In an exciting interruption to my rural existence, I have to go to a meeting … in Copenhagen. This is extra exciting if you’re a cyclist and long time reader of Copenhagenize and Copenhagen Cycle Chic, the two blogs that first opened my eyes to the idea that riding a bike doesn’t have to involve dressing up like a day-glo Christmas tree and going out and doing battle with the cars. Unfortunately, the meeting has nothing to do with cycling, and will take up most of my daylight hours, so I will only have a brief afternoon to experience what has become one of the world’s most renowned cycling cities.* Obviously I could go out and explore the city on foot, but I know from my recent trips to London that there’s nothing worse than plodding about on two feet when everyone else is whizzing past on two wheels. And while I could rent a bike, it was all looking a bit complicated and time would be short.
Coincidentally, I then stumbled across this and it struck me that the best chance I was going to get to explore the city in daylight was to actually cycle from the airport. Which meant bringing my Brompton – after all, what is the point of having a nifty wee folding bike if you don’t bring it with you wherever you go? The only problem would be getting it onto the plane. Twitter suggested a couple of useful guides but they involved packing the Brompton into a big bag with all your other stuff, with the implication that you’d unpack everything once you arrived and then go for a bike ride. I wanted to be able to just unfold my bike at the airport – preferably without scattering my underwear across the terminal floor – and ride away. My next thought was just to check the Brompton as it was, on the grounds that the baggage handlers might actually take better care of it if they could see that it was a bike, rather than some anonymous lumpy package. But I wasn’t sure the airline would be happy with that, as it was a BIKE and hence all a bit complicated and it might tend to catch on things, and besides they’re just a wee bit too nickable for me to be entirely comfortable sending it on its way naked, as it were.
Fortunately a friend has a sort of burqua for a Brompton, that conceals its dangerous bikey-ness from any transport related jobsworth, and indeed its seductive curves from any thieving toe-rags and he kindly lent it to me. The plan is to use this and a luggage strap to pack it up along with its bag and lock. Hopefully it will survive the trip – and won’t come up against any hitherto unknown rules banning partially clad bikes from airline holds.
I shall keep you posted. And meanwhile, worrying about whether the bike will be allowed, and whether it will make it, and whether I’ll be able to find my way from the airport, will be a useful distraction from my usual dying-in-a-plummeting-fireball worries that accompany most flights.
More on my return, if I am spared.
*I’m sure it has many other good features too.