I once heard that you could tell a lot about a person by the kind of shoes they wear. Well, I kind of feel the same way about bikes. What you ride says a lot about your personality, especially if you give your bike a little special touch (flowers? colourful grips? fixed versus freewheel?).
At one point I owned 5 bikes: my hybrid for touring, an old roadie for city riding, my winter bike, my polo bike (that’s another blog post!), and my dumpster bike. Yeah, I pulled a bike out of a dumpster behind a cycle shop and fixed it up – one of my favourite rides ever. But now that I’ve just moved to New Zealand I only own 1 bike – my folding Brompton. And I’m loving it!
Unfortunately no cycle shop in New Zealand carries Bromptons so I brought mine over from Canada with me. They are made to order in London, England and they’re a most beautiful piece of engineering design. The Brompton folds down to a very compact size that I can take on the bus, up the stairs, or even in the pub. I don’t need to worry if I forget my lock because I can just fold up, walk inside and my bike will fit under the table out of the way!
Like my dumpster bike (which was quite the looker!), my folding bike starts many conversations. I’ve made friends because of it (including another Canadian Brompton owner) and folks are constantly asking me how it works. In fact, I was asked about it today as I was leaving a pub after watching the NHL playoffs.
“Does your bike fold up?”
“Sure does, want to see?”
I’ve folded and unfolded my bike so many times that I can do it in my sleep. With the wide wheel base and internal gearing, it feels surprisingly stable and rides like a dream. I’ve only seen a couple other Bromptons in Wellington and I can be reasonably sure that mine is the only purple Brompty in the city. So thieves beware – if you steal my bike, it’s one of a kind and easily recognizable. And to all you cyclists – if you see a little purple Brompton, feel free to leave a note! You can be pretty sure it’s me.