So what are some desert island bike criteria? Well, the bike must be reliable, durable, adaptable. Whatever distance and terrain you need to cover, it should be capable of covering. Whatever elements you’ll be exposed to, it should be able to withstand. Whatever supplies you will need to haul – be it driftwood, those eels you caught for dinner, or your lunar-powered laptop – it should have provisions to haul.
But a desert island bike should also be fun – because, let’s face it, you’re on a desert island and stuck with only one bike forever (or until you’re rescued, or until you smuggle a second bike on your next trip over – whichever!).
A desert island bike is the bike that can serve as your entertainment, your mode of transportation, your means of exercise and your anthropomorphic companion, all rolled into one.
I have to say – and this may scream of my own naïveté rather than any kind of luck – that I am lucky to consider my first and main bike, my Giant BLVD 2 (2012) a pretty decent all-rounder.
It’s a comfortable ride, carries a good amount of cargo when asked, and is fairly nimble when not carrying any.
My recent dabbling in the world of roadbikes may change how frequently I head out on light, speedy runs. But my BLVD means I know I can also fill the pannier bags with overnight gear at a moment’s notice and head off somewhere 50+ miles away for a microadventure.
Lovely Bicycle talks fondly of the Brompton, and I have always been keen to try one out. I was tempted, but never got the chance, to try one out via the Brompton Dock facility near Manchester Piccadilly railway station (and now at lots more locations around the UK).
And Al Humphreys’ microadventure utilising the portability of the Brompton in the Shetlands certainly opened my eyes to the elegant little folder being more capable and versatile than I had realised. (That microadventure, incidentally, is covered wonderfully in issue 7 of The Ride, and online at Humphreys’ own website).
So maybe I’ll reconsider the humble Brompton next time the opportunity arises…