Sunday 31 January 2021

Brompton Lockdown in London

On many levels, last week was the week from hell at work. There was lots going on and for a few days people were stressed out to say the least as the full effects of the situation we all find ourselves in was realised. Apart from my family two things kept me going. 

The first, was me replacing an almost 11 year old MacBook Pro for a new one with the 'M1' inside. My old MacBook still works but is rather slow to say the least by modern standards. Its replacement should prove to be a dramatic increase in speed and performance. It arrives sometime next week and I am already getting that childlike excitement I am prone to. 

The second was the prospect of the weekend and a cycle ride on one of my Brompton bicycles. I type 'one of my Brompton bicycles' but if you have been reading this blog for a while you might guess which one I took out. Have you guessed correctly? Yes it was my Orange, Black Special Edition. (There was no way my lovely and still fairly new Orange Titanium was going out onto the streets of London in winter)!

Early this morning it was rather chilly in SW7 and even after cycling a couple of laps of Hyde Park - as a ay to warm up - I still felt the cold. We are still very much in the grips of lockdown, where only one form of outdoor exercise is permitted per day. It certainly shows. Central London was deserted. Yes it normally a great deal quieter, especially on a Sunday but this is noticeably different. 

As I cycled around London and passed various locations, I could help but recall - quite vividly - memories of various cycling adventures. Start points for Friday night rides to the coast at Hyde Park Corner and near the London Eye. Christmas lights rides at Borough, Charring Cross and Trafalgar Square. The London Classic every time I cycled over cobbled streets. The Tweed Run when I cycled along the Embankment and the Brompton World Championships when I headed up The Mall. 

I think that when restrictions start to be lifted again it will quite possibly be well into March - if at all - and that brings the prospect of better weather. As soon as these two are realised, I suspect my first adventure may well have to be a night ride to the coast, probably with my dear friend Dr John. I wager every mile will be savoured. The point we reach Farthing Down relished. Our halfway stop where we have a drink and some refreshment viewed as a banquet and the journey back on the train one in which we can recall the nights adventure. Definitely something to look forward to. 

Stay safe out there people!!

Sunday 3 January 2021

Well this is 2021 Brompton riders!

The end of 2020 in London involved Tier 4 and many restrictions. As we ease into a brighter future, things are pretty much the same for the moment. Tier 4 may be extended to other parts of the country and who knows, we might even see Tier 5?!

Normally at this time of the year there are Brompton plans to be made and thoughts turn to cycling events and adventures in the near future. Apart from the Brompton World Championships - which I think only Devine intervention could make happen and provide me with a place in it - thoughts turn to events like the Dunwich Dynamo. Around this sort of time coach tickets could be bought for the return journey. 

Other events like night rides to the coast, where participants meet in central London and just before or on the stroke of midnight, cycle to destinations such as Brighton, Whitstable, Shoreham, Southend would normally start sometime in March. In-between these, I would be joined by my friend Dr John to go on our own night ride to the coast. For the moment, these rides are on hold. 

What I do have planned is several mini themed rides in and around London. I have some buildings to find in a very specific architectural ride. I have some Blue Plaques to find of some colourful characters. Another will see me travel back in time and delve into London's most gruesome past. The list really does go on and on. I suspect that for the first few months of 2021 these solo rides will be as far as I will be able to successfully plan ahead. 

It is only really thanks to my buying a Wahoo GPS device that I can do any of these at all. Before that my navigational prowess was woeful to say the least. Technology has afforded me confidence in getting from A to Z and eventually back to A - always rather important!

Wherever you are keep pedalling forward and do let me know what you are up to by sending an email and photo of your bike.

Until next time, stay safe out there people!!