Sunday 15 July 2012

Tourists and my Raw Lacquer Brompton

After the factory ride yesterday I felt the need for an early morning fix on my Brompton. With the probability of rain low I headed out on my S2L Raw Lacquer into central London.

I had the place to myself as it often the case when venturing out early on a Sunday morning. I got as far as Piccadilly Circus where I stopped and folded up my Brompton so that I could pop in to an establishment that sold tea. As I did this I saw a family of tourists (I red heart London T-shirts over normal clothing) watching.

From the look on their faces I could see that as far as they were concerned I must be a witch or a Jedi. They were entranced. The leader of their group approached me and started to ask questions about the bike. He spoke English but I will not disclose what nation he was from. With great patience I showed them how it folded and unfolded. This is where things went sour.

The tourist leader asked very politely if he could have a go at folding my S2L Raw Lacquer Brompton. Now I need to point out to newer readers that this Brompton only sees the light of day when the weather is good. In short I love it! I said,"yes." "Of course you can," says I.

As this man attempted to fold my Brompton I watched with growing horror. Things were not going well. Inside I was starting to panic. Inside I was thinking he is going to scratch or worse still break my S2L! I remained calm until the last straw was placed on the camels back and my Brooks saddle was turned round the opposite way.

Witnessing this, it had to happen and all I could say was, "Jesus Christ almighty! That's bloody well it old man!"  I took possession of my Brompton, folded it up and walked in to the establishment that sold tea. As I sat drinking my tea I hoped that I had not caused an international incident and that the 'special relationship' would survive.


  1. Wait, wait, WAIT a minute.

    Are you saying you let someone that has never folded a bike let alone a Brompton to fold your beloved Raw Lacquer Brompton?

    Did you fall and hit your head somewhere?

    I can understand someone wanting to see it fold but I'm sorry NO ONE folds my boy EVER unless they have done it before, even then I am VERY close by just incase.

  2. Yes I know. The Saint Francis of Assisi came out in me. I doubt whether I will let anyone who has not first been professionally trained touch any of my beloved Brompton bikes again.

  3. I just finished a ride here on my Raw Lacquer B in Ventura - I would have a heart attack if someone tried to fold it (badly) too - I can think of some nationalities that would grate on my nerves with their arrogance as well (and I think of myself as a world citizen:))

  4. The sticking point for me is, why would someone ASK to fold somebody else's bike?! That is just wrong on so many levels.

  5. First off, I am glad your bike is okay!

    Personally, I prefer that people don't touch my bike. Yes, I am that particular about my bikes. The nutty thing is, people wouldn't like it, if I touched/leaned against their expensive Mercedes or BMWs, now, would they? To me, my bikes are my special things. No touching please!

    Peace :)

  6. Whilst I have lost count of the times others have watched in amazement at the fold I have never been asked by amyone who wants to have a go. I also reckon they couldnt succeed as mine has a mod that requires a very specific fold unlike any other Brompton so most would struggle!

  7. I am having too much fun reading your blog ....thanks =)


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