“Jeez. Those small wheels must make it tough?” : Random Commuter

My Brompton has been my choice to commute upon since I got it.  (I have other bikes, but I like the happy headspace my Brommie puts me in). I ride in my work clothes (generally jeans and a t-shirt, with a jacket if it’s cooler) so I generally don’t put in too hard lest I get to hot and sweaty.

My (woeful) pic was featured on Brompton’s monthly instagram competition, with the theme of #madeforcommuting – seen here top right.
FeaturedAnd, of course, I’m not alone – seeing how commuting is one of the reasons they were designed in the first place.  Recently, however, I’ve been noting some interesting reactions from other Melbourne riders. Invariably, it’s all about their perception of what this small-wheeled bike is capable of.

My commute includes a quick descent/ascent through a small valley (Royal Park, behind the zoo).  It’s one of the few places I get to use 6th gear.  It starts after a road crossing and there’s a slight left hand turn, meaning you can’t see most of it until you round that corner. One recent evening I was almost at that corner when I was passed, at speed, by a rider on a hard tail mountain bike. I took note because he passed just that little bit too close, and at the exact point where he least likely to be able to see anyone coming up the hill towards us. But hey, you get that.  I just continued with my normal level of effort, down, over the bridge and back up the other side.  It was then when I noticed him again in the distance, and that distance was closing… fast.  Before I knew it, I passed him on the uphill at about the pace he passed me.  A minute later, I did a quick head check behind me and saw him off in the distance, but didn’t see him again.

One morning I had a roadie on my tail, who then passed on relatively flat section alongside the Moonee Ponds Creek.  He was going at the right speed so I drafted in behind him, as he had just been doing to me.  I followed him for a few minutes and I noticed that his quick-release on his rear brake’s calliper was still flipped open. (His brake would likely still work, but not as effectively).  So, before the path reached an intersection I cruised up beside him and pointed this out to him.  He looked completely astonished that I was there, talking with him breathlessly.

The final one was when I was recently headed home from the CBD.  I was waiting at a set of lights on a slight uphill when a fellow cyclist (lycra-clad, on a flat bar commuter) rolled up beside me.  “Jeez, those small wheels must make it tough?”  I responded that it would look like it, but they’ve actually geared it accordingly. He certainly wasn’t convinced, so after I sized him up, with a smirk I responded “OK, well see if you an keep up.”  I don’t normally do that sort of thing, but I did give it a bit of pep and I was waiting at the next set of lights for a good 30 seconds before I heard from him again.

Sure – depending upon your height and your bar choice, you’ll push a bit more wind.  But… a Brompton will still get a skate on should you want it.

Ride to #ride2work day breakfast #MyBrompton #madeforcommuting #tooearly

A photo posted by Cory Boardman (@baudman) on Oct 13, 2015 at 12:50pm PDT

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About baudmania

Retail Manager. Likes bikes, beers and taking photos
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2 Responses to “Jeez. Those small wheels must make it tough?” : Random Commuter

  1. Gail Rehbein says:

    Great story. It’s fascinating how people react. I have only ridden a Brompton briefly but would love to have a longer ride and really experience what they’re like to ride. Last week I heard of two women who rode Brommies on the annual Bicycle Queensland 9 day tour last September. Both women were said to be in their 80s! Just wonderful! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haggis says:

    When I first turned up to the group I ride with on my Brommie, the comments were you’ll never be able to keep up. After a while it was obvious that I was keeping up, so I explained that in actual fact the small wheels actually allow the bike to roll faster. My explanation was they cover more ground faster than bigger wheels! At least one person was still trying to figure the physics of that statement.

    Liked by 2 people

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