first impressions

So the iPhone 13 mini represents about a 25% gain in battery life over a year-and-a-half old iPhone 12 mini. The silicone case is far more dust-attracting than leather, maybe stickier in pocket, but the “midnight” color is a very nice blue-black. I haven’t dealt with the new camera features yet at all, but from out of box to fully restored and functional took less than six hours.

That’s not the main thing.

When last we went to Yosemite, my wife wanted to ride bikes. The rental bikes are terrible single speed coaster brake Google bikes, and our electric bikes (even if we could find the chargers) are awfully unwieldy to put on a hitch, drive up 140 (or worse, Priest Grade) and then have to charge and store outside at Curry Village. But our friends at Blix make a very nice looking folding electric bike, two of which should easily fit in back of the ID.4, and because I chose a tasteful cream (which reminds me of a neighbor’s Beetle in the 70s, the first Beetle I ever saw) rather than steel blue, mine arrived on Friday.

Assembly was pretty simple: cut all the zip ties (so many zip ties) and remove all the packing material, attach the handlebars and seat in their adjustable pipes, screw in the pedals (the left one is reverse threaded, so be mindful), and then charge and fit the battery. Oh and you might want to air up the tires. And basically, a couple hours later, you have a multi-speed bike with five levels of power assist and a throttle, which my own e-bike doesn’t have. So I mounted up at power assist level one and pedaled.

Reader, the bike damn near shot out from under my ass and left me on the middle of the avenue.

This bike is a pocket rocket. It’s absurd. I was standing beside the bike and accidentally brushed the throttle with my thumb, and it deadass reared up like a horse so quick it brushed the back fender on the asphalt. I don’t know what the battery life is like with that kind of kick, but I know I won’t have a kick of trouble making it to either of the two nearest downtowns. There are plenty of spots within four miles that I could easily wheel to, collapse the bike, and then call for pickup at the end of the night and stash it in the ID for the ride home. And a folding bike makes Caltrain feasible in ways that simply aren’t otherwise possible from where we live.

I think I’m going to get a world of use out of this bike. Especially if I can’t find the charger for my full size e-bike.

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