Suilven Escape (film)

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Micro-adventurer Alastair Humphreys escapes downtown London via train on a folding-bike-rafting expedition to Suilven, a remote mountain in Scotland. Along the way he and Temujin Doran made this lovely film about the trip, the mountain, and the visual and written poetry that surrounds it…

Alastair Humphreys is no stranger to using folding bikes for far-flung adventure. For this particular outing, he took the new Brompton Explore into Scotland’s remote Inverpolly National Nature Reserve to find a mountain he’d only dreamt about in maps and poetry. The summit of Suilven had been tempting him to the Scottish Highlands for a while. So alongside filmmaker Tem, he headed off on this multi-modal trip to create this video.

  • Suilven Escape, Brompton Explore video, Alastair Humphries
  • Suilven Escape, Brompton Explore video, Alastair Humphries
Suilven Escape, Brompton Explore video, Alastair Humphries
I nod and nod to my own shadow and thrust
A mountain down and down.
Between my feet a loch shines in the brown,
It’s silver paper circled and edged with rust.
My lungs say No;
But down and down this treadmill hill must go.
Parishes dwindle, but my perish is
This stone. That tuft. This stone.
And the cramped quarters of my flesh and bone.
I claw that tall horizon down to this.
And suddenly;
My shadow jumps huge miles away from me.
-Norman MacCaig
  • Suilven Escape, Brompton Explore video, Alastair Humphries
  • Suilven Escape, Brompton Explore video, Alastair Humphries
  • Suilven Escape, Brompton Explore video, Alastair Humphries

The Brompton Explore

The bikes used in this film were released just a week or so ago. The new Explore model is undoubtedly a Brompton, but it has a few specific kit choices to make it a little more “road less travelled” friendly, according to Brompton. The Explore uses a 3-speed internal gear hub with two sprockets, giving it a 6-speed gearing. It also comes with 16 x 1.35″ Schwalbe Marathon tires, a complete repair kit, and a 28-liter roll-top bag with custom camo fabric. Here are a few pics and details, for those interested…

Suilven Escape, Brompton Explore video, Alastair Humphries
  • Edition Brompton Explore
  • Frame Material Steel
  • Handlebar type M type (1015mm)
  • Gears 6 speed
  • Gear Ratio Reduced (-12%) 6 speed with 44T chainring
  • Color Forest Green with Explore Orange highlight
  • Saddle Brooks Cambium C17 All Weather Saddle
  • Seatpost Standard (inside leg up to 33 inches)
  • Tires Marathon Racer Tanwall folding tyres
  • Grips Gum rubber grips – softer compound for increased comfort
  • Folded dimensions 565 (H) x 585 (W) x 270mm (D) (22.2 x 23 x 10.6″)
  • Bike Weight (approx) 11.88kg (26.2 pounds)
  • Front bag Explore Edition Borough Rolltop 28L bag
  • Suilven Escape, Brompton Explore video, Alastair Humphries
  • Suilven Escape, Brompton Explore video, Alastair Humphries

You can learn more about the Brompton Explore here. And, thanks to Al Humphreys for sending along these photos and stills.

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