Sunday 30 June 2024

Brompton Electric back from an extended stay

A few blog posts ago you might recall that once I got back from a rather good overnight adventure from London to Whitstable, I discovered that the rear hub wheel (new 12x speed) was well and truly f*#@ed to use common parlance. On 28th May - a day after the Bank Holiday here in the UK - I took it to Brilliant Bikes and left it with them. 

Brilliant Bikes are quite simply brilliant and after a few weeks of chansing Brompton my new rear wheel arrived and was fitted. There was no fuss with Brompton. I imagine the wheel was returned to Brompton, they agreed with my assessment of it and replaced it under warranty. 

Yesterday, I collected my Brompton Electric and after about an hour, I was back into more familiar urban territory. My suspicion is that the old rear hub wheel was just one of those glitches. I have had lots of Brompton bikes over the years and the hub gears do seem pretty bulletproof. 

As it was a lovely day and Mrs Orange and the Orangettes had a place to be, I had a few hours to test out the new rear wheel. I cycled down Swain's Lane, took the photo below and then cycled up it. I marvelled at the ease of it all.

The Brompton Electric does require you to still pedal of course but when the motor kicks in, there is little strain on the knees.

I cycled a few laps of this area and then south through Belsize Park, past Abbey Road and then a circuit of Regents Park. After doing this, I cycled north again to N6. 

It really was a lovely afternoon for cycling and I enjoyed it all. Strangely, I did not spot one other Brompton but when I passed Gospel Oak I have a chat with someone on a rather nice road bike who had been to the BWC last weekend. 

Now I have my Brompton Electric back I could use it for a possible Southend overnight ride or even the Dunwich Dynamo, however, I think that I will almost certainly be using my Orange Titanium for both of those adventures. 

If you want to see lots more photos of what I get up to, you might want to follow me on Instagram. You can also send me a message there too:

Until Next time, stay safe out there people. 

Wednesday 26 June 2024

Commute to work on a Brompton resumed

If you read my recent blog entry about the Brompton World Championships, you will have read that I used my Brompton to commute to and from work. This has been quite a big thing for me.

It does seem like ages since I used a Brompton to commute to and from work. In fact I haven't even used my Brompton Electric for this. There is a reason for that - a blog entry for another time perhaps!

The route is tried and tested but does involve hills. I have stuck to doctors orders by ascending them slowly and to actually get off and walk if my knee feels too strained. This is slower than I used to go but not so significant to be an issue. (I have missed the Brompton Electric though)!

At work I have a rather fancy and posh cupboard that has a large set of sliding doors to hide away an lock my Brompton safely. 

I have now completed the Ride100 and the BWC on my non-electric Brompton bicycles. You may be asking why I got the Brompton Electric? The simple answer is that some of my cycle rides using the Brompton Electric will be easier by a calendar mile. Mixing this power at the touch of a button along with using one of my human powered bikes, is a win win. I now have the luxury of choosing. 

Until next time, stay safe out there people!

Monday 24 June 2024

Mr Orange at the Brompton World Championships

The Brompton World Championships has always been an event that brings a smile to my face. I suspect that many had taken the view that it had sadly ridden off into the distance to become mere memories. Wild speculation about its revival was disbelieved. Idol gossip circulated. Rumours started to spread and the notion that like a phoenix rising from the ashes the BWC would return, became a reality. Saturday, 22nd June was that day. 

When the tickets went on sale, I bought one without hesitation. (So much better than the ballots of previous years).  It was then a waiting game for clear details to emerge. The location, Coal Drops Yard near Kings Cross. Five laps of a 900m circuit with ten heats. Excited however, this was drastically to change!

I arranged to meet Andrew, my Partner in Crime, at our usual meeting point nice and early. I took my Orange Titanium with me as it felt the best of my Brompton bikes for the task ahead. I decided to wear my original BWC attire, in honour of the great times I had experienced at these events in the past. As I cycled south from N6 and down Swain's Lane, memories of Blenheim Palace, Goodwood and The Mall flooded back. 

