by JACK on DECEMBER 4, 2012
Source : NYCeWheels
Twice a week I pack up a few Brompton Bikes, load them into a cart and head out onto the streets of New York City to give some demonstrations. As a bike shop, we try to find ways to connect with our local community on the upper east side, and street demonstrations are a good way to talk with people face to face, introduce them to the Bromptons, and show what these great folding bikes are capable of.
The Brompton Cart
So here’s how it works. To transport the Brompton Bikes from the shop to the streets, I load them into a cart approximately 4ft x 2ft x 3ft, with thick bulky 26″ tires, and a trailer hitch. The cart is kept outside, in our storage area, under two heavy-duty tarps, and, my logistical arch nemesis, a giant mountain of card-board boxes left over from received shipments. After clearing away the miasma, I wheel the cart through the back door, into the shop and along the thin hallway that leads to the front exit. Just barely wide enough to fit the cart through, the hallway is a formidable obstacle course, just wide enough to fit the cart, lined with an assortment of folding bikes, accessories, and my fellow coworkers, and it takes much concentration and fanangling to traverse the gauntlet unscathed.
Once outside, I fold up three Brompton bikes, and fit them side by side inside the cart, and then, in various nooks and crannies add in a variety of Brompton accessories, such as the Brompton Bag and Brompton Cover. Then I attach the cart, via its trailer hitch, to the back of an A2B Electric Bike, a big beefy E-bike with a 500 Watt motor powerful enough to haul the 100 lbs of equipment down the street at 20mph, and head out into the wild yonder.
Demonstrating the Brompton Bikes
The cart itself transforms into my demo booth, fully equipped with a festive umbrella and a flashy Brompton banner. I usually set up on 86th street, between 3rd and Lexington Ave, which is a hot spot for street vendors. Along this single block you’ll find guys selling umbrellas, t-shirts, photographs, Bob Dylan albums, tiny statues of the empire state building, rugs, fabrics, eye-brow threading, hand lotion, knockoff perfume, and in the midst of it all there’s me, folding and unfolding Brompton bikes handing out business cards wearing a, if I may say, somewhat stylish P-coat, with a big goofy smile on my face.
The Brompton Bikes
I demo three different models of Brompton Bike: a bright red single speed with an S-flat bar, a three speed with classic M bars and fenders, and a fully loaded 6 speed with P bars, fenders and a rear-rack. All the Brompton Bikes are fit with theBrompton Pump, a handy little accessory that fits, ingeniously, into the frame itself.
The rest of the day is spent showing off the bikes. Common questions from the public include, “Damn that bike folds?!”, “Where can I get one of those!?” and “Did you invent that?” to which I am always temped to say yes. Other vendors often come up to me, showing interest in the bikes. Many see major potential in the idea of the E-brompton bike, which they could use to transport their own portable vending unit.
After a day of Bromptons
After 3 or 4 hours, I head back to the shop to finish my other work at NYCeWheels, but the demos are always the best part of my day. Not such a bad way to spend an afternoon- talking to people, making good connections, and showing off what it is probably the best folding bike in the world, the Brompton Bike.
That’s all for now