Make Your Tanzania Safari the Best Vacation of your Life

Tanzania is large and there is plenty to see. For the life you have to plan a safari, you have to dig a little and book wisely. If you leave everything to someone else you may be disappointed. Left to themselves your travel agent when you book through the ground in Tanzania operator may submit a Safari lacks imagination. You will be pushed to the same shall, on the same route as the rest of the madding crowd.

If what you’re looking for then read no further, go ahead and subscribe to the conveyor safari. Various and distance does not necessarily mean expensive. Bellow I will give a few tips on what to do and what not to do with your safari route.

Your travel agent operators in Tanzania use of land and land operator will be happy to change my route and advice – the secret is to ask. If it seems that the reluctance to make recommendations and to change or even tweak its route just a little, well it is a red flag. They are the best are only interested in your money, at worst incompetent. Then you will be left with no other choice but to change the ground running. There are many excellent operators in Tanzania.

Tarangire National Park is a stop over traveling forward or slightly out of Ngorongoro and the Serengeti returns. If it is the dry season and the dry season only on the Tarangire extra day. This park is great, but it is not enough. Dry season, this park is a year-round water and many animals travel to the water park. However, you will have to travel deep into the park, you’ll need two days. During the route stops will only see part of the park – a dry bit! It is OK for the wet season, but dry waste. The park also has a wonderful variety of bird species. If you do not have the time or budget for an extra day to knock off Lake Manyara day of the dry season, the lake and the park is tired and hot is not so much to see.

Do not center your entire vacation around the Great Migration thundering across the Serengeti, because it can let you down. Serengeti National Park, there are so many other things to offer in every season, something different, something special. Migration is raining and raining simply not credible. At the time of writing, many people are safari in Kenya in the Maasai Mara [the Kenyan side of the Serengeti] and the great migration should be there by now. However, most of the animals are Lobo remote Northern Serengeti. So, there are a lot of frustrated safari on the wrong side of the border!

Ngorongoro Crater is now walking around the rim of the safari. Safari begins in the Maasai village and climbs around the rim and stop at a waterfall along the way. It’s a great way to experience Africa. Get out of your vehicle, where you can also see great from the outside to the different many perspectives as possible.

While Lake Manyara to rent a mountain bike ride around the local villages. There are canoes go out on the lake, usually your car towards the lake, you’ll see the park from the opposite direction. Aruhsa National Park walking safaris and canoe go to one of the lakes – see hippo and bird life up close and personal.

Make Your Life Easier With Mountain Bike Work Stands

Riding a bike is a wonderful hobby and extremely cost-effective after you have completed your preliminary outlay. Among the fundamental add-ons for instance mountain bike helmets, bike tool kits, cycle clothes and mountain bike cleaning items you might also wish to get one of many fantastic mountain bike work stands that exist.

It is advisable to keep your bike nice and clean as well as well maintained all the time and mountain bike repair stands present you with the opportunity to accomplish this very easily and effectively. If you don’t have the advantage of working with bike repair stands, the task of cleaning and routine maintenance may become very awkward. You can of course do it the old-fashioned way by turning the bike upside down resting it on the handlebars and saddle. Even so, this could potentially result in some damage to those parts and you also really cannot work with specific aspects such as bike gear shifters and brake levers if your cycle is at this situation, in addition to developing painful and stiff knee joints along with a bad back coming from bending and kneeling.

Obtaining the best bike repair stands will always make this task a lot less difficult for you personally and you may discover that normal routine repairs and maintenance and cleaning up becomes much more of a joy than just a drag.

There are several first-rate mountain bike work stands to choose from and here’s one or two makers which are absolutely well worth a look.

Park cycle tools give a fantastic selection of repair stands and the Park Tool Home Mechanic PCS9 is an excellent all-rounder. Having a three point leg system which produces a really dependable base, it is great for doing work in almost all circumstances. It possesses a widely adjusting clamp that is capable to match various designed tubes, and also the clamp rotates 360° in order that the bicycle can be fitted for quick ways to access any area or component part. The clamp at the same time provides varying pressure that will help in avoiding any kind of damages to thinner tubes. Finally it folds down effectively to accommodate simple and easy storing or transportation.

The Tacx Cycle Motion work stand is made for heavy-duty servicing and all round maintenance tasks. You’ll find it furnished with a mobile assembly tray. The cycle is fixed in the front or rear end fork and anchored sturdily on a plastic support for the bottom bracket. The holders can be adjusted in height and length.

