Weekend at the Coast (with Bromptons)

John and I headed to the coast for the long weekend, where we had a great time reading, relaxing, eating tasty food, and – most fun of all – riding around on two rented Brompton bikes.

Getting out the Brompton for the first time.

These unusual bikes fold into tiny little packages with just a few twists and pulls, which is why we rented them; we can put both of them (plus a decent amount of luggage) into the back of our car (a Honda fit), without having to fold down the back seat.  I didn’t take a photo of that car/bike configuration, but here – as we wait for the Cannon Beach parade – you can see them in their folded states.

Waiting for the Parade; Folded Bromptons

Also very useful: the front luggage block that allows for luggage, very easily added and removed.  We brought a basket, for Maxwell (which he thoroughly enjoyed) and a “touring bag” which held a ridiculously large amount of stuff.  At one point I was carrying our two folding chairs (flat), two helmets, sun hats, sweatshirts, a small throw/blanket, towels, water for all three of us, a book, snacks, and my knitting bag – and I’m pretty sure I still had room to spare.

We had several fun biking adventures, and a great 4th of July celebration – more on all of that, and about the Bromptons, to come.  I realize I haven’t even gotten to my Garden photos from our trip to Chicago yet – but they’re coming also.  Slowly but surely, I hope.

John and Maxwell with Haystack Rock in the background

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10 thoughts on “Weekend at the Coast (with Bromptons)

    • I’m so glad he enjoys it; there’s no way we could (or at least, would want to) lug the full size bikes and his Burley everywhere, so this makes travel biking possible. I have looked at the option of front baskets on our road bikes, but unfortunately the only ones that accommodate the big wheels and lower handlebars are very shallow, and wouldn’t be very safe or comfortable for him.

      (I should say that the Bromptons aren’t actually tiny bikes, though: they have full-length wheel bases, and pretty normal geometries, and are geared such that they pedal normally also. The only difference is the smaller wheels, which make the steering a little more twitchy, but we were both acclimated to the strange feeling after just a few minutes.)

    • We’ll have to tell you more about it when we talk. We definitely loved having them in the car – but it’s too bad they are so expensive! Buying them is going to take some very serious consideration. (Sadly! If we decided to make a move in the next week, then they refund the rental price.)

      I’ve got mine right here; I have to take them back today, so Max and I are having one last day of riding about in them. I took him in it to my knitting group this morning, and then the library.

  1. Looks like fun! Maxwell’s hairdo in the last pic is so lovely – very appropriately wind-blown beach hair. I hope you got to watch fireworks over the ocean. There’s something special about fireworks over water and you just can’t beat the beach!

    • We did have fun, although we didn’t see a firework show over the ocean! I’ve seen them many times over Lake Michigan, but not from an actual beach; we’ll have to do that one of these years. (We did see some random ones that people set off here and there, but it’s not the same as a real show.)

      And if you like Max’s hair there, I have quite a few more like it (or better). He usually doesn’t like too much wind (like sticking his head out a car window) but we were going slowly enough that he was really into it. He loved coasting downhill!

    • Yup! We rode around on a big grass lawn at a state park (slowly), on a dirt path, and on gravel (both the driveway and the road). The dirt and the grass were just fine, and so was the gravel in the hard-packed place, but in one spot where it was very deep and loose, it was unrideable. We both got off and pushed our bikes there (even though it was only a couple of feet). But I’m not sure I could ride any bike through shifting gravel like that….

      The worst, for me, was actually going downhill on pavement that had gravel scattered on it (like where gravel driveways met the highway); going downhill is not so fun for me, anyway, and hitting little bits of gravel was a little uncomfortable on top of going downhill, but I never felt out of control or like the wheel was going to fly away from me.

      Is there any particular type of ground you are wondering about?

      • Yes I was thinking about the streets of Sochi. This year there was lots of loose gravel. and there are some hills away from the sea. But should b better n xt yr.
        also I didn’t know or had puffins. Did u see any. In thot they liked rocky crags. Etc

        • Hmm. Well, I’d say unless the gravel is very deep and loosely packed, it shouldn’t be a problem to ride on. Of course it does take some minutes of riding around to get used to the steering in general, but after that, the various terrains we went on were fine.

          Of course you could always come out to visit again and we could go out to the coast with rented Bromptons, and you could try them for yourself. :)

          Re. the puffins: they do like rocky crags; they come to the huge off-shore rocks to nest in the spring and summer. We didn’t see any this time. John forgot his binoculars at home, so we didn’t hike to any of the good viewing spots. I guess we could have shared binoculars….

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