Planet Brompton

Mit dem Brompton als digitaler Nomade unterwegs

Photoshoot with 2 „Liquorice Brompton“

Photoshooting

Aren’t we all a little bit in love with our little folding bikes? Some collect them, some use them to go to work, others make small or big trips with them and others dare to go on big trips with you: the Brompton folding bikes.

I have forgotten one group. Those who incessantly take photos of their Bromptons. I am one of them.
And YES, we also like to show ourselves with them: Selfie with a Brompton.

Why there has so much hype arisen around them, I don’t understand, but I also belong to those who are crazy about their Brompton.
And because I’m a photographer, the 2nd passion in my life, I asked a friend if we should not make a photo shoot with a Brompton. Curious: she does not even ride any bicycle.
Quickly I realized that it is not the best idea, to do a photoshoot with somebody being not familiar with bicycles. Even how to touch such a bike was difficult for her. Crazy.

Photoshooting

As a real bike junky I just had not thought about it, that there could be people who do not like or do not ride a bicycle.
Can you imagine?
After all, after the shooting she has seriously considered buying a Brompton.

The Photoshoot

We have met at the government district and so tried out a few things.
The 2 Brompton has lent me Daniel from Kultrad in Berlin.
We transported both in the original box with a Cargo Bike to the Spree.
If I wouldn’t have already a Brompton, I would have kept one of them. The two were black and white and somehow really graceful in appearance. And they reminded me of liquorice, my 3rd passion in life 🙂

I felt in love with them.
Actually only the diamonds were missing, don’t you think so 🙂

Remember this song? A little adapted 🙂

Men grow old
As girls grow old
And we all lose our charms in the end
But the Bromptons thy don’t loose their shape
Bromptons are a girl’s best friend

Just in case you are curious now, which Brompton I might be riding…. not a diamond, but my „beloved“ Brompton the Blue one: Turkish Green with Lagoon Blue!

I remember when Klaus bought his Brompton.
He thought it was chic. I didn’t see the use of it, not yet.
Then, a year later, the time had come. We had plans to travel with the Bromptons. To escape the winter months in Berlin. And that’s what we did.
4 months in Cambodia were followed by 4 months in Sumatra and then 4 months in Cairo, Sinai and Israel.
But you can read about that in other articles in this blog.
By the way, my recommendation: 2 coloured bromptons are real eye-catchers and are so much more fun.

18. März 2021 Ausrüstung, Brompton

Brompton Electric- tested in front of our door

Brompton Electric

We tested the Brompton Electric in and around Berlin.
Now you might expect a detailed test report. Something with asterisks and checkmarks, comparisons regarding ride comfort, battery charging capacity, max. payload, max. speed and so on. We didn’t test like that. We were more interested in how it feels to be on the road with an electric folding bike. And this is what came out!

Yes, the Brompton Electric is heavier. The motor and the battery weigh a few kilos.
But if you take off the battery, you can still lift and carry the Brompton Electric quite well. Around 14 kg, depending on the gear version.
We rode a bike with high handlebars and 6 gears and one with medium handlebars and 2 gears.
Day 1: We conquer the city.
Day 2: We head out to the countryside.

Cycling in the City

In fact, I don’t feel like I’m really faster than other cyclists. Even if the Brompton incredibly darts off, at the next traffic light, however, other cyclists have caught up with me again. Also climbing our hills here in Berlin, of course I’m faster in the beginning, but soon others caught up again. At 25 km/h the engine locks. More is not allowed. Then you have to pedal yourself. By the way, the engine brakes very little, so there is almost no difference using a Brompton without electric and cycling an electric one without using the battery.
So if you want to be somehow extremely fast in the city, which I find degenerates into stress, then you should go for a 6 speed. For me the 2 gear version is quite sufficient in the city.

On the country Side

Brompton Electric

We had 100 km ahead of us.
1st question for us was, would the battery hold.
2nd question, how does the Brompton Electric do on bumpy and dirt roads.

First of all, we had so much fun.
We drove most of the time with the first level of support, only on hills or headwinds, tim to switch to the second or even third level.
On dirt roads, you no longer have that steady pedaling that the sensors need to determine how much assist is needed. So we set the support there to 0.
But as I said, the bike rides great without assistance.
So we actually managed to ride about 80km with assistance, 20km without.
And in the evening, back home, we could have gone for another 100km 🙂
This is one of the difference to a Brompton without support, there I would have been in the evening certainly not still so relaxed.

Super was also the idea that we could at any time jump into a train or a bus, if it would then but annoying and perhaps too far for such a leisurely Sunday trip.
Simply fold again, which by the way works just like a Brompton without a motor, and get on. Nice idea.

Back in the city with full support

I wanted to test again driven exclusively with level 3. Full support. But then, after 35km my supported trip ended, the battery is empty.
Cycling with this 3 level support is of course also nonsensical. You have to brake constantly, because of far too much support and thus wastes the energy. But that also means that even with the 3rd stage you can probably get to at least 40km on straight stretches. But, we did not try.

