Tiny wheels with a big heart

Recently, I became involved in something a little different from my usual riding. Although, with the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail behind me and the Great Vic ahead, I have to say 2016 does seem to be shaping up as ‘The Year of the Organised Ride’.

As October drew its first breath, so too did the Gold Coast Brompton Riders with its first group ride. The call went out on the group’s newly created Facebook page, sporting a photo or two from my abike4allseasons photo collection:

Gold Coast Brompton FIRST group ride
-Brompton Bicycle Riders and two wheel friends are WELCOME

Meet: Nook Espresso at Burleigh Heads @ 1pm
Destination: Parlour Coffee via Tallebudgera Creek (and return)
Distance: About 12kms return.

I haven’t seen many Bromptons on the Gold Coast. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe they’re out there riding in different parts of the coast away from my usual trails. Maybe there just aren’t that many. It seems to me that the Gold Coast’s relatively flat urban landscape is quite suitable for riding a Brompton bike.

Nine riders turned up for the group ride. Four were Brompton bicycle riders and the other five were curious two wheel friends. This included two road bikes, two tourers and one Bike Friday which is a custom built folding bike. A few local Bromptoneers couldn’t make it but are keen to be at the next ride. There was also interest from curious non-Brompton riders unsure whether to come along or not.

Among the Brompton riders was Jen Cooper. Back in June, Jen wrote a guest post on my blog about her decision to buy a Brompton. Jen followed that story with a second post about how she and her partner are enjoying their Bromptons. It was great to see Jen and Noel at the Gold Coast’s first group ride.

The beauty of inviting Brompton riders as well as their two wheel friends, meant that some cyclists were able to have their first ride of a Brompton. It was just along the footpath but it was fun.

During the ride we ventured over and along Tallebudgera Creek. Along the way we called into Parlour Cafe at West Burleigh for coffee, an afternoon snack and chat. That was all part of the planned ride. However, as we rode the beachfront foreshore on our way over to the cafe, a special this-time-of-year-only treat appeared. That’s right, we watched whales breaching offshore. Magic!

Burleigh Heads was the meeting point for the ride and that wasn’t so magic. In new ventures, mistakes become obvious quickly. This was one of them. At 1pm on a Saturday afternoon, Burleigh Heads was crazy busy and for those riders who had to drive to the event, it was near impossible to find a park. Brisbane Brompton Rider David outsmarted the traffic and parked his car at Varsity Lakes train station and pedalled over to Burleigh. Others lived close enough to ride their bikes. For future rides, we’ll aim for a meeting point where parking is easier.

Overall, for the first meet, it was a great start. And there are more rides in the making. These tiny wheels have a big heart.


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Footpath fun: Having a test ride of Jen’s Brompton.

10 Comments on “Tiny wheels with a big heart

  1. Glad you had a great time!
    The GC would be an ideal place for people to keep a Brompton – even if only to use while on holiday – what with all the apartments, shops and cafe’s, too much road traffic and bike paths just eIting to be used. Just need a local dealer… 😉
    Happy riding, Bromptoneers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve summed it up well Dayna. Plus if a bicycle rider wants to include public transport in their commute, the bicycle has to remain parked at the train, tram or bus station. Trains allow bicycles during off-peak hours only. However, buses and the G Tram, have no facility on board for carrying a bicycle. Enter the Brompton which can be folded and carried on.
      The Bromptoneers and their two wheel friends had a good afternoon together 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. glad to see you had a nice time. My 20″ wheel folding Dahon is a similar type but has 27 gears making it ideal for touring. Someone contacted me about the trailer I use with it for cycle camping as that makes for a great combination. Fabulous that you saw whales breaching. I would love to see that but I have experienced kayaking next to a pod of dolphins in Scotland. Great experience and one of the best in my life. Happy cycling

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s interesting how people think these bikes with small wheels won’t travel far distances. As you say, the way their gears and cogs are set-up make them very versatile. I found there’s no sense of spinning away and getting nowhere (which I think is how smaller wheeled bikes are often perceived). Kayaking with a pod of dolphins is pretty magic Brenda. That’s something you remember forever.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Gail

    And may we add you organised the afternoon and the route really well! Having driven to Burleigh, we sharpened our reverse parking skills alongside the Gold Coast Highway – just a little late but everyone waited for us. We are really pleased we came along and had a great time.

    Jen & Noel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jen and Noel, yes it all worked out really well. Such a relaxed crew to ride with and the cool folk at Parlour Cafe were very welcoming. Also, I have a couple of photos of you both that I’ll email through. See you again soon! Gail.


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