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

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!

Photo of author

Elly Blue (Columnist)

Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for since 2006. Find her at

Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
kate b.
kate b.
14 years ago

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.

14 years ago

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.

Emily R
14 years ago

i am so jealous that you got to meet Sara…