Conclusion

A Brompton Electric is huge fun.
For us, however, it will probably take a few more years. The Accu (extra weight and caring for charging) means an abandonment of lightness compared to a Brompton without Electric.

Charging stations

If you feel like doing longer trips and you do not want to give up the Accu support, there are several stations to recharge and maybe it is a good time for a break anyway. We use this Bike.app.

If you feel like you want to try one by yourself, I recommend
KULTRAD – BROMPTON EXCELLENCE STORE BERLIN MITTE

19. Februar 2021 AusrĂĽstung, Brompton

Digital Nomads or how can I earn money on a trip

First of all: as a Digital Nomad, you don’t earn money with a blog.

Digital Nomads

We are on our 3rd and for now last 4 months winter trip with the Bromptons: on the way from Cairo to Sinai.
We have already reported about Cairo as well as Israel and Tel Aviv. But I did not go into more details about Klaus, who continues to work during these 4 months. I would like to make up for that now here again.

Digital Nomads

If one sees the quantity of people in the net, which work from anywhere in the world, then one believes that this is completely simple.
Of course it is not for us. The difference to most of the travelers is that they stay in fixed places for a long time. So actually they’ve just moved their office to another location. We travel on, from station to station. Then stay again a few days and then it goes on again.
Klaus is a programmer and as long as he has his computer and internet access he is able to work.

This is not possible 5 days a week, but as a self-employed person he has the possibility to reduce his working days.
We stay overnight in very cheap, simple accommodations. We eat mostly at stalls on the street and also we avoid spending much money. Sightseeing, museums, guided tours, these would all be extra costs that we do not want to afford.
I am a city guide, of course by bicycle 🙂 , in Berlin and photographer.
For me, there is hardly anything to do in Berlin in the winter time. My main working time is between April and October.

So we have decided to explore the world during the winter.

Digital Nomads

Usually we have only a small idea of the route.
We know we have 4 months, but we also know that it wouldn’t be bad if we don’t reach the planned end point.
We have every time the possibility to get on a bus in between and not to do certain stages by bike.
Planned is always only the outward flight. Even the return flight we leave open.
We wanted to visit friends on the Sinai, which we met 11 years ago on our bicycle (world) trip.
So we started in Cairo and were surprised. The 8 lane highway had an extra bike lane. I am going crazy. What a luxury.

Digital Nomads

We have to cross the Suez Canal and of course we can’t do that by bike. A group of soldiers is interested in us and organizes a driver who will take us through. That doesn’t work at first, because they have some equipment that is not allowed. Then the 2nd driver…. no matter, sometime we are there.
But anyway, having this small foldable bicycles helped a lot.

„Make plans and it comes differently!“

That’s what we’ve learned on all our trips.

Back to Klaus and his work.

We always discuss for the coming week on which days he has to work. Then we have to make sure he has internet access. Everything else is put around that.
Sounds simple? It is, once you get used to it and Digital nomads need a fair amount of self-discipline.

So what can actually stop us from traveling this way?

Corona!
We thought about a lot of things, but nothing like this came into our mind.
Not the mosquitoes, not the heat, not the dust or the rain, not the dirt, not the effort, nothing could stop us.

Digital Nomads

The winter 2020/2021 is different now and we stayed in Berlin. And honestly… I am not happy about it.
Not the warm and clean bed, the shower, the clean running water from the pipes, nothing can make up for the experiences on such trips.

And besides, working at home is definitely not more fun.
If you want to know more about Digital Nomads you can read on WorknSurf a lot about it.

Even if it is in german, you can get a lot more pictures and informations about us traveling with the Bromptons in the „Brompton Fernweh Magazin“.

29. Januar 2021 Brompton, Geld verdienen

Brompton on Sumatra, Indonesia

Sumatra
Sumatra is quite hilly

Travel light.

A Brompton is already a handy relatively light bike.
All the advantages of traveling with small luggage we make to nullify if we again take far too much luggage.
Believe me, the world is more civilized than you think.
And especially where it will take you with your folding bike.

Washing clothes is known in the most places on earth and if it does not make the hotel, then you can use the sink, and does not have to be washing powder maybe it goes also with soap. O.k., running water can be scarce, but then it doesn’t matter if you wear your shirt for the fifth day.

About the achievements of the fast dry materials in the clothing I need to tell you certainly no more.
Don’t take your favorite pants with you. I made that mistake and of course after 1 month they have already disintegrated into their components. They were simply worn too much.
But even then, thank civilization, you can buy clothes pretty much everywhere in the world too.

„Mosquito net“ and a very light „hut sleeping bag“.

There are two things I would not go without: a hut sleeping bag! If you snuggle into that, then you can to spend the night almost anywhere. And as 2nd a mosquito net, we use the Sea to Summit one. We always got it fastened somewhere when necessary and slept so much more quietly.

Sumatra
okay, ours was not so fancy 🙂

We each have a T-bag and for me, I was still without y backpack because of my camera equipment.

