Life recently – as viewed from the Brompton saddle

So, my life recently now that I got the habit of using my camera phone to try and record simple, everyday moments that I am recently sharing a fair bit with my Brompton.

We have enjoyed gorgeous autumn rides, plenty of train commutes (many before sunrise and so we are now grateful for the clock going back) and simple things in life, which make a stressful day better, like the gorgeous pink sky I saw in Leeds at the end of a particularly intense working day.

Life with Brompton is good, I am saving about £6 a day by having got ‘rid of’ a train journey and a bus journey, leaving only the main train commute between Manchester and Leeds. You can see how quickly and easily the bike is repaying itself, plus I am keeping healthy and so colds are at bay for the time being.

I had to get accustomed to Brompton though, bear in mind I am petite at 5’2” and 7st. I am used to bikes that leave no grease mark on you not matter how hard you try. With the Brompton, only when folded, you have to learn few ‘tricks’ (I guess if you are petite as me) as I have learnt myself after having marked few of my clothes with grease…

– When you dismount (or you walk the Brompton), stay to the left side, where there is no chain and no ‘open’ hinges (of the folding parts). I have marked few skirts and trousers by staying to the right and then leaning the bike on me when coming to a stop (namely, getting money out of cash machine and/or buying tickets at train stations).

– When folded, don’t lean against it nor at the front nor at the back. At the front the open hinge of the handlebar will get you and at the back the bit of the exposed chain.

– Keep the left side clean all the time, when folded this is the side you will be picking it up from (and if you like me, may use your body to rest against it to get you more lifting/carrying power) and if dirty, you’ll transfer that dirt on you.

– Fold the left pedal down when the bike is folded, as i.e. in summer, with bare legs, the pedal will meet your leg and the pedal will come out triumphant (talking from personal experience).

HOWEVER, these are all minor points and things that I learnt within two weeks of ownership. The joy and ease it has brought to my train commute is unsurpassable, no hassle from fellow passengers bacause once folded it fits nicely in the luggage rack or on your side, no extra expense when taking it on any trains (even Europe wise!) and it has been the start of many great conversations with complete strangers.

So, would I recommend a Brompton, of course I would! Maybe I am bias because I have tried no other folding bike, so perhaps owners of Dahon etc out there will be shouting at me, but hey, let’s just say folding bikes rock!


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