The Folding Society

Issue 21 - 20 March 1999

Welcome to new members

Quite a lot of people have joined The Folding Society during the last few weeks, so we'd like to take the opportunity to extend a welcome to them. Anyone who has registered an interest with The Folding Society and who has an email address receives Folding Society News (FSN), typically about every two weeks, and there is also quite an extensive web site at This includes technical support information on the most popular makes of folder and separable, news of forthcoming events, reports on past events, and other news of interest to folder and separable enthusiasts. A number of interesting things came to light at the recent Cycle and Leisure Exhibition at the NEC, and these are described in the web pages at If you are new to The Folding Society, and want to see back numbers of Folding Society News, you can find them all on the web site at

Re-organisation of the web pages, FSN etc.

Planning of a radical re-organisation of our web site is still underway, but it may be a few weeks before this is undertaken. The weather could play a significant part in this - if it's fine, I'd rather go out for a ride on the bike, but if we get a lot of cold, wet weather, then sitting in front of the computer may not appear so unattractive! It is likely that when the changes take place the emailed version of FSN will be slimmed down, and a web version will become a more prominent feature of the web pages.

The next issue of FSN will be distributed using different email software. It is possible that in moving the distribution list from one system to another someone may accidentally get left off, so if you don't receive another FSN in the next couple of weeks, please email me and I will sort it out. I can't give an exact date for the next FSN, as the publication date tends to depend on what there is to report, but it should certainly go out by 5 April at the latest.

We hear that some re-organisation has also taken place on the old A2B emailing list. Those of you who subscribe to that emailing list should have received RailWatch Newsletter 1, dated 17th March, from Rob Cope. As the name suggests, this 'will concentrate on rail bargains, special offers and other ways to save money travelling by train in or from Great Britain'.

The versatile Brompton - part 2

In the last issue of FSN I mentioned experiments for carrying a fairly hefty camera outfit on the front carrier of the Brompton. It has been pointed out to me that much larger loads have been carried on the Brompton than this, something I was well aware of, but of course the camera outfit was not only quite bulky and heavy, but also fragile. Anyway, although in the end I didn't have to carry the outfit during the assignment on 6 March, I did subsequently transport most of it some 15 miles from Erdington to Dudley by Brompton along a canal towpath. The Lowepro back pack on the front carrier worked very well, although I decided not to carry the tripod as the current fixing method was not entirely satisfactory, and I didn't want it (or the whole bike) to take a dive into the canal.

Carrying this load along the canal towpath didn't cause any problems, but I did have a tyre problem during the journey. At about the half-way point, near central Birmingham, the front tyre went down. After unloading the bike and getting the tyre off I found a puncture well down the side of the tube, which looked to be caused by pinching rather than a sharp object. Examining the front Primo tyre I found that the side wall was failing where it meets the rim - it had worn very thin, apparently simply due to repeated flexing. The rest of the journey had to be completed very cautiously, dismounting on rougher parts of the towpath where there was a danger of the tube being nipped again. The Primos had done well over 1000 miles (I can't at present find a record of exactly when they were fitted), and have always been maintained at appropriate pressures. The rear tyre tread had become quite worn, and I had been watching its condition carefully, but the almost unworn state of the tread of the front tyre meant that I hadn't been monitoring its condition. I've now changed both tyres, and I shall watch the state of the side walls as well as the tread more carefully in future. A life of 1000 - 1500 miles seems about what I can expect for my sort of riding from any tyres of this size and quality, whether they are Primos, Alex Moulton Wolbers, or Birdy, although the 20 inch City Jets on the APB and Bike Friday seem (so far) to have a rather longer life, due no doubt in part at least to their larger circumference.

Steve Parry's Brompton modifications

We hear that Steve Parry is still fine tuning the quite extensive modifications he is making to his Brompton. We had hoped that he might bring it to the Origami Ride on 13th March, but so far Steve has reserved appearances of his modified machines for Mud Dock. Nevertheless, we hope to see a report on the bike soon - we have heard that A to B may be given the chance to try it.


We have added a brief report to the Birdy pages on the gearing modifications which Chris Dent has carried out on his early Birdy Blue (the all derailleur version, not the current 3 x 7). Some more information on the Birdy Red with a 9-speed derailleur has also been added to the Birdy pages, which can be found at


Last Saturday's (13th March) Origami Spring Flowers Ride was a most enjoyable event, with excellent weather and a very good turn out of riders on a variety of machines, including Chris Eley with his magnificent New Series Moulton. Towards the end of the ride 3 of us separated from the main group to catch a train at Hampton in Arden. Chris came to see us off, and was immediately pounced upon by fellow Moulton enthusiast Lol Bishop who works at that station, and instantly spotted the New Series being wheeled onto the platform. Although the local trains allow unrestricted cycle carriage free of charge, a busy weekend at the NEC meant that we were glad to be able to fold the bikes and avoid being unpopular on a very full train. A report on the event can be found on the web pages at

