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Archive for April, 2007

A-bike dictionary

Monday, April 30th, 2007

A-bike : a son of Sir Clive Sinclair, born on July 12, 2006.
             his two legs are not foldable but telescoping.
             he always enjoys HEELYS.

Fast :  taking a relatively short time compared with passersby.

Frustration : a feeling after trying to pass any usual bicycle.

Heavy : exactly 85.1kg

Lake : a small one of rainwater on the road.

Mountain : a gentle slope near by A-biker’s house.

Ravine : a channel for carrying away rainwater,
             built between a pavement.

Roadblock : over 1 inch height of fence on the road.

A-bike was safe. The other wasn’t…

Thursday, April 26th, 2007


Until a few days ago, the communal staircase of my shared house was filled up with a lot of bicycles — at least 4 of them.
There wasn’t any space left for another, so this became one of the reasons I chose A-bike.

Today, I see only one neglected vintage bike sitting there.

Where are other bikes gone?

A piece of paper on the wall answers to the question.

“Hi, someone helped themselves to my bike last night!!
Did anyone hear or see anything?!”

Sadly, it’s a common story in London — a stranger comes into a house and nick things — but this is still quite disturbing.
I hope the stolen bike and the thief to be found…-)

I’m just glad I have A-bike and it enables me to keep the bike in my tiny flat without any fuss.

Now the staircase has free parking space, but I guess I’ll stick to A-bike.

A-bike on BBC Radio 2 tonight!

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

I was driving home tonight, and just after 6pm I heard Chris Evans on Radio 2 talking about the A-bike!

They were very complimentary about it (and Sir Clive Sinclair) and were running a competition to swap the A-bike with an item from a listener.

It was great to hear national exposure – you can hear more by visiting this link although the interface is a little difficult to use. They mention the “fold-up bike” right at the start of the show, but it is about an hour in that they talk about it more.

Google reveals biggest A-Bike hotspots.

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

According to official Google data, the top 3 cities for A-Bike related searches are Osaka, Tokyo and London. The top 3 regions are Japan, Taiwan and UK. This does seem to match well with the membership of the A-Bike Central forum. I’m sure it also has something to do with the fact that the average modern Asian city is a far less pleasant place to drive a car than even us Europeans are used to ;-) The notoriously car loving Americans aren’t doing too badly in 6th place.

Here is the full top 10 list of regions:

1.     Japan
2.     Taiwan
3.     United Kingdom
4.     China
5.     Spain
6.     United States
7.     Finland
8.     Ukraine
9.     Norway
10.    South Africa

A-bike, Marathon, and Curry.

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

Tower Bridge
My A-bike loved London Marathon.

London A-bike transportTOWER HILL / TOWER BRIDGE

My work for London Marathon for last couple of days gave me a good excuse to ride my A-bike all over London. I didn’t really have free time to appreciate the view, but I certainly did enjoy riding my bike a lot under nice sunny weather.-)

22nd April was the day for the race and whole London went crazy… after all, London marathon is the biggest race in the world — 40,000 runners, 500,000 spectators! Even you are not London residence, it’s not too difficult to imagine that both pavement and main road packed under such occasion. I can guarantee you. it was, really.

Once again, A-bike came handy. I could just choose to take the street runs parallel to the main road without any time loss, and when I had to passed among the crowd, rolling half-folded A-bike served well.

A-bike Marathon
This is only a part of the half a million.

Probably many people find benefit of small wheel bicycle in the day like this, so I saw many folding bikes.
I failed to find another A-bike though… it’s still a minority!! Argh!!

London A-bike transportALDGATE EAST

In the evening of the marathon day, me and my friends felt eating Vietnamese at Old St. but went for curry at Brick Lane instead, thanks to London’s slow traffic recovery.

My A-bike got a lot of attention from the marathon crowd as expected, but who could have guessed what happened to my A-bike at the London’s curry heaven.

A-bike curry
Today’s hero.

As some of you may know, Brick Lane has a big Sylheti Bangladeshi community, and people there is quite friendly to others. When I was unfolding my A-bike to enter a curry restaurant, a gentleman asked me about Sinclair A-bike, so I started to explain to him. Then he began calling people around there! Within a second, me and my A-bike were surrounded by passersby and barkers from restaurants nearby.Some of them (including the gentleman) were very keen to find out about A-bike and asked me to write down the URL of Mayhem UK Ltd and Selfridges, so I did make memos for them.-)

Later, when I and friends came out the restaurant with satisfaction brought by great dishes there, a man came up to me. He was one of the people I gave notes earlier. He told me a fantastic news.

“You know, I already placed my order. the bike. It’s for my kid.”

I forgot to ask his name, but got his permission to put above photo here. He’s the one made my day.

