Man’s no #1 best friend may be the dog, but I don’t doubt that his second is the bicycle.

Over the last few months, we’ve been periodically taking care of our traveling neighbor’s dog.

Louie is a British Bulldog; a loveable sausagy brick. We’ve bonded nicely.

He’s not what you would call an ‘animated’ dog; lying dormant on our couch most of the day, he occasionally grunts to remind us that he’s alive. He doesn’t require a lot out of life: just a small bowl of dry food, and the odd bout with his rope toy.

He just about tolerates a downhill stroll to our neighborhood coffeehouse, only because he knows what awaits him: a big outdoor patio, the attention of strangers, and coffeecake.

If Louie were a bike, he’d be a Brompton.

His compact package offers several advantages. Like the Brompton, We can fit him in any car, and pick him up if we need to.  His footprint and demeanor are acceptable in indoor space, and generally, his charming Brit looks win over most individuals. Whereas other, larger dogs may be a bit more athletically built, Louie manages just fine his own four legs.

Alas, all good things come to an end, and as of last week, Louie and his neighbor have moved to New York.

To fill the void, we decided this weekend to take our folding bikes out to a new coffee place, known for the friendly dogs frequenting it.  I wanted to test how my Brompton would feel sitting by my side, in place of our Louie.

The other bike we brought along for the journey was a Dahon; a sturdy, handsome folder that my friend acquired in Singapore.

Its proportions were a bit less comical than the Brompton: If it were a dog, it would probably be a generic shepherd mix. It’s 16” wheels are a bit smoother over LA potholes, and it’s more basic folding formula, albeit less compact, appears more logical than the Bromptons’.

We arrived at the coffee shop, and quickly realized that the Dahon’s folded package was a bit too large for indoor parking. The Brompton, in contrast, managed to fit snuggly between our small table and the wall- Just like Louie used to. There were three dogs outside, tied up and muzzled due to their inherent inability to behave indoors. We ended up locking the Dahon beside them.

Inside there were the typical assortment of lapdogs, and one French bulldog: the Brompton was in appropriate company.

Halfway through our bagel, it began to drizzle; a non-issue had we not  needed to lock the Dahon outdoors. Since it was borrowed, we didn’t want it to get too wet, so there was no other choice than to cram food down our throats and ride to somewhere dry before the impending thunderstorm hit.

Coffeeshop Score: Brompton 1, Dahon, 0.

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