If you can learn about basic maintenance, you could potentially save a lot of money rather than taking your bike to a shop every time to be fixed or serviced. If you have a family with several bikes then this saving could be quite significant.

Lose Weight In Only 4 Minutes

I know what your thinking. How can someone get a good fat burning workout in only 4 minutes? I will tell you. It is something that I incorporated in my daily routine a few months ago and has helped me tremendously with not

only weight-loss but overall stamina.

This workout uses the so called Tabata Protocol, developed by Izumi Tabata, and is said to boost metabolism and foster fat loss better than what a long duration cardio session would bring you. I know from personal experience, as I used to run for about an hour each day at a low intensity and lost weight, though, I lost more weight when I switched to high intensity training like the Tabata Protocal. The reason for the greater fat burning effect is what they call the “After burn” of high intensity exercise. When you exercise at a high intensity, your body burns more calories after you have completed the workout than when you were actually working out. The main idea is that for 20 minutes you could go for a nice jog and burn a few calories, or, you could exercise at a high intensity for 4 minutes, and burn twice as many calories. When your metabolism gets revved up after a high intensity session, that is the “After burn” kicking in. (You will feel it, trust me.)

Here is a link to a study that helps support my claim – Tabata Study

The rule is that the less time you have, the higher the intensity should be. So, if you only have 4 minutes a day, then simply workout like you never have worked out before. 20 seconds of all out exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. Its 4 minutes for crying out loud.

Literally, its going to be 4 minutes of crying out loud.

Make sure you get a nice stretch in and a good warm up

90-100% all out intensity is the key for the best results.

If you do feel like your going to pass out (which is normal) then you can slow down a tad bit to recover. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS IF YOU HAVE BEEN SEDENTARY FOR AWHILE. Develop a good base of fitness before trying this method of working out, like running a few miles a day or having a weightlifting or bodyweight routine for a month or two. Always consult your doctor before attempting any workout routine.

Final Words

I will go ahead and say it. High intensity training beats low intensity training any day, if your goal is fat loss. Its still okay to do low intensity cardio, however, Tabata’s, are not only better for fat loss, it is good for people short on time as well. Would you rather run for 60 minutes, or run hard for 4 minutes? 4 minutes of your life can

now be 4 minutes of fat burning hell. You can use any form of exercise that you want. Just make sure that you choose an exercise that will bring your heart rate up to maximum levels. A good idea is to start with a stationary bike and then progress into sprints or bodyweight circuits.

List Of Alternative Fuel Sources

Gasoline is the most common fuel used for consumer transportation. Gasoline is refined from petroleum found deep beneath the Earth’s surface. Unfortunately, petroleum is a fossil fuel and fossil fuels are a nonrenewable resource. Once the Earth’s petroleum supply is gone, gasoline will no longer be available. In addition, the burning of fossil fuels pollutes the air and contributes to global warming. Thus, the need for alternative fuel sources is significant not only to ensure that transportation remains available but also to provide consumers with a more environmentally friendly way to travel.

E85E85 is an alternative fuel that consists of 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent ethanol. Ethanol is refined from starch, corn, sugarcane and other forms of plant matter into a renewable and environmentally safe fuel source. Although a vehicle may run on pure ethanol rather than gasoline, consumers can encounter problems starting and running ethanol powered vehicles in cold conditions. The addition of 15 percent gasoline to ethanol cures this problem. Department of Energy, E85 costs less per gallon than gasoline and is available for purchase in more than 40 states and 1950 gas stations throughout the country.

HydrogenAs of May 2010, no vehicles are available on the market that use hydrogen as an alternative fuel source. Prototypes are in development, however, that promise to provide consumers with fuel-efficient transportation using hydrogen, rather than gasoline, to power their vehicles. A hydrogen fuel cell within the vehicle combines hydrogen gas with oxygen from the environment to power an electric, rather than gasoline-powered, motor. Hydrogen-powered vehicles would produce no harmful emissions and require less maintenance than current gasoline-powered automobiles. Using hydrogen as a fuel source would also reduce America’s dependence on the foreign oil market. For these reasons, hydrogen has the potential to be the alternative fuel of the future.

BiodieselBiodiesel is obtained from refining vegetable oils or animal fats into a clean-burning fuel. Diesel-powered vehicles may run on pure biodiesel or a blend of diesel and biodiesel. Most vehicles, however, function better using a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent diesel in a combination known as B20. Using 100 percent biodiesel as vehicle fuel–a formula known as B100–can present problems for consumers, such as much lower gas mileage and biological contamination of their vehicles’ engines. B20 does not present these problems yet still provides benefits such as lower toxic emissions and improved engine lubrication.

