We often hear comments people make as they look at our bikes through the window, their words floating in through the open door:
"Oh look, they fold up."
"What are those?"
"Would we use it?"
"Where's your hat?"
Hearing these comments I can't help but be reminded of all the times I was the one standing on the other side of the window with my partner, speculating what owning a Brompton was actually like?
We'd already been in the store once - back when it was still "Velo Electric & Folding" - and Cory had demonstrated the Brompton fold for us. I remember it quite well because I also remember feeling rather embarrassed at the thought of 'wasting his time' as we had no intention of buying a Brompton that particular day.
Although we had both learnt to ride as children, and enjoyed bike riding even into adulthood, bikes weren't a part of our lives at the time so we were unsure whether bicycles would just become something else to collect dust. It took a lot of window gazing and many conversations before we finally decided to make the big, bold step to buy my first Brompton. My very first test ride was so much fun I insisted I wasn't going to share; my partner would need to choose a second one for himself!
Fast forward a number of years and Brompton ownership has changed from casual weekend rides to commuting around 150km per week, organising and enjoying regular social rides with Melbourne Brompton Club, planning our holidays around Brompton events and interesting places to ride them, to now working at Brompton Junction Melbourne.
My Brompton has been the conduit for so many amazing events and opportunities for me in the past few years - beyond the benefits that simply riding to work brings! So when I see people stop and gaze in our window, wondering all of those questions starting with "how" and "why", I just want to call out to them "Come in and ask!"
But maybe you're afraid of asking a "silly" question? On the day we bought my first Brompton and Cory had just run through how to fold/unfold it, I asked, "Does it come with a kick stand?". Instead of replying Cory simply folded under the rear wheel. Yes, I felt very silly - my head was a-whirl with "Oh my gosh I've got a bike again!" and I was trying to pay attention but keeping focused was proving somewhat challenging.
To his credit Cory was - and still is - very patient and never patronising. My #newbikeday wasn't so long ago that I've forgotten how different a Brompton can seems at first if all you've known is a more regular bike, but it was long enough ago that my Brompton has been an integral part of my every day life for the last couple of years.
So while we probably can't help with "Where's you hat?" (unless it was left behind in our shop), if you have even half a minute - it honestly doesn't have to be long - please come in. Ask us your questions. You are never wasting our time - in fact, we love demonstrating why they're such a great solution for a range of requirements. We've been in your shoes - we're just a bit further down the road of Brompton ownership, using them every day, for so many purposes, and still having a world of fun.