So, back to the Brompton experiment.
It would definitely take some getting used to. My first impression was that it felt like a toy. Not to imply that it felt cheap -- a high quality, expensive toy, I mean. But toy-ish in size. The wheels are so small that they accommodate only a thin tire, and every driveway lip gives you a noticeable BUMP. I'd have to start being more careful, more choosey -- the big wheels I use now have sturdy tires on them that can bomb over anything. Plus the sales guy I was working with, Dean at Clever Cycles, says that with a small tire like that you have to pump it up about once a week. Once a week? Call me lazy, but that would be kind of a pain. A week goes by in ten minutes these days -- which means I would feel like I was pumping up my tires every ten minutes. I hardly ever need to pump up the tires I have now.
I do respect a salesperson who tells you ALL about the bike, not just the superlative features. It's a smart way to sell, because later as you begin to find out all the annoying things on your own, you won't be mad at the store. Instead you'll say, Oh there's that little blip they warned me about that I decided I could live with.
Another point is that despite its enormously attractive COMPACTNESS -- the main bait that reeled me in -- it isn't exactly like toting around your school lunch pail, as I had imagined. I sure wouldn't want to shlep it across an airport. But maybe I wouldn't have to -- presumably I could halfway uncollapse it and wheel it in front of me -- like a stroller, perhaps? I'll have to check.
It's not so much the weight of it, though, but the ergonomics of my body that makes it awkward to carry. If my shoulders were considerably wider than my hips, it could just hang down at my side, no problem. But they're not. My hips are about the same width as my shoulders. (Ever heard of it? It's a girl thing.) Which means that in addition to supporting the downward weight of it, I'm struggling to hold it OUT from my body to keep it from bouncing along my outer thigh.
You know what I mean? So anyway I'm broadening my horizons and looking at other brands. Of course I will give Brompton another look or two. Maybe I will adjust.