Looking up towards old abandoned steps next to Veterans Memorial Bridge.
Adventures,  Exploring,  Folding Bicycles,  Transportation

Brompton Folding Bike To Mysterious Abandoned Steps

Me and my Brompton folding bike have passed these mysterious abandoned steps hundreds of times. Each time we’ve passed by, I’ve been very curious about where they lead.

 

Of course, to get up them and do some exploring, we’d first have to fold the Brompton folding bike and carry it.

 

Carrying the Brompton folding bike usually isn’t a huge problem, but these steps are in bad shape.

 

Fortunately, we have a secret weapon that makes carrying the Brompton folding bike easy. Read more to find out!!!!

 

The Brompton Folding Bike Can Go Anywhere And Here’s Why

There’s a common myth going around that Brompton folding bikes are only good for taking on public transportation, and aren’t useful for going out and exploring.

 

Maybe at one time this was true, because Brompton folding bikes have been around for a very long time.

 

When Andrew Ritchie designed the first Brompton folding bike in his flat overlooking the Brompton Oratory in South Kensington, London he had no idea that this would be a remarkable step forward in folding bike design.

 

Brompton folding bike.
Brompton folding bike.

 

The Brompton folding bike was heavy, crude, and not that attractive, but it had one thing going for it that no other folding bicycle had at the time. It could fold neatly and conveniently into a tiny package.

 

It’s All About The Way A Brompton Folding Bike Can Fold

Folding a Brompton folding bike is very easy and fast.

 

First you have to swing the back wheel under the frame.

 

Then, unscrew the hinge clamp on the frame.

 

Grab the handlebar stem, fold the front wheel towards the back wheel, and hook the front fork onto the frame.

 

Afterwards, you have to lower the seat post, unscrew the handlebar stem clamp and let it drop down. And fold the left pedal up.

 

That’s how easy it is to fold a Brompton folding bike

 

Carrying the Brompton Folding Bike Up the Abandoned Steps

A lot has changed since Andrew Ritchie first created the Brompton folding bike. These bikes are now lighter. More refined. And have lots of accessories to make life a lot easier.

 

One such accessory is the Off Yer Bike carry handle, made in the United Kingdom.

 

Like many other Brompton folding bike owners, I couldn’t see the value in owning an Off Yer Bike carry handle. After-all, Brompton folding bikes have a nice handle under the seat, making it possible to carry your Brompton everywhere you go.

 

While being a nice feature, it’s far from perfect. The problem is that the Brompton folding bike is not only heavy, the handlebars make it very unbalanced.

 

There’s been many instances where I’ve had to angle the Brompton folding bike backwards while climbing stairs, to prevent damaging it.

 

Or had to struggle carrying it to the bus stop, or inside a store because it was hard to hold onto, because of the heavy steel frame.

 

That’s what caused me to do some investigating, and eventually discovering the Off Yer Bike carry handle.

 

Many Brompton folding bike owners will say that this handle is a waste of money.

 

But I disagree for the following reasons

While climbing steps, I’ve been able to grab the Off Yer Bike carry handle, and the back of the Brompton folding bike frame.

 

This allows me to carry the Brompton folding bike with both hands, making it a lot easier to carry upstairs and greater distances.

 

And if I do have to carry it farther, such as a nearby store front, there’s a shoulder strap available. This eliminates the need to unfold it to wheel it to a close destination.

 

All I have to do is swing it over my shoulder, and it’s ready to go.

 

Such a great accessory came in handy on this particular day, as we explored the mysterious abandoned steps.

 

The Brompton Folding Bike And Myself Stopped At The Sidewalk Leading To the Mysterious Abandoned Steps

Sidewalk leading to Veterans Memorial Bridge.
Sidewalk leading to Veterans Memorial Bridge.

 

With the Brompton folding bike all ready to go, we approached the mysterious abandoned steps.

 

Looking old and worn out, it was obvious that these steps have been here for many years without being maintained.

 

But surprisingly, they have held up during all these tough years.

 

Even more surprising was what we found when we got to the top

 

Exploring The Abandoned Steps With My Brompton Folding Bike

What I saw was the outline of what was once a massive structure. The trees surrounded the area in a square pattern, leaving an empty space. It’s as if the trees still respected what once occupied this large empty area. And they didn’t dare overstep their boundaries.

 

Lots of open area next to Veterans Memorial Bridge.
Lots of open area next to Veterans Memorial Bridge.

 

As I stood there, I couldn’t help but let my imagination run wild. For some reason I couldn’t stop thinking of some proud factory standing there during the late 1800’s.

 

Or an early type of power plant.

 

Maybe there use to be a house there, before the bridge and expressway was built. It could have been the hideout for a bunch of outlaws before Rochester, New York became a real city. Or it could have been a secret vacation home for a millionaire.

 

Cement square on ground next to Veterans Memorial Bridge.
Cement square on ground next to Veterans Memorial Bridge.

 

Whatever was here had a significance, because there is a concrete slab that might have once held a mighty flag. I can just picture the pole extended way above the trees, that most likely were much smaller back then.

 

As I pushed my Brompton folding bike around the grassy area, I looked towards the mighty Genesee river. The scenery looked much different from so high up.

 

Memories of when I use to hang out by the river with my best friend popped into my head. We must have explored every single inch of the river.

 

The Steps Are Close To Genesee River

We use to follow the wooded paths down to the water. Climb all the cliffs. And run rampant through the forest, despite how badly the water always smelled.

 

The river always looked deeper than it really was due to all the dirt. You could never see the bottom. Then again, we’d see people crazy enough to swim in the shallow sections once in a while.

 

As I turned back to the noisy expressway I snapped out of my trance. The peaceful feelings that I was experiencing reminded me of what it was like to explore. All the space. The fresh air. Bits of sunshine sneaking through the leaves. And of course, the joy of discovering the unknown.

 

Standing on top of old abandoned steps in open area next to Veterans Memorial Bridge with my Brompton foldig bike.
Standing on top of old abandoned steps in open area next to Veterans Memorial Bridge with my Brompton foldig bike.

 

Conclusion

As I climbed back down the abandoned steps, I couldn’t believe that the Brompton folding bike and myself haven’t discovered them sooner.

 

We’ve passed them many times with no idea what was waiting to be discovered.

 

But once we did, it was well worth the effort.

 

The Brompton folding bike rode exceptionally well to the place, despite only having 16-inch wheels.

 

And once we arrived, the Off Yer Bike carry handle, made carrying the Brompton folding bike up the beat up old steps a breeze.

 

 

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