Saturday, November 17, 2012

Brommy rides the rail

At Encanto Station.
I've tested my Brompton on Metro Rail the last two Saturdays with visits to the northern end of Central Phoenix where my cousin lives.  I enlisted her help with a couple of class projects I was assigned this semester so the trips were perfect opportunities to practice the not-yet 15 second fold at the rail station and rolling my bike on the train using the Eazy Wheels.

About the fold - I am getting better but it might be a while until I am agile enough for the quick, Youtube worth fold as I'm hobbling due to a torn miniscus (surgery next month!) and a pulled muscle in my lower back due to knee giving out on me a few weeks ago.  Bicycling is much more comfortable than walking but the fold is still a bit tricky at the moment.

For now I leave the handlebars up after the fold so that my Carradice bag regains attached and I don't have to carry it.  Leaving the handlebars up also allows for me to easily roll the Brompton on the train so there's no bending or lifting.

Note the Eazy Wheels attached to the bke rack.
With the Brompton folded, I'm less self-conscious about taking up more than my share of space and, I don't hinder other riders in moving through the car. 

Still better, I get to sit down the newspaper during my trip.  I cannot  describe how much I enjoy reading the New York Times while riding public tranist. 

Ride, read and relax.
Last week, I sipped a hot coffee in a travel mug that I slipped into the back pocket of the Carradice bag and perrused the Times. Pure luxury.  My Brompton doesn't have a coffee or water bottle holder attached to the frame, and I'm not even sure if it's possible but the two back pockets of the Carradice bag are perfectly sized for both.

Naturally, the best part of the Brompton and rail experience is getting to answer questions about my bike.  Last week a gentleman with his wife and child at Encanto station chatted with me about my experience  and said he was considering getting a bike to combine with public transit but wondered about having adequate space in their small downtown apartment.  I told him that a folding bike would be a perfect answer to that concern because, folded, it slips easily into a corner, behind a chair or under a desk.  For a city dweller with little or no storage space a folding bike is the ideal urban bicycle.  A number of people inquired about the cost, and it's a legitimate question that I don't mind answering.  It's a pricey bike but not when compared to the cost of car ownership.  I always explain that my bicycle is my  mode of transport 85% of the time (I've only driven the car one in the last two weeks).  I also told them the Portapedal, where I purchased my Brompton, has all the top folding bikes, some of which are considerably less expensive than Bromtpon (and a few considerably more so).   Most people, however, simply have no experience with folding bikes.  On this mornings ride, a little girl's eyes grew large in puzzlement when I rolled on board with it.  Her grandmother and I exhanged smiles and I listened as she explained what it was.  The little girl appeared to have her doubts.


David Bickford said...

I have no experience with folding bikes, but I recently had arthroscopic surgery to address a torn meniscus. It's well worth a few weeks of reduced activity to relieve the pain. I was pedaling gently two weeks after surgery and back to my usual riding habits after about a month. Everyone's experience is different, so trust the advice of your doctor and physical therapist. Nevertheless, the downtime shouldn't be too long.

Marsha said...

My husband and I have had a number of folding bikes. Wonderful things. I must say I LOVE the Brompton with its Easy Wheels! Now I must just write my letter to Santa...

phillip wright said...

omg, that injury is so painful! Hang in there. My wife had that surgery and her knee was instantly better! She was also easier to live with!

She Rides a Bike said...

That's good to know Phillip! I can barely stand my own company right now so I'm sure my husband is counting the days before my surgery.

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