Is a folding bike worth the extra cost?

I recently purchased a small folding bicycle for $85 total. I figured that buying a folding bike is a good idea because people with regular bikes have been experiencing increasing incidents of not being able to board buses and trains due to overcrowding. Almost all of the transit agencies in the Bay Area allow folding bikes to be carried on despite the amount of room there is available for bikes.

@obsgone , you are an idiot...every group of people have a subset that feel like they are more entitled and give a bad name for the group. Yes cyclists pay taxes that provide upgrades in infrastructure, so don't go there...and when was the last time that a driver that hit and killed a cyclist go to jail? Get bent!

Less than 1/2 of the cost is covered by gas and registration taxes, the balance is made up by sales tax.

http://taxfoundation.org/article/gasoline-taxes-and-tolls-pay-only-third-state-local-road-spending

obsgone...I don't know if you just came back to reply because you finished killing the kittens that were in your mom's basement where you live or what, but seriously man, what do you have against cyclists?...fuckwad

lets talk about where the majority of wear and tear comes from on roads...even an idiot like you would have to admit that a car or motor vehicle cause more wear to the roads than bikes.

If you would have had your mommy read the article to you and explain it to you you would have understood that the majority of the infrastructure is covered by sales tax...not vehicle registration and gas tax.

Seriously obsgone...you are making this way too easy...douchebag...go eat another doughnut

bikesonbart's picture

From your article, http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/offices/eab/fundchrt_files/Transportation_Funding_in_California_2011.pdf

"Motor Vehicle License and other Fees

(Chart 17)
"The state also collects vehicle license, registration and drivers license fees. The revenues are not earmarked for transportation projects; however, the bulk of the money is allocated to CHP and DMV for traffic law enforcement and regulations. "

Your article directly refutes your assertion that annual registration fees maintain roadways. As far as a license to operate on public streets is concerned, that is a good thing since you are piloting a vehicle capable of considerable damage whether it
is a car or a motorcycle.

From (a somewhat old) http://www.lao.ca.gov/2007/ca_travels/ca_travels_012607.pdf

"Transportation in California is funded by a variety of state, local, and federal fund sources. Together, these revenues provide roughly $20 billion a year for transportation purposes."

This $20 bil is sourced from 3 major categories, State, Local, and Fed.

State = 30% which is primarily fuel, weight fees.
Local = 47% which is sales tax (almost one half), property taxes, and transit fares, with most of the funding going to highways that are unavailable to bicyclists. No motor fuel taxes here.
Fed = 23% which is again primarily excise taxes on motor fuels.

So, yes indeed, motor fuels play a major role in transportation funding. As a bicycle commuter, I do pay for use of the roads that I am eligible to use from my sales and property taxes. Please also consider the number of miles used. Motor vehicles cover many more miles than a bicycle ever could. Average car is driven 10000 miles a year. In my case, on my bicycle, it is at best 1500 miles a year. BTW, I have two cars and a pickup truck, but only put on about 6500 miles a year right now.

bikesonbart's picture

"while DMV profits flow to road projects"

I'm sorry, I'm not following this at all. The DMV registers vehicles and administers licenses, thats pretty much it.

"Anyway, that aside, the last part I'll stretch to the obvious..you state your a bicycle commuter and a three car owner. Regardless of the time you spend on the road with your vehicles or bicycle, by your own post your taxes paid are for your cars not your bike which is literally what this post has turned into."

Not what I'm saying or at least meant to say. Even if I didn't have a car at all, I pay sales and property taxes. Those go to maintain roads, therefore I am entitled to use them. That should be very clear. Cars use the roads more, cause more wear and tear, and should carry a higher burden of the up keep. It does not give them exclusive use.

"As the previous poster stated, registration and insurance should be mandatory especially in high populace areas. More and more incidents of bikes vs peds, bikes vs vehicles and vice versa is on the rise. Riding up on my motorcycle behind 20+ bicyclists completely taking over the country back road blind turn mecca and not giving way is now a frequent occurrence."

