Brompton put out a tweet today asking people to come up with some tips for the Brompton World Championships. I along with many others offered my suggestions and some were even retweeted by Brompton. It did get me thinking about putting together a little guide for the discerning, gentleman rider.
There are many types of blazer/jackets out there. Sadly, the bespoke, tailor made are a rare sight. If your blazer or jacket is off the peg, do not worry. Follow these simple steps. I must state that I am referring to single breasted blazers/jackets. (If you have a double-breasted type, I suggest you seek advice elsewhere).
For a two button blazer/jacket, the top button is all that is needed to be fastened. If both are done up you run the risk of being labelled at best a cad.
For three button blazer/jacket the middle button should be fastened. If all three are done up people may tut.
Brompton allows riders to run to their folded bikes. A gentleman does not run! The only times a gentleman is permitted to run is in a time of war or if he is late for his wedding. I will not be running.
Being overtaken by better riders
Let's be blunt about this. Unless you are semi-professional, you will be overtaken. This may induce one to let fly a profanity. This is not the conduct of a gentleman! If you must say anything at all you might want to consider the following, which should be said under ones breath.
"Oh dash it all!"
"If that doesn't take the giddy biscuit!"
With modern fashions as they are there has been a move towards not shaving and cultivating stubble. I suggest that gentleman rider shave before departing. This will have two benefits. First, the absence of stubble will increase aerodynamic efficiency. Second, it will ensure people do not mistake you as being a member of the criminal classes.
Your beloved Brompton does need as much attention as you can give. Tyres need to be inflated to the correct pressures. The chain would benefit from some oil and generally you need to give things the once over. Of course the gentleman rider will leave this to someone else, as I have done.
As you travel around the course whether it be the Marathon, the Brompton World Championships itself or the Sprint, remember that a sense of fair play and abiding by the rules is a must. So, don't stray into the middle of the course just for the sake of it as you may be mistaken for a cad and bounder. Keep to the left.
Before reading further I must warn you that the following advice may cause a great deal of upset. Please steel yourself for the worst.
Right, if you are still reading the shirt is a very important item. As the gentleman rider will almost certainly get hot, it would be better to wear a short sleeved shirt.
A short sleeved shirt is not really something a gentleman would wear in this country and at best would only be acceptable if visiting the tropics, however for the Brompton World Championships it is perfectly acceptable. It will keep the gentleman rider cooler, which can only be a good thing.
The tie is a very important item indeed. Old school ties, sporting clubs, University etc.., are all acceptable as are ties that are colour coordinated to the colour of ones Brompton. Under no circumstances wear a bow tie unless you possess a Ph.D., in Geography.
Today when you meet someone I believe some people use the following 'street talk:'
What's up bruv?
How's it going dog?
Word to your mother, blood!
This really will not do for the discerning gentleman rider. A shaking of the hand is traditional but a simple greeting of, 'what ho!' will cover all social interactions.
The night before the Brompton World Championships try and eat some pasta and drink plenty of water. On the big day have porridge or a couple of poached eggs and again drink plenty of water. On route have a banana and continue to drink water. By doing this you will not be like the sickly child with a note from Matron, sitting on the sidelines.
Arrive for your chosen event in good time so that you are not late, panic and feel the need to run. (Please see above).
If you follow these easy and simple steps, you will have a fantastic Brompton World Championships. See you on Sunday!