As ISWE readers know, folding bike sightings around the ISWE headquarters have been becoming more and more frequent lately. But today, the small wheel sighting frequency took an exponential leap.
Let me set the scene. Gray sky, windy, 30 degrees Fahrenheit. For our international readers familiar only with the Celsius scale, that translates to cold. In other words, we're talking pretty cruddy cycling weather in the Circle City.
Leaving work headed east on New York Street, there it is... moving slowly but steadily into the wind, a Brompton. We'd have pictures, of course, but the slightly less intrepid ISWE staff were autobound also heading east on New York Street and we all know that cell phone cameras and driving don't mix (ISWE safety tip #37). We were amazed. Seeing a Brompton in this city, in this weather, at this time of day... a little like seeing a Pileated Woodpecker. We watched it head past the Herron School of Art, contemplating it and it's small wheels as aptly a work of art as well. But then, what to our wondering eyes should appear but another Bromton heading west... on the very same street. That's right ISWE readers, a Double Brompton! Two smart young women, both mocking the elements, peddling along in opposite directions on the same block. Awesome. We felt like calling... well, we didn't know exactly who to call, but we sure felt like calling someone.
Calculating the probability of seeing a Brompton in Indianapolis, multiplying that of the inverse of the degrees Farenheit, carried to the power of gray on a 0 to 10 scale of sky color cycleability, divided by two for the two Bromptons and 462 for precisely the same time of day, that equates to approximately 1 chance in 1.5 babillion of occurring. It's the only possible explanation... other than, I suppose, the possibility that these little gems are really catching on!
Could it be they are? I mean what are the chances that smart young people are realizing these bikes are awesome and they're going out and buying them, finding they are indeed awesome, and riding them even when the weather is cruddy because they are awesome. Probably it could be they are. Judging from the other bikes I saw on that particular street at that time, the probability is 2 to 0. Total dominance for small-wheeled Bromptons!
However you do your math, be it by gross underestimation or by anecdotal factorization, it all adds up to the same thing... you really should check these little bikes out. They're portable, fun, and smart. Try one out and you may find yourself running into someone just like yourself heading in the opposite direction. What a surprise that would be.
For those of you who are not aware, ISWE was the victim of a heinous and unconscionable bag/laptop/basically-all-my-important-stuff theft at the end of November. Someone simply walked into the office, grabbed the ISWE Brompton C-Bag with the laptop in it, and disappeared. Yikes! Needless to say, the police weren't exactly concerned. I think they put out a no-points bulletin. Where's Sherlock Holmes when you need him? On TV for sure, definitely not at the ISWE office. Luckily, find-my-phone was enabled, allowing ISWE to remotely erase the computer to protect against unauthorized access to the ISWE blog. Imagine, someone could have accessed the page to post something about a bike with say 26" wheels. Perish the thought!
We say we're back... almost, because during December, central Indiana was bombarded with quite a bit of snow--and it's pretty cold too. Just take a look at that bicycle barometer to the right. Have you ever witnessed such an inhospitable thing? Trust me when I say that that snow was neither fluffy or light. It had the texture and consistency of lava rock. Crunch!
Yet, some are braving the snow. Much to the ISWE staff dismay we learned at 10:00 AM of the 10:00 AM Mayor's polar bear ride today... an hour's commute away. Drat! We won't let a mistake like that happen again! You never want to miss a good polar bear ride. I mean, they had hot chocolate afterall!
Meanwhile, just prior to the snow... futher evidence that the small wheel revolution continues unabated! Check out this rare sight, an Oyama Swift Pro.
This unique little folder was pretty impressive. Note the features, an alloy frame, full front and rear mountain bike-style suspension and huge disc brakes. I think it had 7-speeds. At 24 pounds, not to shabby for basically a full-fledged mountain bike. Cool!
Who would ride such a thing? Let's speculate. It was found at an urban research institution, so I'm guessing he/she is probably a rocket scientist with a social conscience, or maybe an engineer with a heart. Hmmm?
Judging from the aggressive shocks, knobby tires, and water and mud-resistant disc brakes, he/she is probably also outdoorsy, adventurous, and brave. Considering the fenders, he/she is probably more concerned with functionality than appearances--definitely not a poser. I'm guessing this bike belongs to the sort of person you could definitely count on to help you change a flat tire in the rain or maybe even help you post bail. Prediction: pretty cool, interesting person. We'll stay on the look out to see if we can catch up with the owner. We'll see if the prediction is right.
So, what's going on with this little small wheel revolution? The new small wheels keep popping up left and right? What's the story? It's probably the result of more and more people becoming aware of the awesome benefits of small wheel bikes. Everyone loves a mountain bike--how about one that fits underneath your desk? You could go from sorting out your email inbox one minute to thrashing around on the river trail the next. You could go from office drone to urban adventurer. Why not? You'd could do it all and even be back by 1:00. Think about it!
Anyhow, thank you all for your patience with the Great Laptop Theft of 2012. It's good to be back and it's good to be thinking about getting ISWE adventures back in action. Tomorrow, we'll stop by Accent Bicycles to pick up the last remaining replacement for the stolen items. Dave Tortora's going to set us up with another awesome Brompton C-Bag, and all will be right with the world again... except for that whole US Senate and House of Representatives thing.
Stay tuned for plenty of ISWE adventures in a post-Mayan apocalyptic 2013!
P.S. Congratulations go out to long-time ISWE associate member, Robbie Janik on the new addition to the family. Can't wait to set William Joseph up with his first small wheel ride... it's certain to have small wheels!