Tuesday, June 19, 2012


To bromptoneer:  
(v. int.) 
1. to explore by English folding bicycle. 
Ex. We exited the train and began to bromptoneer around Milwaukee. 

 (v. tr.) 
1. to sightsee while mounted on an English folding bicycle.
Ex. We bromptoneered the city upon arrival. 

Wiser and more adventurous folks than myself defined the word bromptoneering not by coining it and submitting it to the OED, but by traveling to distant places and riding their little bikes. Grabbing adventure and using 16 inch wheels to make it bow to their will, these forerunners defined the word before my attempt to qualify and quantify it.

My charming bride and I have begun to follow in their noble footsteps and below are some pictures of escapades had in distant locales whilst astride the Brompton.


Mrs. said one sultry summer evening last year, "We'll be travelling to New England next year, why don't we get the Bromptons now?" I was unable to come up with an reason to counter her suggestion, so we were off to Calhoun Cycle to pick up a pair of little bikes:

(The little bikes as purchased) 

A month later, we were in Door County, Wisconsin and found out that you could cover a sizable distance (30 miles) comfortably on these little bikes as we biked the interior of the peninsula (sadly, no pictures available). Biking the deserted interior roads while avoiding the outrageous traffic along the main coastal roads was indeed more pleasant and safer.


Your host is a college hockey fan, and I attempt to join friends to watch the Frozen Four where ever the tournement lands; this year it was Tampa, Florida.  I packed the bike in a cover and was able to check it as regular luggage on the journey to the Sunshine State.  My attempts to leave the airport by bike were met with denial as there was nothing but 6 lane, high speed traffic around the airport.  I did see people biking, but that was after I was in the bus to the hotel.  The first night was as I expected FL to be, hot and muggy and the biking wasn't horrible, but, crikey, it was hot.  Storms passed by that night and for the rest of my time there the weather was utterly magnificent.  I biked around and the drivers were alert and courteous, which I also found surprising.

(obligatory palm-like tree tropical shot)


B.A.D.A.S.S. called for a group ride in Milwaukee at the beginning of May. The Brompton And Dahon Adventure and Survival Society was formed by Masons or Shriners or some collection of people with funny handshakes and hats. Why they let others in, I don't know, but the Mrs. and I, along with a collection of others, were summoned from On High to Eastern Wisconsin by train to the home of the Brewers, Laverne and Shirley and Allen Bradley. We did not miss the call.

 (Brommies take to trains like fleas to Mastiffs)

We joined a pub crawl already in progress,

 (not Heaven, but just a drill)
and we went to bars after that and then we had our pictures taken by a couple of Milwaukee's finest as the slowly trawled by in their cruiser and then we had dinner and went to bed.  A big day...

We then crawled the waterfront and were amazed by the coolness of Milwaukee:

(Lake Michigan)

 (a watertower)

We then biked to the station and made it back home amazed at the city and looking forward to another visit.

to be continued... 


rigtenzin said...

I intended to talk to you about these this past weekend.

Beast1624 said...

Looks like ya'll had a blast. The suds look divine! The Bromptons look very interesting.

They kind of remind me of an Alex Moulton bike with the small wheels and upright position. This guy:


posted a story about his ride (literally) around the world on a Moulton...site is down right now but he started in his 20's from England, had bike stolen somewhere in Asia and wound up settling in Australia. Then in 2002 he picked up where he left off and blogged live about the rest of his journey. He said the Moulton's riding position was remarkably comfortable and the gearing made it as fast as any road bike he had ridden.