Update on the new bicycle
Apologies for not updating this site in a very long time. I blame the children ... and work ... and trying to get my Honours thesis done.
A well overdue post is comment on the Queensland government's response to the Parliamentary Enquiry into cycling Issues. The Parliamentary Commission put together a 68 point blueprint that would make real, positive leaps forward for cycling in Australia. The Transport Minister, and the bureaucrats in the Transport Department who prepared the official government response, however, stuck their thumbs in both ears, waggled their fingers about and blew great big raspberries. To summarise, none of the 68 recommendations that would make a real difference were picked up on. A handful were completely bastardised under the guise of being accepted in part (just the part that didn't matter, and an awful lot were completely rejected.
But that will be the next post.
For this post, after such a long hiatus, I want to talk about something positive. How much I have fallen in love with my (not so new anymore) Brompton M6R.
At the risk of being the cliche, I upgraded the standard seat with a Brooks B17 leather saddle. I found the standard seat uncomfortable for rides longer than an hour. I love the Brooks saddle, but can understand why they might not be for everyone. For me, even new and not yet fully broken in, it is one of the most comfortable seats I've ever had.
I also upgraded the front light with a stand light. The standard front light would turn off once I'd come to a stop at intersections etc, and now that it is winter I found it somewhat disconcerting waiting to cross busy roads in the dar, with no front light. I was worried cars turning across me would not see me, and cut the corner. The upgraded light stays on for a bit, usually enough time for me to get across the interaction safely. It also has an automatic sensor function: it knows when it is night or day and turns itself on and off accordingly. Because the rear light is connected down current from the front, this means the rear light is also automatic.
I've also upgraded the handgrips, for some cheap cork-style grips. Looks nice, but I haven't ridden it far enough with the new grips to be sure they're a good idea. I'll let you know.
In short, I absolutely love the Brompton and it is my everyday transport. The only time I don't take it is if I know it needs to be locked out on the street for extended periods, for example if I'm going to the cinema. It usually comes into pubs and restaurants with me and just sits under the table, but I haven't been game enough to try to carry it into a theatre yet. When I went to the art gallery I secured in the cloak room. When I collected it the staff wanted a demonstration of unfolding. Te Brompton got applause. People who work art galleries dig good design.