Saturday, May 26, 2012

The book

Look at what I finally received today! It took about three weeks to get, but the book is finally here! Its fairly stout at 184 pages! Looking forward to reading it over this long Memorial Day weekend, and I'll post a little summary / review whenever I finish it. Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Monday, May 21, 2012

MY Dirty Brompton

So I need to elaborate a bit on the trip to Portapedal Bike... the first day I was there I tried out a Brompton, it had an M-style handlebar.  I liked it, quite a bit in fact.  But as is customary for me, I slept on it (BTW their brochure is really slick!).

The next day I went back to Portapedal, mostly to check out their bags to see which would be ideal for me.  Then I saw this guy!  Stunning raw lacquer, a P-style handlebar (meant for touring and allowing for multiple hand positions), 6-gears with -12% gearing (for touring & climbing) Schmidt SON hub dynamo (for dependable lighting), mudguards & rear rack with easy wheels, the works!  This was hot! I test rode it and liked it... a lot!

And of course, I slept on it.  Ever since the first day at Portapedal this was all I could think about.

A couple of days later I called Donna at Portapedal to see I could reserve it and pick it up that weekend (Portapedal is located in Tempe, which is about a 2 hour drive from Tucson).  Lo and behold, Donna tells me that the bike sold that morning!  Bummer!  Now what?

All I could do was order my own B-spoke Brompton!  Which I guess is good, since I could also order a Brooks saddle (B17 special) and save a few bucks over buying it aftermarket.  But the wait!  Oh the agony!

So I placed the order... Donna says it should be arriving the week of June 11, 2012, then a couple days to assemble it.  I also order a C-bag to carry my stuff around and a saddlebag/cover to ninja sneak it into place where it might not be welcome.

So now all there is to do is wait!

Hello World!

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!