Sunday 30 August 2015

Come on Garmin...I might just use my iPhone!

I have a Garmin 810 and after a recent update to the 'Connect' app on my iPhone 6, like many other users out there (some of which have vented their frustration on the review section for this app on the app store) I cannot sync rides stored on my 810 directly to my iPhone!

This is something you could obviously do quite happily and for many was the reason why they upgraded to the 810. I think 510 users and others devices are also suffering the same fate.

I believe that the app was updated supposedly to counter this problem, however it still exists. I have just updated the firmware on the 810 to version 4.20 along with the 'Garmin Express' desktop software and was hopeful that normal service would be resumed, however I can report that for me at least there is no change. 'Upload Failed' is the message displayed every time I try to sync!

This also means that the 'Livetrack' function also does not work. If I want to upload a ride I have to plug the 810 into my Mac and sync the old fashioned way.

This does lead me to think yet again about the need for a Garmin 810 at all!? I mean, for navigation I have yet to find something as good as Google Maps, which offers turn by turn directions and more importantly voice commands. In addition all the data gathered from the 810 can gained from all manner of cycling apps. So, come on Garmin or you just might find me using my iPhone from now on...

Monday 24 August 2015

Reader Photos Tab

Hello Dear Readers.

Thank you to all of you who have responded to my blog post CLICK HERE requesting that you email some photos of your own Brompton bicycle, tell me the specs etc.

I will do my best to get your photos posted as soon as I can, so be patient. You might want to have a look at the READERS PHOTOS tab if you haven't already done so.

Please keep them coming as it has been great to hear about your bikes and I know that lots of you like  seeing them.

Another SPD Shoe Disaster

Sadly the stitching on my new SPD shoes I bought from Decathlon - click HERE for my review - started to come away after only a few rides. Not overly impressed to be honest but getting a refund from Decathlon was a pain free process.

I now search for a new pair but having looked at the slightly updated version of the Specialized SPD shoes I currently have, I can see that they have made the velcro straps much shorter and therefore almost certainly solving the problem I had with them being too long.

The Decathlon shoes at £45 are fairly cheap for this kind of thing and perhaps I just got a bad pair. Have to say though I didn't like them enough to just get a replacement pair and I suspect I'll be wearing another pair of Specialized some time soon.

Saturday 22 August 2015

Drama on Box Hill Loop!

In the Jane Austen novel, 'Emma' there is a passage that describes a picnic at Box Hill. This was and is a location offering stunning views. The chance to cycle to this location and back again from Kew Gardens was too good an opportunity to miss. There are however some caveats to this. First we would be arriving at Box Hill in darkness and see none of this famous views and I suspect Jane Austen might have a fit of the vapours at our journey and stop-off location...

The only real cycling I have done in recent weeks has been the Brompton World Championships, so I was keen to get back into the swing of things. Meeting at Kew Gardens were David (our ride leader), his son, and Tom. Setting off at 19:00 we were to meet another two brave souls at Hampton Court Station. Andrew was signed up for this ride but sadly wasn't able to come.

I was going to take my Titanium Orange Brompton as it was a particularly fine evening but as it was a night ride I wanted the joys of a front dynamo hub and its constant illumination, so my trusty P6L came out to play. (Remember this statement for later on).

David set a keen pace and before we knew it we were through Bushy Park. This area has been settled for over 4000 years with Bronze Age finds. When Henry VIII took over nearby Hampton Court it was established as a hunting ground.

As we neared Hampton Court Station we saw Tony and Zoom Zoom. Both are perhaps the most stylish of all Brompton riders and it was good to see them both. Soon we were off again into a night that was quite humid and for the most part devoid of any heavy or even light winds.

The ride to Box Hill from Kew is uphill, although it isn't really anything too taxing. Views gradually become more and more obscure as darkness descended.

One part of the ride I do not look forward to is something called the 'Claygate Badlands.' This is a bridal track through a small wood and after the sun has gone down is a chilling location for many reasons!

