Most important news first - I have received an email from David Henshaw to say that Jane gave birth to a boy at 11.44pm on 31 March. Technical specification - weight 9lb 1oz (lighter than any current folders); Jane apparently had a very protracted labour (longer than it takes to bag even a Moulton), but mother and child are doing well. I'm sure you will all join me in offering congratulations to David and Jane.
This is a fairly short issue of FSN, as one of the purposes is [*WAS MEANT TO BE} just to confirm to readers that they are on the new distribution list, which was mentioned in the last issue. This mailing is [*WAS GOING TO BE] being sent using Microsoft Outlook instead of Turnpike, which has been used until now. If you have any problems with the format in which FSN is now being distributed, please let us know. Updates to the web pages The first step in the re-organisation of the web site will take place within the next few days, with a revised front page and new return points to that page from other pages. Let us know what you think of it so far. Other changes which will follow will include a more prominent role in the web pages for FSN, more integration of the Special Interest Groups, more Moulton coverage and also an additional Special Interest Group section on another model of folder.
Next month - from 14-16 May - there is our informal gathering in Weymouth. We will be providing some more information on how to get there a bit nearer the time. At present the main subject of debate concerns who will be riding what at Weymouth. I have yet to decide whether to take my latest acquisition, obtained less than a week ago, to this event. And what is my new acquisition? I'm going to keep you in suspense for a little while, so you can start guessing now. There is a small prize (a free drink at Weymouth) to the first person who emails the correct answer to me before 10th April; to make the competition a bit more difficult, you need to not only identify the make and model of the bike, but also its colour. We look forward to seeing you in Weymouth next month.
Don't forget the Mud Dock meeting in Bristol this Saturday (3rd April) - although it is Easter there is definitely a meeting. Steve Parry should be there with the latest modifications to his Brompton.
The following Saturday - 10th April - is the date for the monthly Origami Ride, starting from Meriden as usual. Arrive from 10.30 for an 11.00 start. This month's ride is to Kingsbury Water Park, a 25-30 mile round trip in very pleasant countryside. It is possible that my latest bike will make its first public appearance there.
This year National Bike Week is from 12th to 20th June. One event planned for that time which you might like to put in your diary is taking place on Sunday 13th June at Castlefields in Manchester. The event will include a folding bike race on a short course with some relevant 'obstacles' necessitating folding. It sounds as though it could be quite entertaining, and a reasonably realistic test of the bikes. It would help the organisers to knew how many might take part in the folder race, and it would be good if we could have a representative variety of different folders there. If you are interested in taking part, perhaps you could let me know, or you can contact Rob Raikes at Bicycle Doctor in Manchester on 0161 224 1303, email firstname.lastname@example.org, for more details.
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 (VeloVot@aol.com) or call (510-237-7380).
17 April - London Ride - the regular ride on the third Sunday of the month, staring in Battersea Park. For more information contact Rob Cope, email@example.com.
Last weekend (27-28 March) was quite reasonable for cycling, and both days I used the canal towpath into Wolverhampton and then on to Tipton for the final stages of my rides. On the Saturday I used the Pocket Rocket, which with its narrow, lightly treaded tyres is not ideal in muddy conditions. In an effort to avoid some slippery looking mud near Wolverhampton station I aimed for a slightly deeper looking damp patch. Unfortunately it turned out to be much deeper than I expected, and I finished up going head over wheels, though fortunately not into the canal. On the Sunday I decided that the Birdy would be a more suitable ride for the towpaths, and to avoid this muddy stretch. I was still out of luck though, as almost as soon as I joined the towpath I picked up a thorn in the front tyre - at least it was easy to locate the puncture. What's worrying me now is that these things are supposed to go in threes, and I'm wondering what will be the next cycling misfortune.
* PS: Now I know what the third thing is - the emailing via Outlook failed, so I have had to update the Turnpike mailing list and send out this issue in the old form. Best wishes to you all for Easter.
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.
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Last updated: 1 April 1999