Saturday 2 March 2024

Rain and your Brompton

Rain! Recently it seems as if it has done nothing but rain and we haven't even reached April when April showers are a such a thing, it is a saying. I thought I would explore the sometimes touchy subject of rain and ones Brompton bicycle. 

Those clouds look ominous!

February 2024 is now on record as being the wettest in 200 years. A long time! If you live in the UK you are pretty used to it. The subject of the weather generally, what it has been like, predictions of what it is going to be like are topics of conversations. The opening lines when meeting new people can be the state of the weather. Standing at a bus stop (I don't but you get the idea) and engaging in smalltalk can be all about how hot, cold, wet, windy (or all of these) if oft used to fill awkward silences. Many weather presenters have become celebrities in their own right. You get the idea. 

I actually don't mind the rain at all. If you have read my blog for a while, you may remember me mentioning my dearly departed mum. She never let the rain stop be doing anything and would get us all out no matter how heavily it fell. I suppose I am very much the same now. I do draw the line at some of my Brompton bikes however. 

My Orange Titanium is my summer Brompton and a do not really like taking it out in bad weather. My other Brompton bikes I don't mind. I have a friend who loves their Brompton Electric and especially when it rains. He always tells me that in driving rain - often with an accompanying strong headwind - the power from the motor up front is nothing short of joyous. 

Not for the wet stuff!

Any Brompton is more than capable of being used when raining but many decide not to, or get another one they can use when raining. It is all rather silly. What do you think?

Until next time, stay safe out there people!

Sunday 25 February 2024

Brompton London amble

Having an amble on ones Brompton is London is one of those simple pleasures that rarely disappoints. I could have headed off to a group ride where country lanes would have been a feature. I decide that I could not cope with that, preferring the urban. 

Yesterday I headed down from N6 and thankfully did not encounter any strange goings on while freewheeling down Swain'e Lane! The closer I got to Regent's Park, Marylebone Road and beyond I could see a growing and sizable police presence. I later discovered from various chanting of fans that it was a football match later on between Chelsea and Liverpool. 

Finding myself at the other side of Westminster Bridge, as I headed west (at least I think it was west) I encountered that view that it seems every tourist in London tries to capture. Oh well I thought, I may as well too. Despite being early there was already an influencer type with a nifty floor tripod holding two - yes two - iPhones. There was also some sort of run going on as several jogger ran past. As the influencer went to right to put on more makeup, I took my opportunity for the photo below. Sadly, a jogger was to knock over said tripod and I could heard the argument from quite a distance away.

The Palace of Westminster in the photo below is the meeting location of the Parliament of the UK. Its more common name is the Houses of Parliament. Rebuilt between 1840 - 1876 it is a rather pretty building which is possibly the only kind description most can muster. 

Further down the river stands Battersea Power Station. This is now a shopping centre and luxury flats. It is wonderful that this iconic building was saved and the entire area has been transformed. Not that long ago it was a derelict site with the prospect of it falling into decay.

Battersea Park is always rather lovely and the Peace Pagoda build in 1984 is always something that can brighten up a grey morning in London. Opened in 1858 it was previously called Battersea Field and popular for those wishing to settle a score. Coming up to the anniversary of 21st March 1829, the Duke of Wellington and the Earl of Winchilsea met there to settle a matter of honour. When the moment came, Wellington aimed his shot wide and Winchilsea shot into the air. On this day in the past, some reenact the scene. 

Albert Bridge, jointly designed by no less than Joseph Bazalgette and opened in 1872, it is more many their favourite London bridge. 

Oakley Street which lead onto Albert Bridge is quite an interesting one for several reasons. 

The first is that Antarctic Explorer Robert Flacon Scott used to live there. 

A few houses up at 42 is the former home of Bob Marley. Across the road at 87 is a plaque for Jane Wilde, Oscar Wilde's mum! 

Heading back north, I could not help but stop at the Royal Geographical Society and get a photo of Sir Ernest Shackleton. The old man is still looking rather good and staring up at him I could not help but think about the many times I have done just that. 

Wherever you live, I am sure that you have the equivalent of a Brompton amble. Let know if you do. 

Until next time, stay safe out there people!

Thursday 22 February 2024

Dream build - Vol.1 The Millionth Brompton

If you are a Brompton fanboy/fangirl you will have almost certainly seen that Brompton made their 1,000,00th Brompton. To many, it looks a shade of red but to me I can see - well no guesses needed - a hint of orange. It does remind me of my first ever Brompton that was gifted to me when I went up to university. 

That particular Brompton was either made in 1989 or 1990 - to my shame I cannot really say. It was black and red...but to me always an orange tinge. I used this bike quite a lot when at university and back then, seeing another Brompton really was a cause for celebration. Steel yourselves for the next bit! In the time I had it, I had no punctures, didn't put a great deal of oil on the chain, hardly ever cleaned it and rarely pumped up the tyres! It was reliable and never let me down. At the end of my studies, in much the same way it was gifted to me, I passed in on to someone else who might be able to put it to use. What an idiot I was!

Anyway, enough about all that. There is a Brompton video you can find by searching the title of this blog. In this the 1,000,000th Brompton is assembled. It is quite hypnotic to the type of persons I have already mentioned. Definitely worth a look. 

This particular Brompton has been on tour around the world. I think that this has now come to an end but I do not know where it lives? Perhaps one of you out there reading this could let me know. 

Until next time, stay safe out there people!