The track soon becomes mud and one wrong move could see a rider falling from their bicycle. In addition to this is the fact that it is a well used bridal path with the evidence of horses travelling through all over the place! Trying to negotiate this is perilous. At one point stones rise out of the ground at acute angles, thus providing yet another object to avoid. How we all made it out in one piece I do not now!? If a camera had of been trained on my face you would have seen me giving what can only be described as a withering look until I reached the open road.

Our progress towards Box Hill was brisk and I felt my fitness had suffered for not riding as often as I perhaps should. Soon Box Hill came into view and without any fanfare we made our ascent. David, his son, Tom and Tony were up pretty quickly and Zoom Zoom was...well zooming up now that his had replaced his tubeless tyres for Marathons.

We made it and once regrouped we headed for the Smith and Western pub, a wild west themed establishment at Box Hill. I have to confess it is a joy for several reasons. Firstly I cannot abide Jane Austen and I suspect a themed pub would have offend her greatly as it would people who for some reason dress up as characters from her books.

We placed our order and every so often a country and western musical classic could be heard over the singing of 'happy birthday' to various patrons therein. We sat outside, which was the best location as it afforded us the delights of a cool breeze.

The Smith and Western really is worth a visit and although I have yet to do so, one day I will take Mrs Orange and the Orangettes there.

The night was still pretty warm as we left at about 22:30. The go thing is that the remainder of the ride was more or less flat or downhill, with the odd climb here and there.

Sadly after about 15 minutes in the bracket for my front dynamo light snapped...AGAIN!! I don't know what it is about them but this is now the second time for me and David said that he was on his third (the third snapping while participating at the recent Brompton World Championships no less). I did have a spare in my saddlebag but not wanting to delay anyone, a rubber band secured it is place for the remainder of the ride.

Luckily I had my CatEye Volt light with me, so I changed the mode from flash to constant and I was okay. I do have to report that I missed the dynamo light a great deal! It really does illuminate the road in a way a standalone light cannot.

Of course when we returned to the 'Claygate Badlands' I took things carefully as my front light was not as good as my dynamo one. More withering looks!

Just before Hampton Court we said goodbye to Zoom Zoom. It was lovely to see him again and I hope I see him again on another ride soon. Pressing on we passed through Richmond where lots of people, who should have known better looked worse for wear. At Kew Gardens the ride was over and we said goodbye, going our separate ways.

This was an excellent little ride and the pace was good too at 13.4 mph which I enjoyed. I have replaced my bracket for a new one and ordered a couple of spares just in case. I will finally change over the 44t chainring for a 50t as I hate the 44t. I have said this to myself for ages as I tend to keep spinning and spinning. The 50t or perhaps going back to the 54t will suit me better, even though the 44t was supposed to be my tourer.

Many thanks to all my fellow riders and especially to David who again guided us safely and kept us going at a good pace.

Brompton Diary?

I don't know about you but even in this technical age where smartphones and tablets dominate, I still use a diary to keep track of what I am up to. This got me thinking about what sort of diary I'd really like?

Recently I was at the RSPB headquarters at Sandy and while there I spied a 2016 diary. In addition to using my iPhone I usually have a picket diary as well. Having not bought one yet for 2016 I picked it up had a look and liked what I saw.

It was very birding specific and had things like tide times, a list of all the bird species for the UK that you could also tick off. I liked that and then I go to thinking, surely Brompton should make their own yearly diary!

Imagine it. Brompton logo, quality paper, maintenance guides, training schedules...the list could go on and on. The important thing is that it would be an official Brompton product and that means quality. There lots of items you can buy out there with Brompton logos on them that are quite simply garbage and little more than an expensivce joke.

I have written many times that Brompton should invest more in the merchandising side of their brand.  How many of you would buy a Brompton diary if it wasn't outrageously priced? I know I would.

Thursday 13 August 2015

I want your photo!

I need your help dear reader!

The readers of this blog are from all over the world. Their backgrounds are varied as are their ages. In addition to this the types of Brompton people own is very different - colour, type, what they use it for.

What I would very much like to do is to ask you to:

  • Send me a photo of your Brompton (it can be just of your Brompton alone or one of you with your Brompton)
  • Short description of your Brompton e.g. Black M6R, Brooks saddle, Shimano dynamo hub
  • What do you use for Brompton for
  • Why you own a Brompton
You can send this to:

What I will do is wait until a few of you have replied and then post a extra tab so that you and others can view them.

If you are anything like me, you might want to ride your Brompton to a particularly good landmark etc.., to use as a backdrop for your Brompton. Of course it is up to you.

It would be great if we could get this off the ground. Look out in the next few days for an extra tab dedicated to just this.

Many thanks all.

Wednesday 12 August 2015

London Skyline Photos

Today I had the opportunity to gain some quite spectacular views of London. Armed with a couple of my cameras I headed off with some enthusiasm into the heart of London.

Sadly my Brompton had to stay at home as today I had nowhere to lock it up safely. Normally I convince one of my friends who either live or work nearby to look after my Brompton but they all had the nerve to be on holiday!

The first thing to say is that the photos do not do the views justice. They are breathtaking and it takes some time to stop being overwhelmed or pick out every famous building or landmark you can spot.

When I was looking around at the views below I could not help but look for the routes of some of the cycle rides / adventures I have been on over the years. I saw the London Eye meeting point. Our journeys east towards Canary Wharf, O2 and Woolwich. I saw some of the locations we have been on night rides. Happy memories of past and as I will be repeating many in the future, lots of happy times to look forward to.

I used two cameras. One has a 24-200 mm lens and the other a 25-400 mm lens. As you can see I was able to zoom in quite well and some of the people on top of St Paul's Cathedral can just about be seen.

Many of us were hoping to see some peregrines which can be seen perching high up on the Tate Modern. Sadly they were not seen today.

One thing that I picked out today was the number of roof gardens. I am a big fan of these and think more buildings should have them.

While up in the heavens we saw a bi-plane quite high up in the sky. I can only imagine where it was going?

The Walkie-Talkie is for the moment the near star in town and lots of people could be seen taking in the views from the viewing area. This is free and open to the public but you do have to book some time in advance.

The Shard is in many ways a love or hate building for many people. I have to say I am not a fan but in time it might grow on me.

Opening my rucksack I brought out my lunch and starting eating enjoying some of the best views in London. As I glanced over at The Gerkin I saw a small opening. Upon closer inspection and zooming in all the way I took a photo of a worker having his lunch.

I have been able to do this a few times now but it always seems as fresh and exciting as the first time I stepped out to see these incredible views. Many thanks to David L for organising and letting me come and I hope to see you again at some point in the near future.

Monday 10 August 2015

Top 10 tips for coping after the Brompton World Championships!

The Brompton World Championships is THE premier cycling event bar none. The recent 2015 event, still fresh in my memory was quite simply brilliant. The location, fast paced circuit and the fact it was the 10th anniversary all worked their magic in making it a very special occasion. However, the intense highs are invariably followed by some lows, especially when BWC 2016 is a year away! Continue reading for some tips on how to cope in the wilderness that is waiting for the next Brompton World Championships. (I may well be speaking about the BWC here in the UK but what I offer below is applicable to anyone who had competed in any of the BWC's around the globe).

#1 Winter is coming!

It might well be but dispel all negative thoughts from your mind. Do not listen to any little voices inside your head offering a negative vibe. You must remain upbeat at all times even though the BWC seems so long away. Mental toughness is needed but you can do it.

#2 The Unfold

It is vital that during the long winter months you practice the unfold! It must be done again and again...and then again for good measure. You and your Brompton must almost become one, where the fluidity of your movements are so natural you do not have to simply do!

Get your other half, your children, parents, friends or work colleagues to time you. You need to get the unfold done in under 10 seconds. Anything more and you will need to practice. It will be hard, but you can do it!

#3 Eye of the Tiger

It is going to be some time until the next BWC and if you are not careful you might lose that fighting spirit. To maintain your almost coiled spring-like state, get close family members / friends to periodically say 'Eye of the Tiger' at you. This loaded statement will provide you with a reminder of the racing you have done and what is to come in the future.

You might also want to consider occasionally looking yourself in the mirror and say the words 'Eye of the Tiger' to yourself and at yourself. If you are from the UK this might be difficult as first and not come naturally. You must persevere! 'Eye of the Tiger!'

#4 Training - You are an international world class athlete after all!!

I do not feel I did any specific training for BWC 2015 and certainly need to do more in the next 12 months. Having participated in the Brompton World Championships you are now an international world class athlete and as such you need a training regime. Of course this is going to involve #3 but you will need to start now and not leave it too late. For me this is going to mean more circuits of Richmond Park and upping my overall millage.

#5 A Brompton is for life, not just the BWC

Your Brompton needs to be used as often as possible. Riding a Brompton will make you happier, fitter, save you money on commuting costs and allow you to obtain a greener carbon footprint. Riding a Brompton on your commute, to the local shops for some supplies or just going out on an adventure will all help.

#6 Where did it all go wrong?!

No matter where you placed in the BWC you need to evaluate your race. What went well and what didn't go quite so well? You need to be honest. For me I will be thinking about the following:

  • Should have paid more attention at the start and not crashed into the back of someone still unfolding
  • Pushed much harder in the race (see #3)
  • Put a bigger chain ring on
  • Worn shorts instead of trousers
  • Lose a few kg's 
Only if you look objectively can you improve next time.

#7 Go truly international

If you cannot wait the full 12 months until the next BWC wherever that is for you, why not attend one of the BWC taking place around the world?! It might be an excellent opportunity to test out the things you put right (#6). 

#8 'The Great British Bake Off'

In the long wait for the next BWC you will need something totally removed from Brompton and racing. What you need is a television series that you can follow in the times when you are not thinking of the BWC or ways to improve your performance. For me it is going to be BBC's 'The Great British Bake Off.' Of course this will have a limited run and not last a year so when this programme finishes, I will turn to 'Game of Thrones.' Make sure you do choose something as you will need something else to occupy your mind in addition to thought of the BWC.

#9 Your Brompton

Just like #6 where you looked in at yourself to see where it all went wrong, you also need to have a look at your own Brompton. Can you make it more 'race spec?' You might want to consider:

Taking those mudguards off
Using Kojaks (I should have done this)
A lighter saddle if you normally have for example a Brooks normally fitted
Go clipped in as far as pedals are concerned

A little time spent thinking about how you could make your commuter hack more race ready might just be the edge you need.

#10 The Commute

Your commute is important. I do not want you to do anything that is illegal, against the highway code, dangerous or ungainly. You must remain a gentleman / lady at all times...standards! What I propose is that should you see a roadie or any other cyclist for that matter on your commute, as long as you can do so safely, chase them down! Overtake them! Get those legs turning and pass them as swiftly as you dare. While doing this have #3 in you mind!

One word of caution though. In this heightened state you might not just think #3 but actually come out with it as you go past said cyclist. This is not something I advise as they might take exception to someone on a Brompton going past yelling out 'Eye of the Tiger baby!' 

There you have it. Ten top tips for coping with the aftermath of the Brompton World Championships. Let me know how you get on as I and the rest of you reading would surely love to hear about your efforts. As for me, the training for BWC 2016 stars now!

Thursday 6 August 2015

Going Batty!

After the Brompton World Championships I had a rather unusual appointment to keep. My youngest Orangette had spied that there was a 'bat walk' at a nature reserve we occasionally visit and liking the idea of doing something different, Mrs Orange and I went as well.

We met just before 21:00 and to my surprise it wasn't fully dark. A glorious full moon also illuminated the way of course.

The Bat Lady, for want of a better description handed Orangette #2 a digital bat machine that allowed you to turn a dial to tune into the various frequency of bat. 

When activated, any bats that flew by - and there were loads - could be heard with audible high pitched clicks. It was all very 'BBC Springwatch' and already we were fascinated.

We did think that this was all terribly high-tech until the Bat Lady brought out her iPad and attached a small little white box into the charging port. Turning her iPad on to a specific app that worked in conjunction with the small white box, a visual representation of the sounds different bats made was displayed across the screen. She was even able to tell what type of bat it was via the app and detect several different bat types at once. (We could only lock in one frequency at a time).

The bats we picked up on the various machines included:
  • Soprano pipistrelle (lots of these)
  • Common pipistrelle 
  • Noctule
  • Daubenton's bat

Seeing bats in flight isn't something new as occasionally we see them flying when it starts to get dark over our back garden, if we're been sitting outside. What was very different was the shear number. There were loads and their agility and speed exceeded that of common garden birds.

We watched the bats fly around a lake catching insects from the inside of a hide. Again there were dozens of them and they could just about be seen thanks to the full moon.

After about 90 minutes we made our way back, thanked the Bat Lady and made our way home for a hot cup of tea.

I am not really into bats but I can honestly say it was a quite unique way to spend an evening and for me better than simply sitting in front of a television, although writing that I or my family rarely find ourselves doing that.

If you are in the UK, I am sure that if you have a look at the websites of local reserves (RPSB, Wetlands Centre, Wildlife Trust) you will find bat walks. I say give it a go. What's the worst that can happen? It certainly makes for an interesting night out.

Below I have provided a link to the 'Bat Conservation Trust' website where you can find out more about the bats I have mentioned and actually listen to what their respective calls are like.

Link to Bat Conservation Trust

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Video of my Brompton World Championships 2015

The Brompton World Championships 2015 has been and gone sadly. In short it was brilliant and I loved it. If you have't seen my thoughts on it you can do so by clicking HERE

Strapped to the rear of my seat was my Garmin Virb. Lots of people have front facing cameras but I have always quite liked this rear facing view.

As always view the footage in its full 1080p glory if you can via the link below.

Sunday 2 August 2015

Brompton World Championships 2015 - Brutal, Exhilarating, Brilliant!

What a day! My title for this blog post pretty much sums up my thoughts and feelings about this wonderful Brompton event but please continue to read to find out what my take on it all was.

There are medals and there are medals (wipes a tear away)

The morning was a bit of a blur and I had a few family drop offs to attend to before I headed into central London. I was meeting John and Mark (King of the Hill) at 13:00 by the Eros Statue in Piccadilly Circus. Getting there was an interesting experience it itself...

I cycled the few miles from Queens Park and wearing my full Brompton World Championships attire certainly brought more than a few glances. I had people pointing, pointing and laughing, people who looked confused and people who fumbled for their phones to take a photo.

By the time I had reached the Edgware Road I was glad I had given myself plenty of time to get to Piccadilly Circus as a few times when I stopped at lights I was greeted by strangers wanting to have their picture taken with me.

Reaching Piccadilly Circus and standing near Eros - a time honoured meeting point - things got even worse! Tourists gratuitously stood and posed near me, some embraced me as if I were a long lost relative in the pursuit of the a selfie. I have to report that I got little in the way of support from Mrs Orange when I rang her and could just about hear faint laughter over the din of the traffic. I suppose I was asking for it.

Thankfully John arrived so my conversation with Mrs Orange and my youngest Orangette who had simply shouted out, 'dad!!' when I dropped her off at her Grandmas house (in said outfit) came to an end. It was good to see John but sadly he was not racing.

Soon after that Mark arrived and we decided to head into the Brompton area on The Mall. When we arrived there were lots of familiar faces and some rather kind people who identified themselves as readers of this humble blog.

I met some lovely people from 'The Brompton Mafia' who were here in London all the way from various parts of America. I was given some stickers which I was very pleased about and one now sits happily on both my Brompton bikes. (I'll want more at some point)!!

Mark and I put our bikes in a holding pen and were then able to leave them happy in the knowledge that they would be safe - great organisation.

With quite some time to kill we had a great view of the riders participating in the 'Prudential RideLondon.' This looked immense fun as riders of all ages, on all manner of bicycle for one day only were able to cycle a route in central London, traffic free.

The look on the riders faces told you everything you needed to know. It was inclusive and fun and it was lovely to see families out on bicycles enjoying the freedom.

Of course attention soon turned to the race. We had come specifically for the Brompton World Championships. Mark was looking pensive and I wasn't far behind. Mark was worried about a knee problem - more about that later!

All sorts of things raced through my mind. I was pondered upon whether I should have gone for shorts over trousers? Should I really have brought my camera with me or just stuck to my iPhone? Had I left the iron on after a vigorous and thorough pressing of said trousers? I was then back to the shorts over trousers...


As if by magic to take our minds off such trivialities, lots of familiar faces came into view. Harry from Small Wheel Big Difference (have a look back at my early blogs for lots of posts on them) was there and it was the first I had seen him in several years. He looked well and it was lovely to see him. I did say to Harry that it was partly down to joining Small Wheels on their training rides that spurred me on to do more myself.

David and Paul

I also bumped into Issy who I first met on a Small Wheels ride (which was also the first time I met my friend Geoff I think). Issy actually won the BWC in 2013 and in the meantime had the joys of starting a family. Back and looking in good form I had high hopes for her on a relatively flat and fast circuit. In fact my prediction was proved correct as Issy was the fastest lady! Well done to her and I hope she returns next year.

Also saw Steve D, yet another great character who was looking pretty sharp. Lawrence, a veteran of the Nocturne and BWC was also there. Mick, co-founder of our brilliant little London based Brompton Club was also there as a spectator as it was great to see him after far too long!! (Need to see more or you Mick).  Susan and David were also around (again we need to see more you two).  There were too many people to mention, both familiar faces and people kind enough to say they were readers of my blog.

The outfits of course were wonderful. Participants put in a great deal of effort and looked stunning. Mrs Orange and my Orangettes said that I might stand a better chance of winning the worst dressed man, if such a category existed. Perhaps I should suggest this to Brompton?

I hope he didn't reach like this!

Sam, with orange wig and the gift of a custom made orange bow tie, represented my pit crew and minded my bag. She is not only a lovely person but a great character and I only wish she had of been racing herself. I was however very grateful and more so when I heard her encourage me throughout the race itself!

Thanks Sam!

The time came for us to start to get our bikes from the holding area and take them to the grid. I still felt fine and Mark and I wished others good luck as we made our way to our allowed positions.

When the window of opportunity opened to sign up for the Brompton World Champions came, I did so as quickly as possible on my iPhone. You had to out in an estimate of the time it might take you to complete the eight laps. To my surprise I found myself quite high up on the pecking order. Again I said hello to the seriously quick Gavin Morton and was rubbing shoulders with lots of other highly regarded quick types. Further up was Joe B (another seriously fast rider) who won the best dressed man last year in a suit that should have won it again. Then there was me. I wondered whether the spectators opposite would, 'suss me out' to use common parlance? With this in mind I started to limber up a little and do some stretches...I mean isn't that what one is supposed to do!?

Bob, another great character who was not only doing the BWC but also the Ride100 tomorrow came over to ask if I had my camera with me as there was a chap he wanted his photo taken with. The chap in question was David Millar the former professional road racing cyclist. When lining up my iPhone to take the photo I saw Chris Boardman...I mean THE Chris Boardman. I pointed at him and said 'its Chris Boardman!' under my breath and shook hands with the man. Moments later I was also having my photo taken with Mr Millar with Chris Boardman in the background.

There was a large screen which displayed people being interviewed about the race. Knowing that I stood out (even at the Brompton World Championships) I was hoping the interviewer would gloss past me, as I turned my back to do more lunges and stretches.

Sadly this didn't work and my brief moment in the sun came and went. I cringed through the entire 40 seconds. I can only imagine what Mrs Orange and my Orangettes would have said had they of been there in person!

This continued until it got close to 17:00. With a less than a minute to go a silence descended. I felt my heart race and for the first time, the realisation that things were about to start I felt a few nerves. We were told that there would be a countdown and the few seconds waiting for this seemed like an eternity.

The announcer started the countdown, quickly joined by spectators and participants alike. We were off and the 10th Brompton World Championships, in London had begun...

I went to my beloved Titanium Brompton unfolded and set off. I got about 30 metres, pressed record on my Garmin 810 and before I could do anything about it went straight into the back of another rider. Should have paid more attention. I apologised and carried on as did he moments later. My front brake was knocked to one side a little and for a few metres rubber was rubbing on the rim but all was okay.

To my right I saw other riders crash into each other and a couple off their bikes. No injuries as they were soon overtaking me. This felt like a very fast circuit. For the first couple of laps I was averaging over the 20mph mark.

The circuit was brutal and trying to find a train to follow almost impossible. There were either riders too slow or too fast for me to keep up with, so I was resigned to going it alone.

