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New Haven: Brompton love, and signs of the Dutch Bike Invasion

Posted by on December 30th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Sam, Caleb, Finn, the Brompton, and me. (Photo by Sarah Armstrong)

I just wheeled the Brompton into the Publick Cup, a downtown New Haven coffeeshop, and found myself surrounded by a crowd of wide eyed young people.

“Is that a bike? It folds? It’s a folding bike? Can you unfold it for us?” The kids were really excited. They raptly watched each step, asking smart questions about how all the parts work, and making guesses about what came next.

I folded the bike back up. “Can you do it again?” asked one. As I complied, several of the kids were ushered away, leaving only three. Their mom came over to see what was going on.

“Oh, look, it’s from Clever Cycles!” she exclaimed — “I’m ordering a Bakfiets from them!”

The kids continued to check out the bike while I chatted with their mom. Her name’s Sara Armstrong, and if all goes as planned by spring she will be the proud first Bakfiets owner in New Haven. She decided on the purchase based on online research and a trip and she hopes to take a trip up to Northampton, Massachusetts to test ride one of the only other Bakfietsen in New England.

She’ll use her Bakfiets to take her sons Sam, Caleb, and Finn Crumlish to school, and it’s hard to imagine kids who could be more pleased by the prospect.

Good luck, Sarah and company, and don’t forget to send photos once you have the bike!

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  • kate b. December 30, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    i forgot to mention earlier when we talked that i saw a foldy type bike (perhaps a brompton) in white plains yesterday. my sister and i were waiting at a red light and i pointed out the man unfolding his bike on the sidewalk. my sister had never heard of a folding bike and was really interested. but then the man rode away down the sidewalk. white plains roads are not so bike friendly i guess.

    love this photo, boy picking nose is priceless.

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  • sara December 31, 2008 at 7:54 am

    ok, i did a lousy job with the lighting on this one (& is finn really picking his nose in this shot or is it the old seinfeld no pick thing?).

    thanks for being so nice to the guys. we will enjoy following your east coast adventures, & we will let you know about the bakfiets purchase & how the spring school commute goes.

    happy riding, elly.

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  • Emily R December 31, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    i am so jealous that you got to meet Sara…

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  • Elly Blue January 1, 2009 at 8:34 am

    It was great to meet you as well, Sara, and your boys. I don’t think I’ve ever met kids who were so excited about a bike. Can’t wait to hear your bakfiets stories.

    Enjoy the snow!

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