Following on from my last post, I thought I would tackle our gear carrying problem and subsequent resolution. The Husband is not a small man. One could say that he is someone who enjoys the good things in life and consequently ‘lithe’ is not an adjective that springs to mind.
The Bromptons have a weight limit of 110kg, which creates a bit of a conundrum when figuring out how to get both a Husband and his luggage on a single bicycle. There were four possible solutions that we could see: 1. the Husband should go on a crash diet and become ‘lithe’ to provide sufficient spare capacity to enable him to carry luggage, 2. the husband’s wardrobe should be ‘capsule’ in the extreme and consist of two pairs of Speedos (we need to factor in the tent that I volunteered him to carry, and items such as a sleeping bag and mat of course), 3. I carry all of my luggage plus his, 4. we find additional carrying capacity.
As you can imagine, option one went down like a lead balloon and it looked as if this might be a one woman adventure for a while. Option two promoted quite a bit of hilarity in the family and discussions were had on how he might ‘layer’, which according to the books and websites I’ve seen is very important. On the down side this idea has burnt a searing image into my brain that I cannot remove – try as I might! Option three – just NO. So that leaves us with option four ‘find additional carrying capacity’.
I consulted the oracle, otherwise known as Google, and came up with this nifty little device. The videos are a bit geeky but stick with it, they are worth the watch.
And here you can see how versatile the trailer can be for traveling Cyclopolitans.
I like the Cyclone IV Chubby trailer so much that I have decided that we should have matching his and hers trailers even though I could technically get my luggage on the rear rack.
It is so ‘Transformers‘ and fits with all of our goals of being traveling cyclopolitans rather than full-on cycle tourers. In the ‘robot’ form, we will look like cycle tourists, and then once transformed into the ‘truck’ form, we will blend into the crowd and look like regular people with luggage (although we don’t want to blend in too much … you always want to stand out from the crowd just a little bit!). The only other trailer we have used, was the trailer we had when the kids were little. I am imagining that this trailer will be similar to cycle with … minus the wriggling.
On a side note – I have decided to stop saying that “we are going cycle touring in Europe”. Having tried to explain our intentions for ‘The Trip’ to other people on several occasions, I have decided that instead of using this phraseology I will now say “we are going traveling in Europe with bicycles”. I think that the subtle reorganization of the cycling part to the end of the sentence is easier for others to grasp when trying to bring together the ‘me’ that stands before them and the ‘cycling Europe’ concept, and is likely to draw a more accurate mental image.
On another side note – another equipment option that has been raised by my Brompton-owning friend recently, is that of the e-Brompton. Apparently, it is being launched later this year. There is some appeal to an e-bike as it would open up some alpine areas that had previously been placed it the ‘not worth it pile’ due to their low cost/benefit ratio. On the other hand, an e-bike will no doubt involve extra complexities such as charging and spares. I think I will keep an open mind until it is released and we can see the details.