After 4 months Cambodia, we ended up going to Sumatra in winter 2018/2019. We were looking for a country with a lot of green and a lot of water.
And, what should i say? We got what we were looking for.

Sumatra

Sumatra, a country with active volcanoes, earthquakes, jungles and extremely heavy rainfall. We didn’t expect much and therefore didn’t plan very big tours.
Unlike most travelers, we were not interested in having „seen“ as many islands as possible, but rather to get a little deeper look at Indonesia and especially Sumatra.
And we got it.

Sumatra

Sumatra has been always on time: 4pm in the afternoon, the rain starts.
Everyday, we were not sure it would stop.

We did, what we always do, we explored the areas for a couple of days with the bicycles, went of to reach the next stop and explored the area again.
Sumatra has the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen so far.
Sumatra’s landscape is enormously varied and I’m sure, we will come back.
Next time without a backpack. That was the only trouble keeping it dry.
Hard rain did not bother the Bromptons at all. I was surprised. Even the T-Bag with the cover kept dry.

Here are a few impressions for you from us and the Bromptons on this trip and in case you are interested, we offer Brompton Cycling tours on Sumatra, just send us a message.

Sumatra

And then, sometimes it looked like in a travel brochure.

more about our Equipment…..

22. Januar 2021 AusrĂĽstung, Brompton, Reisebericht

Cycling in Cairo with a Brompton

Cairo Cycling Brompton

So actually cycling in Cairo is not possible at all. Riding a bicycle is, if at all, only something for very poor people.
We wanted to try it anyway and worked our way through the city for 4 weeks. Of course you can try it with any other bike, it doesn’t get better or worse if you have a folding bike, but it’s just more maneuverable. You can hop up and down faster, squeeze it through the crowds in front of you, and weave through the avalanches of metal better. You’re just faster.
After a few days, we realized that we don’t exist for the others. Cyclists have absolutely no rights. Once you figure that out, it gets easier.

It was so much fun, you can believe me, even if I know that the normal Cairo visitor will not believe us now.
And then the big surprise: we did meet other cyclists. Groups of young people who see cycling as freedom, as something that helps health, as something that serves emancipation.
Crazy.

Cairo Cycling Geckos

Special was the group of young women, the Cycling Geckkos.
Their bikes were a disaster, they had little idea of why to shift gears and were completely untrained. And yet, they dared to do a 100km tour. We were fascinated.
A Brompton in many countries came up to be a status symbol, but in Cairo it was rather the symbol of poverty.
Crazy.
You can read more about this and other cycling groups in our Brompton Fernweh Magazine (Attention only in German).

The lifeline – the Nile

Cairo is a gigantic city and we had planned to see as many districts as possible.
I can not always recommend that either. Nothing happened to us, but I think in some districts the overriding factor was our helper. Districts where people are really bitterly poor.
One day we went by a taxi, with a Nile Taxi. What a gain in time. And actually with normal bicycles not possible.
Unfortunately, this type of transport has not yet become established. Whereby, with the mass of people in this city, it probably wouldn’t fix the traffic chaos either. In any case, we had real fun.

My Summary for cycling in Kairo

I don’t want to miss this experience, but I guess we lost at least 1 year of our life, because of pollution 🙂

Brompton, Reisebericht

VELO Berlin 2020 online Beitrag

VELO Berlin 2020

Auch die VELO Berlin hat es in 2020 erwischt. Nicht mit Corona, aber durch Corona: keine Messe. Also gab es viele verschiedene online Beiträge und einer davon von und mit uns. Wir haben uns versucht und nehmen euch mit auf einer kleinen Fahrradtour in Berlin und dabei erzählen wir, warum es genial ist mit einem Faltrad auf Reisen zu sein.
Natürlich mit einem Brompton Faltrad 🙂

In unserem Bericht „reisen“ wir durch Kambodscha, ĂĽber Sumatra, durch Kairo und ĂĽber den Sinai nach Israel, Tel Aviv.

Während unseres Vortrags fahren wir mit einer Fähre über die Spree, am Wasser entlang durch den Treptower Park. Wir treffen uns wieder am Prenzlauer Berg und dann geht es ab durch die Mitte zum Regierungsviertel und weiter zum Alexanderplatz.

Unseren Youtube Beitrag fĂĽr die VELO 2020 gibt es hier:
Freiheit * Flexibilität * Unabhängigkeit
Eine Auswahl der Fotos aus dem Film findet ihr hier. Kann man sicherlich auch ohne „Gesabbel“ gut anschauen :-).

Auf der VELO Week 2020 gab es jede Menge weitere Beiträge/Events, die ihr auf der Seite noch anschauen könnt. Ihr könnt filtern und wählen zwischen „Abenteuer“, „Arbeit“, „Fahrradtrends“ und vielem mehr.
Und des Beste zum Schluß: 2021, am 8. und 9. Mai soll die nächste VELOBerlin Open Air statt finden. Lasst uns mal die Daumen drücken.

14. Januar 2021 Brompton, Reisebericht