Monday 12 February 2018

2018 Brompton World Championships - some thoughts

Over the last week the inbox for the contact email address for this blog has been busier than usual as the day for when people find out whether they have got in to the 2018 Brompton World Championships got ever closer. Today was that day and the emails were flying around letting people who had entered the ballot  know whether they were in or out.

The emails to my inbox have generally covered the following:

  • London wasn't as good as Blenheim Place 
  • London wasn't as good as Goodwood
  • £50 for 30 minutes of racing is too much
  • There isn't the same family atmosphere as there was at Blenheim or Goodwood
  • It isn't an event for British owner as too many competitors are from overseas
  • It isn't inclusive as only 550 places are available
  • I didn't get in last year
  • Brompton only cares about marketing 
  • You and your Brompton chums get guaranteed entry
  • We should boycott the 2018 as so many of loyal owners didn't get in
  • We should have a UK Brompton Championships as well as the World Championships 

The last time I participated in the Brompton World Championships was 2015 and I have to say I loved it. For 2016 I didn't get in. Last year I didn't actually enter - but eldest Orangette did on my behalf and I still didn't get in. Zoom forward to 2018 and for the third year running I haven't got in. (Can't say I am surprised).

If you got in, congratulations! Will you enjoy the event...absolutely! It will provide lots of memories that you will be able to dine out on for many months and you can say to anyone who listens that you competed at the World Championships of THE premier cycling event. My advice is start the training and preparation now - which is half the fun!

If you didn't get in, bad luck but get over it and try again next year. Some of the comments flying around in these emails and out there on the inter web  make me wonder whether they were made by adults? It is almost as if some would be prepared to put their Brompton bicycle on eBay as a result of not getting into the BWC 2018.

I was going to write a general blog post in reply to some of these comments but it occurred to me that I had already done this back in 2015! I post a link to that below.

I will address a couple of these however. Neither I, nor any of my Brompton friends I regularly ride with have had automatic entry into the BWC or any Brompton event for that matter. Like you we sign up and hope for the best. My last BWC was 2015 -  as was a certain equally colourful friend of mine. I would like to think I have done my bit for Brompton over the years being a visible presence at all manner of cycling events and hopefully via this blog but there is no special relationship between myself and Brompton as a company and therefore no special treatment.

The one that keeps cropping up is that Brompton doesn't care any more about its customers/existing Brompton owners and is only concerned about marketing. I have never understood how gaining or not gaining entry to the BWC somehow means that Brompton does not care about the people it sells bikes to?  As for marketing, Brompton bikes are made/assembled in London and by having the BWC in London - and more specifically in the wonderful location the race actually takes place - they would be crazy not to.

I think some people are expecting something out of Brompton as a company that just doesn't exist anywhere. For example, some  people contacting the Managing Director of Brompton Bicycle, Will Butler-Adams when they have a problem with tyres on a new bicycle. Seriously?! Surely that is the job and responsibility of the shop you bought it from?!

What I am trying to express, probably quite badly, is that if you didn't get into the BWC what is the worst that can happen? Come on people, it is one event and one day out of 365. You can still enjoy the delights of riding small wheels whenever and wherever you like. If you got in great! You are in for a treat. If you didn't...there is always next year!

Link to my 2015 blog post in which I ponder the BWC


  1. Well said. Way back around 2010 I was lucky enough to ride in the BWC at Blenheim, along with one of my staffers who had won the first Brompton US Champs (which was produced by our shop... but Mr. Ritz legit led, out of a tough 50-rider field!) At Blenheim, distinguished myself not with my 500th or so finishing spot, but by leaving my helmet on the bus–as I finished the first of two laps, a guy alongside asked, "Hey mate, where's your helmet?" with a laugh. Unlike in the lawyer-riddled US, I finished without further comment or being tackled off my bike! -- mcget / trophy bikes PHL

  2. Dear Mr. O.
    Your points are well made and I heartily agree.
    Like you, I was unlucky in this year’s BWC ballot. And in 2016 and 2017. Also like you, the last BWC I was able to compete in was London 2015 (I remember shaking your hand before the start). It was a great event and probably my best ever cycling experience. I know when we entered this year we had to state if we’d ever competed in any BWC and if this meant that entries would be confined to those who’d never raced in a BWC, then fair enough. But I’d be interested to know if any lucky entrant this year had also raced in a BWC in London before.
    I’d love to have got an entry this year and would gladly have traveled the 500 miles return from my home in North Yorkshire. And so would my family. But we’d all rather travel the 600 miles return to Goodwood as it’s a better venue for families and competitors. BWC 2013 and 2014 were superb events. Goodwood can have a larger entry, so more competitors could race in several events and it also did not have to be restricted to a single criterium race.
    As for Brompton only being interested in marketing, I don’t think the people at Brompton actually need to worry about marketing, because they don’t have to do any. The excellence of the bike’s design, and the enthusiasm of Bromptoneers, does the job for them. How many products today can make that claim?
    Anyway, how about some Bromptoneers who didn’t get an entry this year meeting for an alternative informal event, such as a group ride? Maybe somewhere other than London for those of us who are further away? Or maybe a London-based Bromptoneer could post a lap of the BWC London route on Strava, so that we could visit London when convenient and test our skills on the BWC course? I’d still like a crack at beating my BWC 2015 time!
    Please keep writing your informative and entertaining blog Mr O, I always enjoy reading your posts. Best wishes, Tony.


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