My Brompton and I polished off our mass transit experiments with a trip on Amtrak. I was really curious to know what it would be like to traverse Penn Station with a Brompton. I needn’t have been concerned.
Trolley mode! (Taken next to a trash can. Finding a spot in Penn Station to take a photograph isn’t easy.) The rear rack, and those wonderful little Eazy Wheels make it really simple to push Basil all over the place. Basil carried the S bag, too, so I didn’t have to.
When we boarded the train, I used the Brompton Rack Sack (that’s it attached beneath the saddle in the photo above) to cover Basil. Apart from collecting my Brompton, the previous few weeks had been really rough, and I was too tired to deal with anybody at Amtrak who might give me grief over bringing a bike on board. (Amtrak actually is very enlightened in terms of allowing bicycles, so maybe this is only an indication that I’ve heard way too many airline horror stories. I probably won’t worry about this in the future.)
So Basil boarded incognito. That’s him in the rear, in the black bag. I don’t think I would have attempted to put him overhead — too risky if I lost my grip — but another option would have been the cargo area at each end of the train cars, where he could have tucked in with the suitcases.
I travel light — the S bag (with the yellow flap, on the right) and the khaki grip (in front) are all I packed for what was planned as a five-day trip. It wasn’t easy to haul Basil, the duffle, and the S bag around, but it was doable. The Eazy Wheels are worth every cent they cost.
The Rack Sack has one flaw: the ties for the drawstring below drag on the ground if you expose the Eazy Wheels while the Brompton is covered. On this trip, I knotted them together and jammed them between the zipper and the knot, but that wasn’t a very satisfactory fix. I’ll sew a little pocket at the hem to tuck the laces into in the future.
Basil fits easily and neatly in the rear seat of my tiny car. (For short trips, though, Basil usually rides in the front seat, next to me. Of course.) Naturally, he wears a seatbelt. It’s not a good idea to risk having 28 lbs. of metal flying through the cabin.
The Rack Sack looks color coordinated, here, with the gray interior of my car, but that’s a weird trick of photo lighting; it’s really black, just as it looks in the photo on the train, above.