I'm a commuter, not a recreational rider. That's just plain old rude. Another thing getting lost in our culture, respect for each other. They should not ride in packs, but single file. They do have the right to use the road, but should be courtious. How do you feel when you encounter a slow tractor or an RV that makes it hard to overtake? As far as blind curves go, you should be operating your vehicle in a safe manner meaning that you can avoid any obstruction you might encounter, whether that is a bicycle, pile of rocks, or a farmer on a tractor.

A little off topic, but what is your take on motorcycles lane splitting at 60+ mph? I'm OK with stop and go, sub 20 mph, and even cheating to the front of the line at a traffic signal, but otherwise it's nuts. When ever I see that, I'm expecting (not wanting) to see it stuck in the under carriage of a car a few miles down the road.

bikesonbart's picture

I forgot to add that liability coverage will help you pay for damage to another person's property (this is called property damage liability) or for costs associated with their injuries (the coverage known as bodily injury liability) that you are responsible for. This is from Allstate's web site. Makes sense when you have a 1.5 ton vehicle.

If I'm on a bicycle and hit a car, I doubt I'm going to injure anyone in side the car. As far as damage goes, there is no way it will be totaled. Dented fender, door, hood probably. Certainly not more than a few thousand dollars.

Here is something I found on bicycles and insurance. In http://303cycling.com/what-cyclists-should-know-about-insurance

"A homeowner or renters policy (review your liability section) will cover the compensatory damages for which any insured is legally liable because of bodily injury or property damage caused by an occurrence covered by the policy. Sporting activities such as riding a bike would be a covered occurrence, and therefore the policy would cover damage to the other party if you were liable.

As far as your own cycling equipment, there is not a covered peril listed on a homeowners policy that this would fall under, therefore your bike would not have coverage in this situation.

Your own personal injuries would not fall under a home or renters policy, but would be covered under your health insurance. A common rule with liability insurance is that you cannot be “liable to yourself.” Therefore, the medical coverage on a homeowner policy will not come into play for the insured –but it will cover the person you injured. So for your own bills, med pay (auto policy) or health insurance or potentially uninsured motorist coverage (auto policy) are the options.
[One other note, if you are riding professionally and getting paid at the time, that might be a sticking point - homeowners insurance would not cover the liability occurrence]."

Lets face it. If you don't have home owners or renters insurance, you are either underage (and covered under your legal guardians coverage) or not have much money to begin with.

bikesonbart's picture

The room a bicycle takes up? Last time I looked, a car is substantially bigger than a bicycle. Even a motorcycle is bigger than a bicycle.

Accidents that bicycles cause? Sure bicyclists cause accidents, but don't cars also? Are you saying that bicyclists cause more accidents than motor vehicles? I can't possibly think that. Let's just consider fatal accidents. I know of the one cited above, there might be a few more. Now let's talk about motor vechicles.
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/STSI/6_CA/2011/6_CA_2011.htm says for 2011 there were 3749 drivers involved in fatal crashes in California. That seems to indicate that motor vehicles are far more likley to cause an accident.

Disobeying traffic laws? Really? We all see a lot of bicycle scofflaws. I also see motor vehicles do it all the time. For example just this week, sitting at a stop light (on my bicycle), the driver turning left got tired of waiting for the light and suddenly floored it through the intersection. Busy 4 lane boulevard at that. Do you mean to tell me you have never disobeyed a traffic law? Speeding (even a little)? California roll through a stop sign? Going through a stale yellow light? Maybe you are the perfect driver, but I have yet to see one. I last received a speed ticket in 2006. Not one since, but I bet I'm not a perfect letter to law driver either.

Let's talk about insurance. Motor vehicles must have liability insurance. Got that. Now if somehow I cause an accident while operating my bicycle, you can be damn sure that I'm going to get sued. My auto liability and my homeowners will help to protect me. As far as all drivers having it, we know that is not true. Especially in the Peoples Republic of California. Why else would I have an uninsured motorist rider on my policies?

My own personal assessment of your kind of comment, and I am making generalities so try to forgive me for that, is that a lot of drivers are simply impatient. A few seconds/minutes here or there is not going to have a significant impact on your travels. For example, a 10 mile trip takes 17.1 minutes at 35mph or 15 minutes at 40mph. 2.1 minute difference.