On my way back to station, countless of people still asked me about A-bike…. Brick Lane seems to me a BIG potential market for A-bike. If you are an A-bike owner, go there with your bike. You’ll see it straight away.

Today, a couple of people said to me “it’s your company, yeah?”
I said “No.”-)

A small tip for carrying the A-bike

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

Have you ever got this experience?

When you carry your fully folded A-bike by grasping the handlebar stem while you are walking (or running to catch a bus), the crank arms and handle bars of the bike rotate and go sideways. This may cause inconvenience and affect the portability of the bike itself. Even worse, the turning crank arms and pedals may hit the saddle and cause damage on it.
Photo of the tip for carrying the A-bike Photo of the tip for carrying the A-bike #1

I have a small tip here for you to slove the problem.
No rope, no string, no strap, no wire, no bungee chord nor hook is needed.

After you have folded your A-bike, just prop a pedal against the end of the folded handle bar on the same side and prop the other pedal against the back of the saddle.
Photo of the tip for carrying the A-bike #3 Photo of the tip for carrying the A-bike #4

See? The problem is sloved now!
Photo of the tip for carrying the A-bike #5 Photo of the tip for carrying the A-bike #6

The bike is now more portable and even more compact now.

This method also works perfectly when you put your A-bike inside the storage bag.

April16: London A to B.

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

London A-bike transport OLD STREET
On that day, me, my girl and our Sinclair A-bikes got off the tube at Old St. Station to get some digital prints done. My travel card didn’t work on the exit, so I had to ask a station staff to open the gate for me. (*mind you, A-bike is small enough to get through the normal gate!-))

While my mind was occupied with wondering why the machine on the gate didn’t recognise the ticket, the station staff caught me with a surprise.

“How did you find the bike?” My mind went blank and just replied,
“Err… it’s slow, but quite okay.”

What an awful answer that was!
I should have told him how good A-bike is, and how much I love it right? Anyway, he told me he’s actually looking at A-bike to buy. It was new to me and made me really happy.-)

London A-bike transport
Is every Londoner shy
to the “new” thingy?

London A-bike transport SHAFTESBURY AVENUE
After we’ve done with a photo lab at Clerkenwell Rd., we cycled the road down towards central via Holborn. Our A-bikes provided comfortable smooth ride, and we got off our bike at the end of Shaftesbury Av. Over there, we had a conversation with a gentleman who’s wondering if A-bike meets his requirement — daily long distance ride.

I told him what’s good and bad about A-bike, and he expectedly concluded “probably not”, and I agreed with him.
I personally would love to do a long ride with my A-bike, and some A-bikers out there had done it already, but I suppose it’s not everybody’s cup of tea.

“…but I really like the idea of the bike!” He added though.

London A-bike transport SOHO
I was rolling my A-bike in fully unfolded “A” shape, and my girlfriend’s A-bike in my backpack (Yes, she refused to carry hers…Argh!-)), walking through Soho. Then we got approached by a young lady at Brewer street.

“Can I ask you something about your bike?” “I met a guy with the bike on the tube the other day, and I’m really really intrigued by it. It’s so small!!”

Since the lady caught us when we were thinking to ride again, I took out the A-bike from my backpack and let her feel the weight of a normal A-bike (mine is no longer considered normal). It was funny to find a bit of disappointment on her face when she lift it up.-)

“erm… it’s a bit heavier than I thought…. but it still much lighter than other folding bikes, isn’t it?”

I said yes and explained to her how well A-bike fit into Londoner’s life style. She gave us the double-thumbs-up and said “Perfect!!” -)

However, she told me that she found A-bike in Selfridges is a little pricy (GBP170 according to her). I gave her some website addresses including Mayhem UK Ltd. to find a better offer. I hope she gets one soon and enjoy A-bike life. -)

London A-bike transport CARNABY STREET
Riding our A-bikes on the quiet alleys of Soho to the café at Great Marlborough St. was absolute delight. Nothing beats Sinclair A-bike for this kind of short A-B journey, which we get a lot in London. -)

Later on, I was there explaining all about A-bike once again to a gentleman at Carnaby St.. I realised that I got much better doing that compared with earlier that morning, and made my girlfriend said to me “You talk a lot on A-bike, almost like a rep!”

Most of the people (including the gentleman at Carnaby) came up to us on that day were seriously considering to get A-bike. This proves how much Londoners seek portable booster for their mobility.

I’m not an A-bike rep, but I can say this. Although A-bike is not super cheap and its tiny wheels make you look like a bear on a tricycle when you ride it, A-bike works real great in London — needless to say it’s also the lightest, the smallest and the cheapest foldable-bike-in-a-bag. so,
C’mon Londoners! Get your A-bike now! -)