May 15, 2011
Until a few weeks ago, though, New York City isn’t one of those places I could croon about.
So imagine what it was like for me, a good ol’ Wisconsin boy who lives in Oregon, pedaling around the streets of Queens on my Infinity tikit with a NuVinci hub, folding it and rolling onto the subway, and emerging from the tunnel of darkness at Grand Central Station into the heart of Manhattan.
I’d be lying if I told you I hopped right on my chariot and roared down the street. Hardly.
I preferred to stand curbside with a couple of stereotypical New York Cab Drivers and discuss the tikit. You know how that goes.
Fold it. Unfold it. Ask for directions.
Fold it. Unfold. Ask how many bike riders they’ve hit this week.
Fold it. Unfold it. Get the odds on me surviving New York City on two wheels.
“You will survive,” one cabbie says, chuckling, “but the bike? Maybe not.”
They gave me directions to head to our dealer in Manhattan, Bfold Bicycles. I wasn’t in much of a hurry. Until I saw that opening in the traffic that looked as wide as the Grand Canyon (one of the countless places I have been, for those keeping score).
To this moment I don’t know what, or who, possessed me. In a skip and a hop I found myself aboard the tikit, charging down 42nd Street in search of Broadway. The beauty of the NuVinci hub, with its continuously variable transmission, is that you don’t hear the clicking of gears, nor feel the jump as you rotate through hub’s range.
I simply cranked it and soared. My solo breakaway only lasted for an instant. Suddenly bright yellow swarmed me, as if a posse of Lance Armstrongs were chasing me down on a stage of the Tour de France.
That’s when it happened.
Let me preface this by saying that I’m not the most aggressive cyclists around. Far from it. I might be the least aggressive cyclist around. I ride for fun. To enjoy. I savor, not suffer. I’ve been known to simply roll to a stop and let potential threats roll past.
But not today. I knew what was probably coming. And I embraced it.
A hand thrusts toward the skyscrapers a quarter block ahead, the dark blue suit steeping from the curb. A yellow blur zooms past, and darts toward the him. I slam on the brakes, track stand for a moment (which, I must admit, is how long I can hold a track stand), the Cab slips in front, I zip my shifter, watch my little orange NuVinci dude transfer from riding on a flat to a massive hill, let go of my brakes, dart to the left, and charge away, around the cab, back into the fray.
Then it happens again. And again.
Three times in a few blocks, I’m flying, then slamming, then flying. The rhythm of New York City rising from the asphalt into my essence. I’m one with the pulse of the Big Apple. NuVinci has taken obstacles out of my way. I don’t need to think. Just react. I stop at a red light and burst into laughter.
NuVinci. New York City. They were made for each other.
[RAZ'S NOTE: Such a perfect match, the NuVinci and New York, that David Lam, owner of Bfold, kept the bike for customers to test ride. Then he sent me a note that it is now his personal ride. Head on down. David will give you a taste of NuVinci.]
Entry filed under: News from the Factory, News from the Road. Tags: 1st Class tikit, Bfold, bicycling, Bike Friday, Carbon Drive tikit, commuting, custom bikes, custom sizing, cycling, Eugene, fit, folding bikes, high performance cycling, John Rezell, mountain bike, New World Tourist, New York City, NuVinci, Oregon, Pocket Crusoe, Pocket Llama, Pocket Rocket, Q Tandem, road bike, Rocket Pro, Scholz, sizing, tandems, tikit, touring, travel bikes, Two'sDay.