The diary is rapidly filling up for the remainder of the year. In this issue we are including a complete list of the events that we are currently aware of - future issues will only contain those events scheduled for the next couple of months. Please make a note of the dates, and we will hope to meet you at some of the events. Information on events can also be found on our web pages at

21 March - London ride from Battersea Park. This is one of the regular rides, taking place on the third Sunday of every month. Meet at 2pm at the Lakeside Café, Battersea Park. Contact Rob Cope,

3 April - Mud Dock. This is the regular second Saturday of the month meeting at Mud Dock Café in Bristol, mainly a social gathering, but with the option of a short ride. Meet from about 10.30am. For more information contact Gary Lovell, Tel: 0117 932 4633.

10 April - Origami Ride. The regular ride in the West Midlands for folder enthusiasts, Moultoneers, V-CC members and anyone with a cycle. The April ride is planned to visit Kingsbury Water Park. The start point is at the Tearooms at Meriden, not far from Birmingham International station. For more information see the Origami web pages at, or contact John Pinkerton on 0121 350 0685.

17 April - San Francisco Spring Ride. The ride will leave the San Francisco Ferry Building at the base of Market Street at 10.00am. For more information, e-mail Tom Vogt ( or call (510-237-7380).

17 April - London Ride - the regular ride on the third Sunday of the month. For more information, see the event listed on 21 March. 1 May - Mud Dock. See above for contact information.

8 May - Origami Ride.

8 May - Brecon and Monmouth canal ride. Meet at Abergavenny railway station at 11.00am for a canalside ride organised by Bob Hutton. The ride will be about 25 level miles, with the option to return by public transport, along the canal or via the road, according to taste.

9 May - 3rd Sussex Coastal Plain Ride. Joint Folding Society/Moulton Bicycle Club event from Chichester railway station, 10.00am for 10.30am start. Approximately 30 miles of easy, flat riding. B and B available for an extended weekend. Details from Arthur Smith, Tel: 01243 774979.

14 - 16 May - Weymouth. More information was given earlier in this newsletter, and you can also find the latest information on the web pages at We hope to see you there.

5 June - Mud Dock

12 June - Origami Ride

20 June - London Ride

17 July - San Francisco Summer Ride. See above for contact details.

31 July - 1 August - Bike Friday European meeting - Enno Roosnik tells us that there will be a Bike Friday Meeting in the Netherlands on Saturday 31 July and Sunday 1 August. This year's event will be in the Arnheim/Nijmegen region, and the plan is to stay in a youth hostel. There will be touring and sightseeing, and a visit to the Dutch National Bicycle Museum Velorama in Nijmegen. Although intended for Bike Fridays in particular, Enno indicates that other cycles will be welcome. For more information, contact Enno at

20-22 August - Bike Friday Homecoming, Eugene, Oregon. An event for Bike Friday owners only - see their web pages at for more details.

4-5 September - Moulton Bicycle Club annual weekend at Bradford-on-Avon. An event strictly for Moulton owners. More information here, on the web pages and in The Moultoneer nearer the event.

16 October - San Francisco Fall Ride - see above for contact details.

29 November - 3 December -Portmeirion. The very popular autumn Folding Society gathering at Portmeirion will be taking place as usual - this will the fourth year. If you have been before, then you will know what to expect, and I'm sure you will be planning to come again this year. If you haven't been before, please give it a try, it's an ideal spot for an autumn/winter break with lots of good company, and we have had excellent weather every time so far, despite it being quite late in the year. This is another fairly informal event, and the booking of houses at Portmeirion is done by individuals. As explained in the last issue of FSN, A to B have agreed to act as a clearing house in helping those who have booked houses find people to share them, or those who want to share to find people with space, so contact them if you need help in this respect. It's important that enough people book houses in time, and the place can fill quite quickly, so don't delay in making arrangements. You can contact A to B at

A note to anyone thinking of organising a ride
As mentioned in the last issue of FSN, Organiser Liability cover is now available for those organising official Folding Society events in the UK. To qualify for organiser liability insurance via the Folding Society's cover, you must notify us in writing (email will do) and receive confirmation and an event log number.

Please send any news for inclusion in future issues of FSN, or for inclusion in the web pages, to The Folding Society at the address given below.

The Folding Society
If you have any news or other information of interest to other members of the Folding Society, please email us at the above address.

If for some reason you wish to be removed from this mailing list, please send a message to this effect to the same email address.

All information given here is provided in good faith, but no responsibility can be taken for errors or for any consequences arising from the publication of this information.

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Copyright (C)1999 Ferrets Anonymous
Last updated: 20 March 1999