When I planned my trip to Portland, Oregon, the bicycle capital of the country, it was hard to decide what I would ride when I got there. Should I rent a bike? Should I ship my Brompton folding bike before I leave? Should I bring it on the plane with me? In the end, I decided to use the Brompton travel suitcase to bring my Brompton bike on the plane with me.
Traveling with a Brompton folding bike is pretty easy if you have the travel suitcase. I even got to pack in some extra clothes, a U-lock, and some books into the spacious case. After checking the bike, I was left with only a lightweight backpack for the airplane. I've heard of some cases where people actually managed to fit the Brompton folding bike in an overhead compartment, but I wasn't feeling that ambitious this time around.
Arriving at my destination, I loaded my Brompton folding bike into my friend Dan's van, and hauled it up to his apartment. The next day, I would ride it around Portland and find out why this was rumored to be the best city in America for biking.
Unfolding my Brompton bike, I set off for the riverside bike path that circled the city of Portland. It was a ten-mile round-trip, and I would be riding through the heart of the city along the promenade. The Brompton folding bike held up through its long journey, and rode perfectly through the scenic paths.
All of the stories about Portland are true: they are bike freaks! I saw tall bikes, tandem bikes, bike robots, bike trailers, and even electric bikes! At a local street fair, I even spotted a pair of Brompton folding bikes tied up on the street. They left them locked outside! Without worrying about them! When I grabbed lunch at a small market, I decided to try my luck and leave my Brompton locked to a post, Brooks saddle and all. Lo and behold, it was there, untouched, when I returned. Could this city really be the utopia of cyclists?
Staying in a friend's apartment, I needed something that didn't take up any space. The Brompton was perfect. It fit easily in his closet next to the door. Even if I had been staying in a hotel or hostel, a Brompton is easier to manage than a travel suitcase. It fits literally anywhere! Returning to the airport, we just threw it in the back of the van again. It was much more convenient than a regular-size bike.
With a hard suitcase, my Brompton bike would have sufficient protection on its return journey to New York. I've run into other Brompton riders that have had their bikes damaged during shipment, because of a lack of packaging. I wouldn't have to worry about that. My Brompton bike arrived safe and sound in New York, packed with clothing, some books, and my bike lock. The travel suitcase worked great. If you're worried about your Brommie getting damaged in shipping, pick this up. It was a load off of my mind.
A Brompton folding bike makes traveling convenient and cheap. No longer will I have to rent bikes or disassemble full size bikes for shipping. If you're planning that summer bike trip, and need to pick up a folding bike, you should consider the Brompton. It will change your life.