Travelling without a bicycle can be an unsettling experience. Looking up from your reading book, glancing round the train carriage with the ominous feeling that something’s missing; only to remember, with relief, that – because you’re rattling South from London-Waterloo in the rush hour, and can walk from the station to the appointment at the other end – you left your trusty, rusty push-rod locked-up on platform 11.
If you have to travel without a cycle always consider taking an umbrella. An umbrella is a useful tool but can also serve as bicycle methadone. Umbrellas and bicycles have a lot in common. Both are invaluable when required but can be awkward encumbrances when not in use. Both are prone to technical failures, particularly if not of serviceable quality, or used inappropriately. You might have to fiddle with them to make them work. Beware of USO’s(umbrella shaped objects) sold at unrealistically low prices.
…is a nice accessory, and when rolled, can serve as a makeshift ice-axe in emergencies, but carrying a 200 quid example – like riding round town on a three-grand bike – may be nerve-wracking. If something of this quality…
…ends up in lost-property, it’s got to hurt.
A personal favourite – a nice compromise between economy and durability – is the Rohan treking umbrella.
The G.R.P. stick and frame make a lightweight package that can flex nicely in strong winds reducing risk of sudden failure. It will never corrode. The manufacturers make no claims for the canopy’s UV protection, suggesting carcinogenic rays can get through – which won’t happen with the old-school cotton example – but it’s still cool in the shade.
It comes with a mesh sheath so will dry while rolled and can be toted slung across a shoulder rifle-style. Alternatively strap it on your big, butch courier bag for the ultimate in paramilitary picnic chic.