ButanolButanol is commonly used as an industrial solvent but has potential an as alternative fuel source. This alcohol is created through bacterial fermentization and costs approximately $3 a gallon, as of 2010. In 2009, researchers at Ohio State University developed a method of producing butanol much more quickly. This method may eventually reduce the price of butanol–making it more attractive to consumers. In addition, butanol has a high energy content and would provide individuals with more miles per gallon than ethanol. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.

Learning To Draw Realistic People And Create Beautiful Art

Arguably people are the most difficult subject to draw realistically. Drawing realistic people is an extremely difficult job and one that needs time with a lot of practices to be good at. When it comes to drawing people, just draw. It’s not really about techniques of how to draw realistic people but rather establishing and developing your own way, own style to draw realistic people. But of course, there are some techniques, tips or guidelines about how to draw realistic people which will make your task easier and more perfect.

Now let’s go to the main part of drawing realistic people. Before starting to draw one thing you should remember that, drawing realistic people takes additional time, more sensitivity. It charges good hands-eye coordination. But you can be assured that, the end result really worth it. So, you want to draw people realistically, right? Then, be ready with your pencil (or other drawing tools) and let’s start.

1. Observe the people around you very carefully. If you want to be an artist then you have to think like an artist, watch like an artist. Carefully examine the proportions of the human body (notice that, male and female slightly differs in this case). Examine the length of the arms, the width of the back etc.

2. How to Draw Realistic People: Grab your sketch pad and pencil. Start with the head and work your way down by drawing the lower part of the body. Draw realistic people while looking at real people. You can request family members to draw them. This may be your girlfriend or boyfriend. You can also watch a movie on a DVD player, pausing the playback when you find a person in your desired action.

3. You are your worst critic, don’t get too rough on your own work because of your mistakes. Remember, all the big artists also have made mistakes at their beginning. Mistakes make an artist perfect. Trust me!

4. For ensuring correct proportions and measurements of human body a good accepted standard for depicting the adult body, remember the entire body is about seven heads tall. The measure of a person’s head from very top, the crown, to the chin provides good proportions of his body. His/her body is about seven times the length from head to chin.

5. It will be great if you can memorize the proportions of human body in different actions. Remember proportions are the key factors of ‘How to draw realistic people’. Some techniques which you should follow are the elbow and the belly button should be in line, the fingertips should end in the middle of the thigh and other proportions like this.

These are some essential techniques on ‘how to draw realistic people’. You can also take some life drawing classes on ‘how to draw realistic people’. If that’s not an option for you then I would recommend buying a book or two on illustrating people.

Lance Armstrong dug deep for strength

He flew home to Austin and for three weeks didn’t even bother to unpack his bike. His days consisted of playing golf, eating Mexican food, drinking beer and margaritas–and contemplating drafting a retirement statement. “I was a bum,” Lance Armstrong wrote in his autobiography, It’s Not About the Bike. “I played golf every day, I water-skied, I drank beer, and I lay on the sofa and channel-surfed. I violated every rule of my training diet.” It was 18 months after he had been diagnosed with cancer, and Lance Armstrong was feeling dejected and defeated. It was April 1998, and a month earlier he had pulled out of the Paris-Nice race after riding in only two stages.

Such defeatism was in marked contrast to the almost defiant attitude Armstrong, then 25, projected immediately following Oct. 2, 1996–the day he was told he had testicular cancer, which had spread to his lungs and brain. “I’m entering this battle in the best shape of my life,” he said on a conference call with reporters from around the globe a few days after surgery to remove the malignant testicle (and just after starting two months of chemotherapy). “I’m going to continue to stay in shape. As soon as the wound heals from the surgery, I’m going to be back on the bike. This isn’t going to stop me. I intend to beat this disease. I intend to ride again as a professional cyclist.”

