Keeley Davis, guitarist in At The Drive In, tells us why he chose to take a Brompton with him on the band's tour.
In March of 2016, I joined the band At the Drive In as second guitar player to travel the world and share its high energy music with fans across the globe. I have been a traveling musician for about 20 years in such bands as Bughummer, Engine Down, Denali, Sparta, and now At the Drive In. My most cherished memories of touring have been the times that locals have taken us to spots a bit off the beaten path. Before cell phones were “a thing” talking to locals was the only way to find unique experiences in the area away from the venue or van that you would otherwise spend all your daylight hours in.
Touring is a whole new beast these days. The world is so connected. Cell phones, GPS, travel apps, uber, etc. have made it so much easier to see more of the world in less time. I used to travel with a skateboard and always wanted to have a bike. It just never made sense to bring such a huge piece of gear like a bike when everyone is living out of a suitcase and moving city to city in a days time. In 2016 I took advantage of days off by trying to find bike rentals and using my phone to scout out the best scenic areas. It wasn't easy to find such convenience.
The game changed when in Copenhagen, Denmark I ran across another band traveler who had a folded up Brompton at the hotel bar. I had just gotten back from an amazing day ride with a rental bike all over the beautiful city of Copenhagen. At that moment I decided I would take full advantage of being in places that I normally would never be and get myself a Brompton.
Now here I am starting a new touring schedule with a Brompton in my possession, and I am ready to fill the days I can with exploring.
I first flew to Austin TX for a weeks worth of rehearsals. I tried the DIMPA IKEA bag method of checking my bike and it worked perfectly. The bike came back to me without a scratch.
While in Austin our Hotel was right beside a park called Walnut Creek. I would ride the 3 mile trial through the park (over streams, through trees, and even a little off road trail action) everyday before rehearsals.
While in NYC I was fortunate enough to be close to Central Park. I loved the fact that most people would look the other way as I squeaked through the park on walking trails. This bike feels less intrusive when in a pedestrian only area. Im sorry walkers but I just needed to see deeper in the park and didn't want to leave the sweet brompton all alone. One thing about this bike is that it is so easy to barely crawl along and take in the sights.
In Buffalo I needed to stretch my legs. Man it was cold.
The venue in New Orleans was relatively close to the riverwalk, but without a bike I would not have walked to it.
Toronto Canada was my favorite use of the brompton. We had a day off and I spent most of that day riding the waterfront trail “along the canadian shores of Lake Ontario”. Sat on the beaches, watched the local dogs play in the water, passed an amazing skatepark, and of course had a cup of Tim Hortons coffee.