-new-friendDave Montague with our new friend, Ryan Wang from the Taiwan ROC Army Airborne. Thanks for coming to hang out! We’re happy to have you riding a Montague!

ryan-wang-folding-bikeRyan’s customized Montague.

taipei-backroom-surprisesThe backroom of the Montague booth held some surprises, which will be unveiled to the public later this year. Keep an eye out!

taichung-cityscapeWe also traveled to Taichung to visit with some of our suppliers in the days following the show.

bullet-train-to-taichungWe had 1 free day before we left, so we took the high speed rail down to Tainan to visit a friend.

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Christopher, an ex-pat living in Tainan operates a charter with his sailboat. We went out on one of his charters for a day on the water. It was cloudy, but we had a great time sailing the Strait of Taiwan! You can find Chris at Anping Sailing Co.

We had another successful year at the Taipei Cycle Show. Be sure to come visit us next March!

One Comment

  1. John Elliss
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    Very nice article regarding folding bikes. I do cycling but never used this type of bikes.

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