I love riding my bicycle. I ride it to work, I ride it to school, I ride it to pick up groceries. I use and enjoy my bicycle enough to warrant owning a nice one.
But the problem is, I live in a city (and a neighbourhood) where nice bicycles get stolen. Quickly. Thus, for the past four or five years, I’ve simply resigned myself to the fact that I need to own crappy bikes that aren’t worth stealing. These bikes, of course, are not much fun to ride.
Whenever I’ve talked to bike shop guys about this problem, they’ve said, “Well, you should buy a nice bike. Just bring it inside.” I know that’s what I should do, but it’s something I would never actually do. I can’t imagine lugging a bike up the flights of stairs to our apartment, let along finding a place to put it.
So then, last weekend, when Jenna and I were walking along Bloor Street, and we ducked into Curbside Cycle (“Just to see”), I again explained my conundrum to the salesperson, Aaron. He countered by showing me the Brompton Folding Bicycle. Gorgeous, and handmade in London, they fold down to a package that weighs just about 25 pounds.
Perfect! This is a bike that I could actually imagine carrying up some stairs, or bringing into my office.
I took one for a test drive on Saturday, and loved it. It feels a lot like a “real” bicycle, despite the smaller wheels. A bit low to the ground, obviously, but otherwise, a totally normal, comfortably smooth ride. I tried folding and unfolding it a few times, and I’m not quite at the 30-second fold yet, but I’ve been assured that with practice, I will.
So yesterday, I bit the bullet and placed my order: a 3-speed M-type in Cornflower Blue (similar to the one above, without the leather Brooks saddle).
Because Bromptons are all custom, the turnaround is about 3 weeks. It’s going to be a long wait.