That was the racer his fans knew. But 1996 was a difficult year on many levels for Armstrong, even before the diagnosis. He was expected to have a breakout ride in the ’96 Tour de France but dropped out of the sixth stage and soon left the Tour complaining of bronchitis. He had been heavily promoted as a favorite for a medal at the ’96 Summer Games in Atlanta but finished sixth in the time trials and 12th in the road race. Then came the cancer. The French Cofidis team he had signed with that year–a two-year, $2.5 million deal–paid about half his salary for one year and cut him. His agent flooded the European teams with his r sum . Nothing. He was there only because his coach had suggested a weeklong training camp, and Armstrong chose to ride high in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The town of Boone sits 3,266 feet above sea level, and some 230 years after its namesake, Daniel Boone, explored the region, Armstrong found himself once again pedaling the steep hills of Beech Mountain, where he had scored a stage victory in the 1995 Tour DuPont (which he went on to win).

Carmichael believed the familiar terrain might remind Armstrong of the racer he once was. The damp and rainy conditions were miserable, but as Roll and Armstrong ascended Beech Mountain near the end of the trip, Armstrong found familiar sensations sweeping over him. “The ascent triggered something in me,” Armstrong wrote in his autobiography. “As I rode upward, I reflected on my life, back to all points, my childhood, my early races, my illness, and how it changed me. Maybe it was the primitive act of climbing that made me confront the issues I’d been evading for weeks. It was time to quit stalling, I realized. Move, I told myself. If you can still move, you aren’t sick.”

Armstrong and Roll rode the mountains for eight hours a day while Carmichael followed in a car. The trio covered more than 800 miles during the week, and when Armstrong left Boone, he was a changed athlete. The next month he won the Sprint 56K Criterium on the streets of Austin, followed by a victory at the Tour de Luxembourg in June and fourth-place finishes in the Tour of Holland and the Tour of Spain. Twelve months after his epiphany in Boone he finished second at the Amstel Gold World Cup cycling race in Maastricht in the Netherlands. Then came France. But none of that would have been possible if not for his time in what Armstrong referred to as that “hippie town” in North Carolina. “If I ever have any serious problems again, I know that I will go back to Boone and find an answer,” wrote Armstrong in It’s Not About the Bike. “I got my life back on those rides.”

Know the Difference Between Rewards and Bribes

Children are the center of most parents’ lives and there is nothing that a parent will not do to keep their child happy. This is where most modern parents walk the fine line between good and bad parenting. In olden days when people where not so driven by consumerism, it was easier for parents to reward their kids without spoiling them. Now, with so many ways that kids can entertain themselves and with so much peer pressure to buy a certain brand of clothing or shoes, parents find it difficult to control children and not over indulge them.

The first tip to good parenting is to know the difference between rewards and bribes. While the former is an acknowledgement of good behavior, excellent academic performance and such, the latter is give to cajole kids to behave in a certain way. Knowing the difference between these two and how to discipline your child will go a long way towards bringing up kids without spoiling them. Always remember loving them does not mean that you can never say ‘no’ to them.

Remember that you will be doing them a great disservice by spoiling them for they will grow up to be petulant and spoilt adults. Very often, it is money that is the way that parents spoil kids. They can say ‘Throw the garbage and I will give you $5″ or ‘Get good grades and I will buy you a bike’ and make similar promises. Most kids are smart and when they find that they can bribe their parents in this way, they will never voluntarily help at home or study unless there is a monetary reward offered.

Parents will only set a dangerous precedent if they bribe kids from a young age for here are some ways that money as a reward can spoil kids:

• Will not appreciate the value of money

• Parents can never set or enforce rules

A child spoilt by being offered bribes will never learn the value of hard work and money. He will think that throwing a tantrum will get him what he wants and demand money for even small tasks like making his own bed. Spoilt children will be self-centered and self-absorbed putting his own wants above those of his family. Even if the family is facing a financial crisis, he will never tone down his wants.

If a child receives money for every act then his entire life will be governed by extrinsic motivations like monetary rewards and not intrinsic motivations like pride in doing a task well. Parents will never be able to set or enforce rules for a child who is used to monetary rewards will never listen to a simple ‘no’ but make demands for obeying rules. Spoilt kids will have a lot of problems integrating in society for they will be demanding when dealing with friends or teachers.

They will act like brats and expect always to get their own way and give prime importance to material goods rather than to simple love and friendship. A parent’s role is to prepare a child to be a good citizen and they will be doing a great disservice to their kids and society at large by spoiling them with too much money. So, how can parents reward children and not spoil them? Start by setting clear rules and boundaries and explain to them what is expected.

Tell them that some chores need to be done as being part of a family and not with the idea of receiving a monetary reward. Recompense your child for good behavior in non-monetary ways like extra television time or a dinner at their favorite burger joint. Let them realize that praise and a hug or kiss is also a kind of reward. If you do want to offer a reward for good behavior or performing an extra difficult task, do not let your child bargain and offer the reward after the task is performed satisfactorily.

