Saturday, August 29, 2020

The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize. (Clairee, Steel Magnolias)

Screen shopping. Mostly it's recreational, online browsing as it were, looking at things I want but don't need. But with a CLICKfantasy can become reality. (It's practically magic.)

I enjoy looking at accessories for my bikes. Since I have pretty much everything I need, it's generally a safe way to spend some idle time. (Generally.)

One afternoon I found myself looking at the little wheels for my Brompton's rear rack. They come in different colors, styles, and slightly different sizes. 

I looked over at my Brompton. Its little wheels were OK. Functional and sturdy. (How boring.)

Then I saw some wheels with a little flair. Simple design, functional, but with enough detail to be a bit more visually interesting. They echoed the design of the bigger wheels and the chainring. They were a bit larger, too, so they'd roll a bit better. In my mind's eye, I could see those wheels on my little bike, an improvement I'd like. OK, I didn't need them, but they weren't that expensive...


(If you have bicycles you love, you understand.)

Saturday, August 22, 2020

I’m at a place in my life when errands are starting to count as going out. (Anonymous)

A Brompton can be used as a shopping cart. I decided to add a shopping stop to my regular Saturday ride. I wanted to stop at a specialty grocery store about 5 miles from my home.

When I arrived at the store, I half-folded the Brompton. Those four little wheels on the rear carrier rack (called Eazy Wheels) allow the Brompton to roll along as my shopping cart. I can use either the handlebars or the seat to push, pull, and steer my "shopping cart." I like using the seat.

This is fun! At the store, employees and shoppers acted like seeing the Brompton rolling down the aisles in shopping cart mode was totally commonplace. People made comments about my helmet and helmet mirror, but not one comment about the bike! 


Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Joy of a Bicycle Basket

I ordered my Brompton back before COVID appeared. Which is why I ordered a big Brompton bag for touring. I didn't bother with getting a smaller bag. My plans were all about travel. 

One of the great points about a Brompton is the luggage system. There's a luggage carrier block on the frame. Brompton has a large range of bags of all sizes and uses. Each bag has a sturdy piece that clips onto the carrier block. It doesn't move with the handlebars. That means the weight of the bag and its contents doesn't interfere with steering.

My big touring bag (a large Borough roll top bag) is a bit of overkill for errands and short local rides. The smaller basket bag (the Borough basket bag) is a better choice. So I ordered one in July. Times being what they are, I had to order it from London. I definitely like it. Perfect size. It folds. There's outside webbing for hanging stuff. (Like my little hand sanitizer bottle.) There's an inside organizing pocket for wallet, phone, and keys. It has strap handles that make it easy to carry as a should bag off the bike. Definitely better than my little backpack or a string bag, especially in the humid heat of summer in Miami. 

When the basket bag arrived, I clipped it onto the bike for a ride. I couldn't believe I'd gotten along without it. Perfect for quick shopping stops. Perfect for carrying a snack and my little thermos of espresso. 

Proof that happiness can be found in the little things in life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020


My Brompton has fenders. Getting the fenders was the easiest way to get the rack with wheels. (The wheeled rack with fenders is an option when you order the bike. And I'm all for easy.) The wheeled rack lets you move the bike easily when it's folded. It also becomes a stable bike stand for the partially folded bike. 

It turns out, fenders can be handy. This week I got caught in not one, not two, but three downpours on a single ride. The neighborhood roads I was on quickly turned into shallow lakes. I picked my way around the worst spots, but I had to ride through a lot of water. 

On my other (fenderless) bikes, my kit would have been splattered with road filth. But all the water that got to me was rain coming from above. I was soaking wet when I got home. But that was it. Wet. No filthy stuff all over my legs or back. 

Fenders do look quaint. But maybe, just maybe, I'm going to learn to love them.