Wednesday 16 March 2011

Woe is me on a Brompton!

Woe! Woe I say?

Well it had to happen at some point? Today while cycling home on my beloved Orange Brompton I heard a pop, a hiss and realised with horror that my rear tyre had been punctured! Upon closer inspection I discovered what in building circles is know as, 'a ruddy great nail.'

A cry of woe unashamedly came from my lips. I folded my bike up and had to resort to walking with the ordinary plebeians that I had now become. Hurrying home, the bike was put in the boot of my car and I raced to my nearest bike shop. This was less that 30 minutes ago. They couldn't do the repair there and then and I will have to collect it (feeling quite maudlin at this) tomorrow morning. Woe, woe again with an extra dash of woe!

How will I cope without my daily joy of using my Brompton? My first thought was to buy a second one! But I know this to be merely a rush of blood to the head, combined with a fit of the vapours! No. I will have to soldier on until tomorrow but like a child trying to get to sleep on Christmas Eve, it will not come quickly. WOE I say...woe!

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Brooks Saddle for my Brompton

Like most of you out there, buying a Brompton Folding Bike is a pretty big undertaking. They cost a fair amount and then there is the difficult choice of colour, handle bars and gearing to name but a few of the multitude of choices. One thing I totally bypassed was the saddle.

I had expected Santa to deliver me a Brooks saddle and stuff it somehow in my stocking, but alas he didn't. Perhaps it was because I had been a bad boy?

Just out of the box. I already love it!
Today, I received my order from, 'Simpson Cycles' of a brand new Brooks Saddle. Opening the box I was greeted with a leather and brass riveted masterpiece. It complements the bike really well both are design classics.

I was worried that the orange and brown leather might clash, however to my eye they go rather well. I have heard reports from some quarters that a Brooks saddle is on the hard side. I can only say that having just been on a twenty minute round trip to test it out, I found it to be more comfortable than the standard Brompton saddle. Another worry was losing the lovely moulded handle on the standard Brompton saddle. Again, I found it perfectly comfortable to hold.

The Brooks on the Brompton. I think it looks great!

The whole saddle really does look very well made and the attention to detail is high. The grain of the leather is pleasing to the eye and if anything enhances the Englishness of the Brompton itself. There was even a sealed envelope containing the care instructions and guarantee - a nice touch. I will of course have to get a tin of Brooks Proofhide at some point so that I can keep the saddle subtle and in good condition.

It is of course early days and the next few weeks will allow mew to make a more informed review. First impressions are very favourable and considering a Brooks saddle is supposed to get more comfortable once broken in, I think I am going to get to like it even more. It will also provide the look I am after when I compete and genuinely think I can win, the Brompton World Championships.

Saturday 5 March 2011

Brompton World Championship 2011

I have had my Brompton for coming up to six months. Before I even ordered my bespoke requirements I was intrigued by the Brompton World Championships. This even has been held for a few years now at Blenheim Palace. I watched lots of YouTube clips about it and thought, one day I'd like to enter that. Yesterday I got my chance.

My phone vibrated and I took it out of my pocket and glanced at it nonchalantly. My nonchalant glanced turned to high interest when I realised that it was regarding the BWC 2011.

A limited number of places had been allocated to those prepared to pay the £25 registration fee and ride for breast Cancer Care - a fantastic and worthwhile cause. More poignant as my mum had been diagnosed with this 20 years ago.

I quickly registered and signed up. I am in. My dream of one day participating with like minded eccentrics (lunatics who love little folding bikes made by Brompton above all others) was going to be realised.

As I write this I feel so excited and already looking forward to it greatly. I will of course have to put in a little training, so as not to embarrass myself as far as timings go.

I believe there are some places left for those able to ride for Breast Cancer Care which would mean you would definitely get a place, weeks before everyone else. So, if you live not too far away or even if you live further afield, give it a go. If the videos on YouTube are anything to go by, it should be good fun!