Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Brompton Multi-Modal Bike Touring


Bike touring with a Brompton folding bike makes a lot of sense when you want to take away the hassle of transporting the bike to your holiday destination. Furthermore I find it the perfect option when  plan to take some kind of transportation as part of your tour. This can prove very useful when time is a constraint, you would like to avoid a busy section of the road or a not so interesting part of your tour and rather focus on the best bits to cycle.
The initial transfer whether by plane, train or bus will be made much easier using a Brompton as you won't have to drag a large bike box to the starting point of your journey or argue with staff at check in who are often not as sympathetic towards cyclists carrying their bikes.

The way I do it, perfected after several trips with my Brompton folder, is detailed in carrying luggage on a Brompton, an article where I clearly explain how I pack each bag and what I put where. Follow the link above to read the article and get good tips on how to maximise comfort and ease on your tour.

    ( 1 )

    Carry most of your clothes and valuables in the backpack with you to the airport or station or wherever you need to start the journey from.
    Inside a large soft bike bag, put the bicycle folded inside an IKEA Dimpa bag or something equivalent that can fit a Brompton bike. Depending on the remaining space, you should be able to fit in a small tent, sleeping mat, bike tools, sleeping bag if you need, etc. All these will also function as padding and allow a bit of extra protection for the bike. As a further help to protect the bike it is a good idea to slide in some thick cardboards along the walls of the Dimpa bag.
    Once arrived, the large soft bike bag can be folded and carried with you when you reach your tour starting point and begin cycling. This allows a lot of flexibility in planning your tour as the starting point and end point can be in a different location if you wish to.

    ( 2 )

    Keep the backpack on your shoulders as carry on luggage and check in the bike bag.
      ( 3 )

      Arrived at your starting destination, fold the soft empty bike bag small and fit it at the bottom of the backpack as it won't be used until your final return journey. Pack all your valuables and items that you want to keep easily accessible and safe at all times in the T-Bag while leaving clothing and other less valuable things  in the backpack. With little practice this enables you to be ready to start your tour in half an hour or little more!

      ( 4 )

      If during your journey you need to take a train or a bus to get to somewhere else or avoid cycling part of your journey, simply remove the Dimpa bag folded flat at the bottom of the T-Bag in front of the bike, fold the bike and put it inside it, shift the backpack to your shoulders and ... bingo, in a matter of 10 minutes your set-up allows you to be ready to jump on a fast train, bus, boat or car!


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