Folding bicycles are a wonderful invention. We live in an apartment on an Amsterdam canal. The view is beautiful but there is no cellar or storage space on ground level. So no place to park a bicycle indoor. Since a nice bike gets stolen if you leave it on the street I have been riding a Brompton as a city bike for years. Handy and small to fold so it fits easily in our hall closet.
For longer rides I really wanted a road bike again, like i had before moving to Amsterdam. But it has to be a bike that fits in the hall closet and can easily be carried up our steep staircases. Foldable racing bikes exist, but no store in Amsterdam has them. There is an American bicycle builder, Bike Friday, where you can order a folding bicycle. And closer to home there is a small bicycle builder in England that makes racing bikes with bigger wheels than a regular folding bike and yet are conveniently foldable, Airnimal. Airnimal is based in Cambridge, which is not too far from the Netherlands. A ferry crossing and an hour on the highway and you're there. Airnimal wanted to let me take a test ride on an Airnimal Joey, if i liked it i could take him right away. You don't just buy a bicycle via the internet, so a test ride is always a good idea. In November 2019 we took the ferry from Hook of Holland to Harwich and drove to Longstanton, near Cambridge.
The Joey has 26 inch wheels, but a bit smaller than a regular bike, a _one by_ Sram gear with a handy shift lever in the brake, disc brakes and wide tires that make it easy to ride even on gravel and. It drives well and can be folded quite compactly. The front wheel and handlebar are released when folding and can be attached to the folded bicycle for storage. When folded it is somewhat larger than a folded Brompton, but the Joey is still good to carry up a steep Amsterdam staircase.
Shortly after I had picked up the Joey, the corona epidemic broke out and eventually reached the Netherlands. Suddenly we couldn't just travel where we wanted. You could only take the train for essential journeys and from now on we worked from home. It was a godsend to have a bicycle with which I could quickly get out of the city from Amsterdam. You are out of the city within fifteen minutes and from there you can make long journeys through the dunes, through the polders and along the IJsselmeer. The Joey is also a great bike for longer distances. In two days I cycled via the Eurovelo Rhine route to Cologne, about 150 kilometers a day.
The Joey is also a very handy bike to take with you. When folded, it fits in any trunk and is easy to take with you on the train. When we can travel freely again, I will certainly make a few more trips in France and Germany. And maybe even further into Europe.Geotag (location) for: