My first traveling client engagement was in Seattle, Washington, much to my delight, as I happened to have some family there as well. Seattle is also quite well know for their bustling bicycle culture. So, of course, I have made several trips up, and when I go, I like take full advantage of the amazing repertoire of bicycle shops.
About a year and a half ago, while visiting Seattle, I decided to test ride a Brompton folding bicycle. At the time, I was just about to submit and approve the final specifications for my Custom Rivendell Mixte frame, when Mr. Grant Petersen decided to try to talk me out of the S&S Couplers and talk me into getting a Brompton, thus avoiding the necessity to cut the frame in half. He reasoned that, due to my frequent Monday-Thursday travel schedule, it made more sense to get a folding bicycle, rather than spec my custom frame with the couplers. Both options would make the traveling bicycle compact enough to save $175+ in airline fees each way, and would ultimately ‘pay for itself.’
I gave him the benefit of the doubt and tried out the Brompton. Here is a video that documents the folding mechanism and my test ride around the parking lot (albeit a bit wobbly at first, but I think I eventually got the hang of it).
Without further ado…
I really did love the ride and the convenience of the folding bicycle, and was seriously distraught about about my decision between getting S&S couplers vs. a Brompton. As I was spec-ing the Rivendell with custom carved couplers, the cost between a low-end ‘Brommie’ and the couplers + a high end bike case would have been roughly equal.
You may already know that I decided to go with the couplers. Aren’t they just luscious? Sorry, sidetracked!
I have not traveled as heavily for about a year, and hence, have decided to put all of the lovely bells and whistles on Belle that were not in the initial plans (quite literally, a bell, along with a rear rack, fenders, paint-matched frame pump, etc.).
Now, I find myself in a predicament where I am too comfortable with Belle‘s current setup to remove any of her luxuries, and also not quite mechanically inclined to actually take the bicycle apart. Not to mention, I have also yet to purchase a traveling case for the bicycle. I need to be in Rhode Island for a new project in less than a week. Due to my mechanical ineptitude, and (possibly) poor decision making, I will be sans-bicycle!
The gears in my mind have begun to turn, and wonder, perhaps a Brompton might be the best solution after all. The dude does not think that I need yet another bicycle, yet I am seriously contemplative. I will likely be staffed in Rhode Island for over a year. Is a Brompton in my bicycle ownership future?