Almost one full year ago, I moved back into my property in Essex. I traded in the city lifestyle (zone 2) to return to the commute (from zone 6) and I really wouldn't have it any other way. It takes me (stop to stop) just 30 minutes to get to The City or 45 minutes to reach Central London. I do however have an 8-10 minute walk to the tube station from my front door which isn't so appealing on dark mornings, chilly nights or rainy afternoons.
A few weeks ago, I became the lucky (albeit temporary) owner of a Brompton Bicycle. The most characterful bicycle I have ever had possession of in all it's orange glory. I knew a little about Brompton having attended their World Champion Finals a couple summers ago, and also eyeing one up on the VeloVixen shoot I did 18 months ago.
After a quick lesson in how to unfold, fold and carry Brody (he got named Brody the Brompton), I was off on my adventures.
5 Steps To Fold: Back Wheel, Front Wheel, Handlebars, Saddle, Pedal
My road bike sits in my hallway looking at me with an eye of neglect. I've yet to venture out on it properly as I'm new to cycling in Essex; I'll soon put that right when I start training for L'Etape Sportive in September! I can't carry my road bike on the tube with me into town as its not permitted on parts on the Central Line (and stops just short of where I am comfortable cycling from!). However, with Brody being foldable, I can carry it on the tube... including in rush hour.
In the two weeks I had the bike, I used it to commute to the station (yup, it cut down my 10 minute walk to a easy breezy downhill ride!) ...I'll be honest though and say I didn't ride when it was raining! Mainly due to the fact that being a cyclist is a lifestyle; a lifestyle I haven't really lived for the last 12 months! For me it involves thinking about hairstyles that fit under helmet which was enough on this occasion! To then have to add choosing an outfit that would protect me from the rain was too much...
I enjoyed the fresh air cycling between the tube station, teaching my classes, meetings and other local spots which also saved me time and money (no extra bus fares). Brody was certainly an eye catcher when on the tube or out and about turning heads and starting conversations on numerous occasions...
Most importantly, this bike was a mover! I don't think I've ever cycled as fast as on the day I made my way into town to return him to his rightful owner! The downhill helped, but little wonder is a kinda feat of engineering!
Would I buy one? Yeah I would y'know! It's so compact it takes up minimal space in your home and can fit under your desk at work. It's also fun and comfortable to ride!
Have you ridden a Brompton before?! Do you cycle commute parts of your journey?!