Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Restore Your Freedom - Ride a Tikit!

Mary Gersema A.K.A. MG writes...

"You are going to love your birthday present," Mr. Felkerino said to me, and kept saying for two straight weeks until the day of my birthday in late March, when out of nowhere rolled a fine blue Bike Friday steed. What is up w/ this guy, I thought. Doesn't he know that just yesterday I was looking around my place thinking one bicycle, two bicycles, three bicycles, what can I do? The bikes are taking over! Mr. Felkerino must have known more than I gave him credit for in that moment, though, because the instant I started riding my Tikit, my affection toward it quickly grew.

Immediately after receiving my Tikit it was entered into the LBS surgery wing because the head tube was crooked. Whoops. Bike Friday quickly responded, sending the required part, and a few days later I Metro'd over to pick up the little guy. I hopped on the steed and pedaled back to the Metro. Normally, I have to find the elevator to get my bike and me onto the subway platform, but not with my new Tikit! I quickly popped the saddle up, unscrewed the head tube/handlebars, flipped the wheel underneath, and smartly walked my little Tikit onto the escalator.

"Now that's cool!" I received an immediate validation of my Tikit from a fellow Metro passenger. Yes! I enjoyed a seamless hybrid Metro/Tikit ride back to the office. Voila! Thank you, little Tikit!

Because Bike Friday has created a Tikit-specific rack, I am able to put a Super "C" Carradice trunk rack (which can also be used as a large shoulder bag, very slick) for my commute to and from the office. As Bike Friday added a little bell on the handlebar, I am able to warn any tourists, pedestrians, small animals, and even coworkers (ha ha!) of my presence.

I experience a sense of freedom when I am out riding bike, but the Tikit has taken it to a new level. When I go up to my office, my Tikit comes along, curled up under my desk while I do my work. No worries about leaving it locked to a bike rack, where it could spend the day unattended, or get gradually dinged up. No concerns that security will apprehend me for trying to illicitly sneak a bike into my office. No frustrations that I cannot get my bike on the Metro during rush hour (although I do try to avoid that experience-that's why I have a bike in the first place!). My Tikit is a constant companion. When I leave, the Tikit wakes up, accompanies me down the elevator, and in a couple of clicks is ready to roll on home or wherever my next ride takes me.

The gearing on the Tikit allows me to easily handle the little rollers that take me in and out of the District. If you want to race around town in an imaginary competition with your fellow commuters, though, a Tikit is probably not for you. It is not a particularly fast bike, it's more like the little engine that could.

And the overcrowding issue in my apartment? Forget it. As we speak, my Tikit is nestled in the corner by my desk, not taking up any more room than a regular chair would. You were right... I do love my birthday present, Mr. Felkerino!


kenf said...

I've had similar experiences with my Tikit on the DC METRO.

Mary, just curious, which LBS did you take your Tikit to?

Anonymous said...

I go to College Park Bicycles... they have done good work up there for the randonneurs!

Jerome said...

Man I want a tikit now too!!

I asked Alex Westmore if his was still for sale (3 times) and haven't heard back. Oh well. Someday soon there will be one for me. Every time I head out of town I keep wishing I had one with me!


Miss Sarah said...

I love the story of how you got your folding bike. Sniff! I bought my curve as an impulse thing, but it's turning out to be very useful and a fun thing for all my friends to play on when they come over.

I like that you've tried it with panniers!

Don't you love the double takes you get when you're cruising around? I feel particularly smug when I get to zip past stand-still traffic. Ha!