Lap 3 I found it hard to breath and had to lower my pace a little. Feeling better quite quickly I upped the pace as much as I could, as much as I dared. This race was exhilarating and even this early on I have to say it was better than both Blenheim and Goodwood.

On several parts of the course I had spectators shouting out words of encouragement. This was great and I wanted to acknowledge them but couldn't see where they were as we we all zipping by so quickly.

On the Horseguards section a rider was down and for the next couple of laps we had to take care while she was attended to.

The going got pretty tough on lap 5 and 6 as I started to pass some slower riders. Trying to overtake them on the right proved to be difficult as many were doing the same. One had to be careful.

Lap 6 I overtook my riding partner Andrew. He looked strong and was motoring away. As I passed him I shouted out, 'come on Andrew!'

Lap 7 was to be my last as I was in lapped by the front of the pack on their 8th. The speed they went past was incredible and mighty impressive. With the checkered flag being raised we were guided off the track. My Brompton World Championships for 2015, the 10th anniversary and the first to be held in London was over.

The medal (always something I love getting) was extra special this year. It was a cog wheel! Such a fitting medal for this special year.

Sadly, when I looked in my jacket pocket to take some better pictures, it was gone! I suspect that it must have fallen out on my cycle home after the race. I was carrying a small backpack and stuffed what I could from the goodie bag therein and in my pockets. Running on the high from the BWC I didn't exactly poodle home and took things at a pace and this is probably why it went. Trying to think of a word to describe my feelings about this, devastated is probably about right.

How did I do? Well I managed to ride 9.39 miles in just over 29 minutes which I am happy with. I could have shaved off another 30-40 seconds off if I hadn't of been an idiot and crashed into the back of someone at the start, but these things happen. If I am lucky for next year:

  • Lose 4kg in weight
  • Shorts, not trousers
  • Kojaks on again (weather permitting) and not Marathons
  • Train harder and start this much earlier
  • More fluids before race
  • More fuel before race
  • Bigger chain ring
  • Remove the lining from my jacket in a nod to 3 x winner Dr Hutch

As for the others. Mark came 25th! Brilliant or what. Everyone else did really well too. David, Geoff and Bob recorded faster times than me and Andrew looked strong and I think put in his best BWC performance.

Seeing Andrew after I'd parked my Brompton in the pens again we went to get out goodie bags. These canvas bags contained all sorts of goodies and the big kid in me loves this sort of thing. I also bumped into Dr Hutch and was this time brave enough to have a brief chat with him. I thanked him for allowing to be interviewed some time ago and asked how the race went. Sadly it didn't go his way.

We chewed the fat for a while and talked about our races - which believe me were all totally different.  With others starting to do and with me having another engagement at 21:00 (another blog post at some point) I said my goodbyes and headed off as well.

What an event this Brompton World Championships was! This was number five for me and I have to say possibly the best so far for several reasons:

  • Location, location, location - what a location!
  • The circuit - it was brutal but I loved it!
  • Organisation - the Brompton / RideLondon partnership worked well and this was a highly organised event
  • Brompton staff - friendly of course, but many out there in the thick of it racing just like everyone else

I absolutely loved it and even as I type this, the hairs on the back of my neck are tingling as I recall some of the memories. My suspicion is that Brompton will be back here in London next year. They would be mad not to in my opinion. This means that there will probably be a dreaded ballot. I only hope that I am lucky enough as I want another crack!

Brompton have done it again and put on an event that will allow us Bromptonians to dine out on for a good few months to come.  They are a company that always seems to be moving forward, not scared of change and willing to listen to us their loyal customers. I cannot explain why I am so devoted to brand Brompton but I am not alone. I have posed the question, what other company has anything like the Brompton World Championships before and I am still thinking of what that company might be?

For me the training for BWC 2016 starts now! I will come back stronger, faster, leaner, will find an even more hideous orange themed outfit to embarrass my family and most importantly have fun along the way. Riding a Brompton is fun and I intend to have lots of it in my prep for 2016! If in the next 12 months you are in London during the witching hour walking down The Mall after a night out, should you see some Brompton bicycles flying out for a chap on an Orange one!

Map and ride data recorded on Garmin 810