New year new wheels
A new calendar year and there are new wheels in my garage.
Welcome to 2017. I hope your new year brings you good health, safe travels and enjoyable adventures. Mine has brought me new wheels.
Well they’re not actually new. They’re second-hand, pre-owned, loved by someone else, and now I’ve been given the opportunity to enjoy them.
So what’s small, folds and is made in London? A High Street hankerchief? A Twinings teabag? A Burberry scarf perhaps? Well yes, but not in my garage.
It’s a Brompton!
Brompton folding bicycles first made an appearance in this blog in 2016 when guest writer, Jen Cooper wrote about her and Noel’s decision to make the move from big bikes to little bikes. In the lead up to that article, Jen and I shared a ride on their Bromptons. This ride piqued my interest.
For my first fifteen minutes on Jen’s Brompton, the steering felt unusual and a little unstable but then, I stopped noticing any “twitchiness” and just loved riding along!
Like my Vivente Tourer, the Brompton bicycle frame is made from steel. I like the feeling of a steel frame bike. It was only while test riding my Vivente that I realised the soft flex that a steel frame brings compared to aluminium. It sold me. As did the terrific range of gears my Vivente gives me.
That’s where a Brompton differs. The one I’m riding has six gears which means hills are not its ‘thang’. But, the city is where the Brompton thrives. Folding bikes are versatile, agile and portable. This is their domain.
My city of the Gold Coast is a relatively small city with a population of just over half a million. It’s a young city made from small seaside towns and clusters of beach shacks that, over four decades, spread out to reach each other, growing into an urban strip that hugs the coastline for 57kms. It doesn’t have the age or size of older, bigger cities but it does have a lot of traffic. It has burgeoning bottlenecks that make me, and I hope a growing number of people, glad to be on a bike. And where Gold Coast trains, buses and trams don’t permit bikes, they will take a folding bicycle.
This means exploring my city by bicycle has opened into a whole new urban adventure.
If you have an interest in knowing more about Brompton Bicycles, here are some links: