Wednesday 31 July 2019

Gentleman's Guide for the Brompton World Championships

A few readers have contacted me to ask whether I could offer any pearls of wisdom as far as the Brompton World Championships is concerned. Sadly, I won't be going as like may of you out there I didn't gain place but please find below something that you may or may not find of use.

Blazers / Jackets

There are several types of blazers and jackets out there, Sadly, the bespoke tailor-made variety are a rare sight. If your blazer or jack is off the peg, do not worry unduly. Follow these simple steps. (If you have the double-breasted type, I suggest you seek some help. A guiding hand under the elbow as you walk along to find something more suitable may help.

For a two button blazer/jacket, the top button is all that is needed to be fastened. If both are done up you risk being labelled a cad.

For three button blazer/jackets, the middle button should be fastened. If all three are one up, people may tut quite freely.


Brompton allows riders to run to their folded bikes. A gentleman does not run! The only occasions a gentleman should run is during times of war or if he is late for a wedding.

Being overtaken by faster riders

To be blunt, unless you are a semi-professional cyclist, you will be overtaken. Now this is not something you want to hear and seeing someone whiz past you may induce one to let fly a profanity. Control yourself. This is not the conduct of a gentleman! If you must say anything at all, you might want to consider the following - which should not be said out loud but under ones breath:

'Oh dash it all!'

'If that doesn't take the giddy biscuit!'


With modern fashion there has been a move towards not shaving and cultivating stubble - or heaven forbid one of those beards not that dissimilar to those seen on the Pilgrimn Fathers as they made their homes in the New England region of the United States of America. I suggest the gentleman rider shave before departing. This will have several benefits. First, the absence or stubble will increase aerodynamic efficiency. Perhaps more important, it will ensure that people do not mistake you as being a member of the criminal classes.

Queensbury Rules

As you travel around the course, remember that a sense of fair play and abiding by the rules is a must. So, don't stray into the middle of the circuit just for the sake of it, as faster riders may well want to overtake. Keep to the left. 

The bike

Your beloved Brompton does need as much attention you can devote to it. Tyres need to be inflated to the correct pressures - preferably maximums. The chain would benefit from some oil and generally you need to give things the once over. Of course the gentleman rider will leave all this to someone else.


Before reading further, I must warn you that the following advice may cause destress. Please steel yourself for the worse!

Okay, if you are still reading here goes. The shirt is a very important item. As the gentleman rider will almost certainly get hot and perspire, it would be better to wear a short sleeved shirt.

A short sleeved shirt is not really something a gentleman should wear in this country and at best would only be acceptable if visiting the tropics, however for the Brompton World Championships it is acceptable - just! It will keep the gentleman cooler, which can only be a good thing. Please note however that for older members of the public - especially in the St James's area - may regard the wearer of a short sleeved shirt as someone who is probably well known to the police. 


The tie is a very important item indeed. Old school ties, sporting clubs, university etc.., are all acceptable, as are ties colour coordinated to the colour of ones Brompton. Under no circumstances however wear a bow tie unless you possess a Ph.D., in Geography or Media Studies.

Meetings and greetings

Today when you meet someone modern street talk greetings may include:

'What's up bruv?'

'How's it going?'

'Word to your mother...blood!'

This really won't do. To use common parlance, come out with any of the above and people might say, 'oh my days!!' A shaking of the hand is traditional and a greeting of 'what ho!' will cover all initial social interactions.


The night before the Brompton World Championships try and eat some pasta and drink plenty of water. On the big day have a good breakfast - nothing too heavy - and again drink plenty of water. On the way have a banana and continue to take a little water. By doing this you will not be like the sickly child with a note from Matron sitting on the touchline. 


Arrive in good time so that you are not late. If you are you may panic and feel the need to run. (Please see above)!

Follow these steps and you will surly have a wonderful Brompton World Championships. 

On a serious note to those taking part on Saturday, have a wonderful time!! You will be fine and will love it!! There is something very special about this event and remember once you have taken part, you can say you took part in a cycling World Championship event and you are now an international athlete!!

1 comment:

  1. I wonder of ex-pros still take part - Roberto Heras was a Bromton world champion of some description


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