Vanlife is dreamy. Filled with unicorns, rainbows and endless YouTube views and subs. There is never any heat or bugs or naked meth heads attacking in the middle of the night. Campground bathrooms are pristine, gold-plated experiences that highlight the care and cleanliness of our fellow man. Gas is cheap, highway food is organic and plentiful and most drivers are courteous, cautious and almost aways defer to my needs. Just like the #VanLife crowd says it is. #blessed
Everything in our van folds. My canoe, my bow and arrow, my wife and my bicycle. I have full size versions of most of these things but the bike in folding form is a mandatory item, at least for me. My heavy lifting, when it comes to cycling, still occurs on the Salsa but the frenetic, city-based, urban excursions, or those requiring secondary transport–like a train–are reserved for the Brompton.
The Brompton is a high-twitch, all caffeine style bike. Responsive, compact, and highly maneuverable. A bit on the heavy side, but folds in seconds and always attracts the attention of bike and non-bike people alike. “Damn son, what in the Hell is that thing,” being a common question aimed my way.
Most importantly, my wife loves her Brompton. In fact, it is the bike that gets her most excited to ride. Several days ago, guided by a friend, we did a blitz of downtown Pittsburgh, mostly on a route we also did by car. My wife, who darts around and takes chances like a naked meth head, said “This is SO much better on a bike than in a car.” And I agree. If you don’t have a folding bike you should think about getting one. No need for a roof rack, no need for a trailer hitch bike rack. Just fold, stow and go.