I suppose introductions are in order... I am an occasional cyclist living in Tucson, AZ - one of the best cycling communites in the United States. I occasionally make the 17-mile commute to work but wished that I could have the option of hitching a ride home with a co-worker if I felt like it. There are also times where I wished that I could ride the bike to some event, like one of my soccer games, and not have to worry about having to ride if I'm too tired or injured or logistics if the team goes out for dinner. It seemed like a good folding bike would be the solution (I do have a Strida but there's no way I'd ride that 17 miles!).
When I was in Phoenix last month I took the opportunity to check out Portapedal Bike, who specializes in folding bikes from Brompton, Bike Friday, Mouton & Tern. To be honest, I have been really looking hard at the Bike Fridays since they were made in the USA, very much custom made and they use standard parts. I test rode a belt drive Tikit, and it felt pretty good (unfortunately it was a little too big for me). I also tried a couple of the Terns, and while adequate they didn't feel as solid as the Tikit (and the Brompton). Then I rode a Brompton, which was obviously much more solid feeling and better riding than I was expecting. I had already known that the fold form factor was the best in the industry. Then Al from Portapedal showed me how the special Brompton bags attached to the bike by a special block that was fixed directly onto the frame (and thus not affecting handling) and by then I was pretty much sold.
My aspirations with this blog is to share my experiences with the Brompton (good, bad & indifferent) as well as other bike-related content about Tucson and wherever else I may happen to be.
The next post will be about the process of obtaining MY Brompton!