If your child has performed extremely well at school, then you may wish to give a bigger reward like buying a bicycle. buy the bell or a special basket to go on the bike.

Kevin Keller’s Mousetrap Car

1. Defining the Problem

My Challenge: The problem I am assinged is to build a mousetrap car which can travel the farthest distance with the greatest accuracy. I have to build the car using a standard Victor mousetrap, and whatever materials I find suitable. Under no circumstances am I allowed to use a model kit. To successfully complete my project I have to use the Internet to gather information and I also have to follow a set of rules.

Using the Internet I have found many great websites detailing various methods of constructing a mousetrap car from a small one wheel version to a massive four wheel version.

Power Transmission to Axle

The mousetrap bar travels through an arc of approximately 180 degrees. This motion must be used to turn the car’s axle or wheels. The most common solution is to attach a string to the bar and wrap it around an axle. As the bar is released, it pulls on the string, causing the axle (and wheels) to turn.

Tying the string directly to the mousetraps bar, however, will not make good use of the energy stored in the spring. The distance between the opened and closed positions of the bar of a mousetrap is typically 10 cm, so this is how much string would be pulled. Wrapped around even a small diameter axle, this amount of string will not create enough revolutions to move the car as far as it might go.

To get around this problem, most mousetrap cars add a lever to the bar so that the lever will pull a much greater length of string and cause the axle to turn many more revolutions.

Friction of Wheels

Another reason to add a lever to the mousetrap bar is to reduce the amount of torque applied to the wheels. If too much torque is applied to the wheels, the force between the wheels and the ground will exceed the maximum frictional force due to the coefficient of friction between the wheel and ground surfaces. When this happens, the wheels slip and energy stored in the spring is wasted. Using a long lever on the mousetrap bar reduces the tension in the string due to the spring’s torque, and thus reduces the torque applied to the car’s wheels.

In addition to reducing the torque applied to the wheels, the coefficient of friction may be improved by using higher friction materials, such as rubber, on the wheels.

Step #1A string is attached to the mouse trap’s lever arm and them attached to the drive axle. Notice that the string has a loop tied at the axle end; this loop is caught by a hook on the axle so that the string is attached to the axle BUT it is allowed to release itself after the pulling force is spent. It is important to have the hook on the axle or the string will simple slip of the axle with out propelling the vehicle. Keep in mind that the hook must be short or it will re-catch the string and cause the car to stop.

Step #2Wind the wheels in the direction opposite to the motion you want the mouse trap car to travel, this will wind the string around the axle. Do not to wind the string loosely or it will snag itself. Do not push on the mousetrap’s lever arm during this process, you want the string to be tight and to pull the lever arm over.

Design Number 1:

In design number 1 I went for a four-wheel variant of the mousetrap car. The body is made up of 2 strips of balsa wood cut to size as indicated on the drawing. In between the 2 strips of balsa wood is a platform for the mousetrap to rest on. And in place of the mousetrap’s usual catch bar is a lever rod made out of balsa wood cut to the size indicated. This rod will have a hole drilled in the body roughly the size of a mousetrap’s catch bar; by doing this it will enable the rod to swing 180 degrees thus pulling the rear axle and engaging the car.

Design Number 2:

In design number 2 I decided to go for a two-wheel car. By using two wheels I am reducing the amout of friction thus enabling the car to go faster and farther. The design consists of one piece of balsa wood, cut to the size indicated, which will form the body of the car. I am placing one wheel on each side of the body to maintain the stability. The wheels will be held in place by a nut on the opposite side.

Design Number 3:

In design number three I designed a three-wheel version of the mousetrap car. The body is very light and simple as indicated in the drawing. The rear wheels will generate the speed required to launch the car the farthest distance in the shortest amount of time.

Is storing bikes in an enclosed trailer a good idea

I too am running out of space in my house to store my bikes. I have three bikes inside my house and my 5 kids bikes are outside in a shed (which is also over crowded). My idea is to buy a 6X12 enclosed trailer to store our bikes and modify it to also be like a bike shop. We take our bikes everywhere. My concern though is keeping the bikes in an environment that is not controlled. Although they will be completely sealed off from rain, etc., they will still be exposed to varying temperatures and humidity. Does anyone think storing these bikes in a trailer is a good idea?

