There’s a new Brompton dealer in Traverse City, Michigan. Traverse City gets hundreds of thousands of visitors every summer, particularly during Cherry Festival. Forget the cherry jam, the pies, the tacky cherry magnets and pot holders — people whose home places are Brompton-deprived can now take home the best souvenir of all: A Brompton!
The shop is called Brick Wheels. At the moment, they have just three Bs in stock, all six speeds. That’s very sensible; the weight difference between three and six isn’t much, and the range is much greater. (Basil’s a six-speed; I may be biased.) There are hills in the area; residents will probably be happiest with six gears, too.
The shop has a blue Brompton with S handlebars and a white one with M bars on the floor. (I don’t know who that is, in lime, in back, photo-bombing.)
There’s also a handsome raw lacquer with rack, Eazy Wheels, and M bars. Of course, if you’re a native, or spending a season in Traverse, you can custom order your Brommie.
The store is huge — this isn’t Manhattan! — and crowded with bikes. As this is Northern Michigan, a substantial part of the main room is devoted to skis, the sport of choice during winter. And there is also a raft of fat-tired bikes, evidence of a new winter trend.
There’s a workshop in the back room, and an extensive line of kids’ bikes and gear, too.
I like the shop’s jerseys. They’re high vis — always a hit with me — and have a simple, sharp graphic design.
Basil hung out with the Bromptons, but I don’t think he was very happy about being half-folded. It’s just not cool when the rest of the gang isn’t.
Basil’s Mini O measured up to the full-sized O bag, which is bigger than I realized and looks truly impermeable. It’s got two huge pockets on the back like the ones on the T bag, but the O’s pockets are removable, offering the option of using one, both, or neither.
Once we got outside, Basil posed unfurled. I could tell he was happier once he could stretch. Perhaps we’ll return one day and be able to cycle with a whole pack of resident Bromptons, in, around, and past all those lovely evergreens.
Basil and I are headed to a completely different part of the USA for the next week or so, and may have limited Internet access. Posts will go up through the magic of automatic scheduling, but response to comments and email may be slow, or even non-existent, until we return home.