Have folding bike, will travel

John and Brompton on beach bike path Unfold and ride: John takes the Brommie on an early morning ride along “their beaut coastal cycle path” at Cottesloe Beach in Perth.

John Martin’s long-held desire to own a Brompton was justified earlier this year when bikes were banned from peak hour trains for a short while.

In the midst of all the recent protests about bikes on trains the Minister for Transport called a meeting of interested parties at Parliament House. One delegate rode his Brompton to the meeting.

He unstrapped his briefcase, folded the bike, sent it through security and carried it up to the meeting room. There it sat through the meeting silently offering a partial solution.

While he mightn’t be impressing ministers with his Brompton, John travels a lot for work in Australia and overseas. He wanted personal transport in the many crowded cities he visits. And he wanted a bike he could take with him without the hassle of having to pack it in a large bike box.

Bromptons are built in London-surely as crowded a commuting environment as you’re likely to find anywhere. They’re designed to fit under desks and in cloak rooms, and on ferries, buses, trains and planes.

During the week commuters ride to the train or bus, fold the bike, and hop aboard for the rest of the journey. On the weekend, the same trusty bicycle gets out in the countryside for day-long rides

Finding the bike was relatively easy. After singing the bike’s praises for some time, he sourced a dealer in Melbourne and took his wife, Annie, “to have a look”. “We’re not here to look,” she said knowingly, “we’re here to buy one!”

Buying the travel case he wanted proved more difficult. He finally found one with B&W International, a German company that manufacturers hard cases for industrial equip. But they’re not available in Australia and he had to buy one on a recent overseas trip.

The “Brommie” as it’s affectionately known now fits perfectly inside a case that is within the size limits for check-in luggage. So now when he travels with work, the Brommie accompanies him in its case.

John reckons there’s no better way to look around some great Australian cities and towns than on two wheels. And he’s happy to talk to anyone who’s interested on 5449 3773.

Full length wheel base: 1045mm
Folded dimensions: 565mm high x 545mm long x 270mm wide
Weight: about 10kgs (with the case about 20kgs all up)
Wheels: 16″
Gearing: 3 speed Sturmey Archer hub gears and two derailleur gears
Web site: www.brompton.co.uk
Victorian dealer: St Kilda Cycles (03) 9534 3074 (www.stkildacycles.com.au)


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