It’s definitely not as good as storing them in a climate controlled environment like your house but if you’re buying a camper-style trailer it’s going to be a little better than throwing them in a shed out back and a lot better than leaving them out in the elements. As long as the bikes are getting ridden and maintained regularly, normal wear and tear should catch up to them before the effects of the storage method you have in mind will. Unless you’re running a climate controlled environment the two things you’re going to have to watch out for are high humidity levels, high temperatures.

Unless you’re running an AC or storing your bikes in a giant ammmo box, humidity is going to be a concern. Keep in mind that even if you don’t have a steel framed bike, many of your components are either made of steel or have steel bits which are especially susceptible to corrosion. Even if the trailer is reasonably well sealed you may want to consider getting a chemical dehumidifier. These are often made of a type of clay or silica gel and you should be able to find them at your local hardware or home improvement store, or obviously online. If you find that they’re getting used up faster than they should be then you probably have an issue with how well your trailer is sealed. Make sure to change the dehumidifier out as needed since the chemical type does get used up.

Regarding temperatures, extreme heat is the one you really need to watch out for. High temperatures won’t affect the metal parts of your bike but they will degrade most anything made of plastic or rubber over time. Try to position the trailer somewhere that doesn’t get much sun. If you live in an arid climate, consider venting it during the summer. However if you live in a humid climate leaving a vent open is probably just trading one problem for another. Cold shouldn’t be much of an issue.

As an aside, don’t store your bike in direct sunlight either. This is true of any storage method. The paint and/or anodization can fade over time which is purely aesthetic, but once again rubber and plastic parts (leather as well) are susceptible to degradation from sunlight.

Is a Bike Friday worth the extra cost

Folding Bicycles: Is a Bike Friday worth the extra cost?

I looking at folding bikes to make my commute (train + bikeride) easier. At first I was drawn to the Dahon D7, which is available locally for $500-600 depending on components. But Bike Friday offers some very nice folders starting at around $1000, or $1300 for the super-slick-folding Tikit.

I probably can afford a Tikit, so the choice is probably the Dahon D7 vs. the Bike Friday Pocket Companion. Other than the good feeling of buying a US-made bike, what does the 2X price increase on the Bike Friday get me?

I had both a companion and a tikit. The companion is a huge pain to fold. It may not seem like it in the showroom, but trust me, you will get annoyed. That said, the companion is a good, solid bicycle. The extra money gets you a much better ride.

If you considering the D7, look at the Tern Link D8.

Lastly, if you can squeeze it into your budget, buy the Tikit. I love it. It my only bike. I fold it routinely and ride it everywhere. I taken it on the subway. I keep it under my desk at work. I take it to Starbucks.

You looking at two VERY different bikes. The Speed D7 is an entry-level Dahon, and if you choosing between that and the Pocket Companion, you should really consider some other Dahons like the Mu P8 or the Vitesse D7HG. Second, the Pocket Companion is intended for travel, not for multi-modal commuting. It meant to be folded/disassembled to pack into a suitcase for a trip, then not folded again until the return trip. It a much better bike for long rides and carrying gear, but it not meant to be folded twice a day for commuting. That why Bike Friday made the Tikit.

I taken a Tikit on a 50-mile group ride and had no trouble keeping up with the roadies. My only complaint was that the bell rang every time I hit a bump.

Having sold and serviced both Bike Fridays and Dahons for years, and now Terns since they been available, I can tell you that Bike Friday customer support is bar none. They come with a lifetime warranty, and they mean it. If something breaks on a Bike Friday, the company will literally bend over backwards to help you. If a part can be easily replaced, they ship it to your local dealer. If it requires more involved work, send it to them and they take care of it. Furthermore, they a small enough company that if you call them with a question, the person who answers the phone may not know the question, but they likely know the person who does and will get it answered right quick.

Dahon makes good bikes, but frankly they not on the same level. They a much larger operation. The bikes are made in Taiwan by people who are very good at the specific operations they deal with, but don necessarily have a holistic view of the bike or the system. What this means is that if there a problem with the bike, you considerably less likely to get quick satisfaction than with Bike Friday. Whether or not this is worth it to you is what important.

As far as Tern goes, the verdict is still out, but they seem nearly identical to the Dahons.

To summarize: if you looking for a folding commuter, don consider the Pocket Companion, but definitely consider the Dahons and Terns that are better than the Speed D7. If you want a decent bike that will hold up well for a few years, any of the above should meet your needs. If you want something that you can use anywhere and that will last decades, save up for the Tikit.