Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Cleaning my Orange Brompton bikes

Last Saturday afternoon I was waiting for a new router to do its things and download various updates before logging on to all things internet. While waiting, I decided to give both of my Orange Brompton bikes a good clean. 

There is something rather satisfying about getting your bikes nice and clean. The weather was quite lovely and such a change from the recent colder temperatures we have been experiencing of late. At this time of year - with the hint of better weather - thoughts would turn to cycling adventures and as I cleaned the bikes, this is what I did. 

We have now had the government inform us what to expect as far as the route out of lockdown and the dreaded C word. This means opening schools, opening shops, rule of six...the list goes on. I have to confess that as they were being listed I was thinking about when I could get out for a longer ride...perhaps to the coast? Terrible I know however I suppose we all need something to look forward to. 

Stay safe out there people!

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Produced in England but not available direct if living in England?

I was out on my Brompton yesterday for a few miles. I didn't wear cycling specific clothing - apart from my SPD cycling shoes - and just took the Brompton as headed off. At the end 20 miles I could not help in concluding that my Brooks B17 Special Edition with titanium rails was a supremely comfortable saddle. My friend Dr John had sent a link to some new addition to the Brooks lineup - coloured rivets some of which were orange - but it was not the saddles or rivets that caught my eye.

On the Brooks website is an 'important notice.' It seems that due to the changes in Brexit, they have temporarily suspended all new orders direct from Brooks to the UK. New saddles are apparently shipped to a logistics centre and from there around the world. All rather strange.

So, if you want a new Brooks saddle and you are here in the UK you will need to buy it via another source. This isn't such a big deal as you can still buy various Brooks products but I found it all rather comical. 

I remember visiting the Brooks factory a few years ago and seeing saddles being made, rivets being hammered into place etc.., and have always been a fan. Perhaps a solution will be found in the near future?

Stay safe out there people. 

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Dream of a Brompton night ride to the coast...

I don't know about you but when I get a new phone or laptop - the latter isn't that often as my MacBooks seem to last ages - I usually search out a photo to use as a screensaver. With my new and I have to say quite wonderful MacBook arriving last week, I went through this very process. 

The photo I found was from a night ride to the coast. I know that it was taken on the way to Whitstable. This particular location has some quite magical qualities about it and has often been named the Queen of rides. I wouldn't disagree. What is is doubt is the time. I think that it was taken at almost 05:00 am. 

The photo was snapped on an iPhone that I had back then, while cycling along behind the riders you can see. The sun had just risen and there was a haze all around us, that not 10 minutes later was all gone. Despite being in June I remember it being somewhat chilly, perhaps as we had not long left the warmth and sanctuary of the halfway stop.

For a few miles before and after this photo was taken, no-one said a word. The only sounds were those made by the many birds singing happily away and the sound the various bicycles made as they pedalled towards the finish and the prize of a cooked breakfast. This photo has always been one of my favourites and was a lucky capture. 

I got this photo onto my MaBook just before I retired to bed after along day. In my sleep I replayed this ride. My favourite part was reaching the point in the ride where participants reach the last left turn and are allowed to cycle as fast as they wish to the seafront. This was all so vivid that upon reaching the end of the ride - in my dream - I woke up. 

As I got ready for work I wowed to myself that along with a nocturnal Brighton adventure, the run to Whitstable will also feature in my bucket list of rides I want to do as soon as lockdown ends and we are permitted to do such journeys.