Cunningly, I arranged to meet them in Grand Central, which meant that I didn't have to set foot outside at any point, and it was amid the hustle and bustle of this great landmark that they dazzled me with the very latest in confection-hued foldery:
So titillated was my sweet tooth that I headed straight to the Magnolia Bakery counter in the food court and got myself a cupcake:
Which I duly swallowed like the Brompton carrying case swallows a bicycle:
Also, Brompton offers a range of bags that clip right on to the bike's head tube, and they attached and detached them repeatedly for my delectation:
I've had a folding bike (not a Brompton) for awhile but I've more or less stopped using it, in large part because when folded the bike is difficult to carry up and down stairs and so forth. Not only is it heavy and unwieldy, but it also seems to want to unfold itself at the expense of my shins. This could be due in part to the 20-inch wheels size. However, sashaying around the Grand Central food court with the Brompton was way easier, which I suppose is to be expected from the 16-inch wheels and the compact fold. (It swiftly collapses into itself like a self-fellating yoga instructor.)
So I'm looking forward to taking delivery of a loaner in the not-too-distant future, at which point I will thrill you all with my multi-modal adventures.
You can also rest assured I'll wear my Inspector Gadget jacket at all times during the testing period:
It's about to get more British around here than a plate of cucumber sandwiches:
Speaking of practical bicycles, someone on Kickstarter thinks they invented the idea of the utility bike:
The reason for this project is to build an all-weather, general-purpose utility bicycle for transporting heavy loads of people, goods, and services in heavily populated urban environments. With this bicycle, a mother with children will be able, for example, to carry them with her, get groceries, pick up laundry, meet her friends for coffee. It can be used for commuting to and from work or school. A sport version allows people to tour.
Wait a minute. A bike you can use to carry stuff and to get places? IT'S GENIUS!!!
While bicycles are used the world over for these purposes, it is a comparatively unknown phenomenon in North America (eg., Canada and the U.S.), although the need for such a bicycle and to use it for these purposes is slowly becoming known in Canada and the U.S.
Indeed, huddled around hot apple pies in McDonald's, we speak in hushed tones of such bicycles. We must be very quiet though, for there's a listening device in the plastic statue of Grimace, and if they hear us they will take us away to Hamburger University for "reeducation."
I've been there once and I'm not going back. They have ways of breaking you. Awful ways. A piping hot 12-piece order of Chicken McNuggets inserted in your posterior one nugget at a time will make you reconsider using a bicycle for transportation, that's for sure.
The purpose of this project is to raise funds to build prototype frames and carry out laboratory tests to prove the concept of the frame and its integral transmission, and then to build complete bicycles to road test.
You need a lab test to prove a bike can get wet and carry a loaf of bread?
Speaking of the Automotive Industrial Complex, Brian the Reader (that's what I'm calling him) informs me that Calgarian couriers are hurting due to plummeting oil prices:
Courier Danny Shuman says he has been reduced to half days.
“We're affected almost directly. I’d say we're like almost the first ones that are affected by it because we strictly work for these giant companies,” he said.
It's one of the great ironies of cycling that its most (ostensibly) counter-cultural group is also the one that is most completely and utterly dependent on the corporate sector. Still, that doesn't mean they should suffer. Therefore, because weak demand for oil is contributing to the low price, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to consume as much as possible to help our brothers and sisters in the courier industry. So come on, let's squander those fossil fuels! Drive, people, drive! What's that? Nowhere to go? Put the gas-guzzler up on blocks, place a brick on the accelerator, and crack open a cold beer in honor of your local hardworking courier:
Sure it's wasteful, but no messenger should ever be forced to go a day without weed.
Lastly, while we're talking about Canada, let's head over to Edmonton and take a look at how long it takes a triathlete to replace a dropped chain and get rolling again after wiping out in a corner:
The triathlete goes down here:
And after much pedaling without going anywhere the drivetrain seems to finally engage again here:
So if you guessed 42 seconds you're correct.
And you win nothing.