Bikepacking on a Brompton: Enter the Dragon

My pink Brompton in one of her many forms. I’ve nicknamed her “the Dragon” and she is a superior bike to all others I have owned. Everything I possess in this world is tiny and simple. My home, my boat, my ukulele, and yes my bike. There is time and space for everything in this world, and nothing. Sitting on the edge of these two worlds between shadow and darkness is where my life collides. The world feels ablur these days, but my life and its simple boundaries are a very true constant, my North Star.

Brompton folding bike in radar orange with extremely minimal shredpacking / bikepacking setup consisting of a 1-man tent inside a Revelate Designs Pika seatbag.

It was made for the city and that’s why I chose it. When you live on a tiny island, going to the city is a big deal. However, my first experience on a Brompton was a very impromptu bikepacking trip. That journey changed me in many ways, all for the better. It could easily explain how, when I decided to get rid of all my bikes, this quirky little folder was the one I chose over all of them. It certainly isn’t a better bike than any of them were, not by a long shot. It was, however, and is a better fit for me and my current life and lifestyle.

The search for a much simpler way didn’t start with a bike. It started with long-term weather forecasts, long-term financial outlooks. I don’t get into politics online, so I’ll just say the schizzle is about to hit the nizzel. Actually, it already has. Our tiny new boat is part of that plan, It’s a plan B, too. Plan A: “real property with a tiny house and garden” that we currently don’t have. I learned the hard way how stupid a bug-out plan is so we are bugging in, in fashion. The boat was a 2-year anniversary gift to Kimmy and she is going wild with the possibilities and the realities. For me, it’s all about small simple spaces. Enter The Dragon.

Folded orange Brompton sitting on a picnic table, along with a variety of snack foods.

My first half dozen bike tours on my Brompton were a beautiful disaster. Today my trusty pink Brompton sits at the foot of my bed. This bike is a massive upgrade to my first Orange Brompty. I still regret selling it but no use crying over spilled milk. I’m on the pre-order list for the new titanium Brompton, the T-line. I’m still not completely sold but extremely intrigued. I already know I’ll upgrade Kimmi but for me, well… I demand a lot out of my bikes

I started with the largest and heaviest parts removing them one by one down to the smaller and smallest detail. This can be said both about my bikes and life. Does it add value? Is the cost worthy of change? We live at the top of a hill. We moved here for the natural light, the view, quality of life. It’s downhill to everywhere but coming home has to be earned. We like it like that. It’s little more than a warm, dry place to sleep, but honestly what more does one man need? A flush toilet and hot running water is a luxury I’m still getting used to.

camping for the night with a Brompton folding bike under a tarp

This silly one-man tent in this photo never didn’t leak. An 8-dollar tarp fixed my woes and I spent many of the best nights of my life snuggled between my Brompton and my ukulele. By the end of that trip, I had downsized to a tarp, my 3/4 length pad, and the clothes on my back. Nothing else mattered. My life condensed to the contents of a small daypack I picked up at the dump. It could carry about 2 days worth of food and a pouch of tobacco. I was smitten with this setup and never felt like I was lacking in anything.

Radar orange Brompton parked in front of a sign pointing towards wharf, Lahaina Harbor,  in Hawaii

That journey never really ended, it just morphed into others of a similar nature. All of that stuff has left behind a huge void. My new rule is only to collect things that gather no dust. The vast empty space is now being filled with experiences and knowledge. Anyways, I think it’s time for an afternoon nap before my evening ride. Cheers to everything and nothing and knowing the difference.

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