I don't know exactly when it started, but I have Brompton envy!
I see them on the trains, all neat and folded and I think, Awww, so tiny and perfect!
Just a few years ago the little wheels looked silly to me, but now they look cute. So cool and zippy. And they look like fun to ride on the street! I like the colors, I like the fold, I want one very much...
Have I reached that certain age?
I've been noticing others with Bromptons. The Prudent Cyclist for example, and the Path Less Pedaled blog.. they make it seem so enviable and easy. I wouldn't have to worry about my bicycle being thrown in the canal, or being damaged from the weather. I won't be doing as many longer trips in the winter anyways, so a nice folding bicycle might be encouraging for the shorter ones.
My boyfriend isn't completely adverse to the idea. When I brought it up, he was mostly worried about the prospect of my keeping too many bicycles in our small apartment (he didn't know what a brompton was!!!!!!) but once I showed him the size, he warmed up. I imagine any remaining skepticism will melt as soon as he sees it.
Last weekend, I was fortunate to do a test ride with friends.
The Travelling Two and Trevor were testing out some unusual and awesome recumbents, and luckily the vendor, Maia Ligtfietsen had a little Brompton for me. Fun! And beautiful... I must go back to the Dordrect area.
So, I've made some calculations. It would take about 175 train trips to "save" the cost. (Folding bicycles on trains are free all the time, regular bicycles cost €6 a day and subject to restricted hours) This number as "savings" might be a bit unrealistic... I do travel by train and wish I had a bicycle on the other end about once or twice a month. That's 24 train trip "savings" a year... So, in just over seven years...
But then, I looked into the bicycle benefit plan from my employer, (Very common in the Netherlands). I can get a 35 to 40% savings on a bicycle purchase used to commute to the office. (Yay! Yay! Netherlands!!!) It could make sense to invest early. :)