Now, cycling in all this and on an Orange Titaniun Brompton does mean that one attracts quite a bit of attention. It was only about 6 miles to where I was to meet Andrew but I am glad I set off with time to spare. I became the object of several selfies and photo opportunities. 

Making it to the London Eye, my Partner in Crime came into view and we chewed the fat as we cycled up to the BWC venue. It was quite possibly then that the reality hit me with. Should I be there?!

Familiar faces came into view (as did new ones) and we were able to catch up and consider where all the time had gone? We registered for the event by showing our tickets/invitations and I was allocated heat ten - the last group. 

Andrew and I headed onto the track to have a little taste of what to expect. The way to the 'drops' which was a stairway covered over was blocked and would prove to be an interesting aspect of the course. After pinning our race numbers to our respective jackets, more catching up, photographs and greetings, Andrew and I headed for somewhere to get a bite to eat a few miles away. Even this resulted in us posing for photographs. 

The first group of riders got themselves ready and my pearch, near Geoff and his family was ideal. I watched as they were given instructions, parked their bicycles further up the course and had a great view of the 'drop.' 


I enjoyed watching the various heats and the many outfits on offer. I cannot really choose a favourite as so many put in such an effort. 

As the heats progressed something that never happens to me started to take over...doubt, nerves I don't know? As you may had read, my knee had given me enough concern that I bought a Brompton Electric. Following the advice of a specialist, I have changed the way I cycle. Doing so has resulted in zero knee issues. Would taking part in the BWC put me back?

The waiting

As Geoff went out for his heat the voices in my head become so loud as to almost induce me to call it a day and head for the hills. I watched on. 

Geoff looking good

I saw Will Butler-Adams, CEO of Brompton in the thick of it and getting involved in a way that perhaps all CEOs should do. 

WBA in the thick of it

My Partner in Crime did well in his heat and it was clear he had enjoyed it all. 

Been there brother

It was then my turn. I took myself over to the waiting area and steadied my nerves. I parked my Brompton and walked back to the start. My default settings gradually returned as I started to get participants close to me to take steps forward so we wouldn't have to run as far, just for the fun of it. The instruction were given. In 15 seconds we would be off. As long as I was not stupid and just had fun, I would be okay…surely?!

It was a quick heat and I pedalled as fast as I dared. Before my knee issue I might have gone a little faster but not that much. I was pleased that I was still ahead of many riders and after what seemed the blink of the eye, my BWC was over. 

The start position

I had survived, enjoyed it and more importantly it all had no bearing on my knee. It felt absolutely fine. 


I didn't make the final but that was never the point. The BWC 2024 was a wonderful event and I loved it - albeit when I got the demons out of my head about my knee. I headed back home, again being the focus of much attention and selling the joys of all things small wheeled to the people I spoke to. Ascending Swain's Lane was tackled slowly and steadily as my two doctors had ordered. 

I would have liked a medal to add to the collection but this year it was not to be. Hopefully if there is another event, maybe there will be one then. (Hope you are reading this Brompton HQ)!!

Many thanks to Brompton and all the organisers. You made it a great event. To my Brompton family out there, keep pedalling and never give up. Today, I actually used one of my Brompton bikes to commute to work on - the first time in several months. I put this down to the BWC on Saturday. 

Until next time, stay safe out there people!

Friday 21 June 2024

The Brompton World Championships 2024 is but a step away

Well, it seems as if all the tickets have been sold. There has been much talk of what to wear, bicycles have been cleaned and chains oiled. In a few hours the first heats of the BWC 2024 will have started. 

It looks set to be a lovely day tomorrow with rain in the early hours. Of course, the weather in the UK can be pretty much anything at any time. 

There will be many photographs taken and I am sure that you will see and hear all about the excitement from the many participants. If you are racing tomorrow best of luck and if you are going to have a look, you are almost certainly in stall for a treat not to be missed. 

Until next time, stay safe out there people. 

Sunday 16 June 2024

The Brompton World Championships next Saturday

Next Saturday will see the Brompton World Championships return after nearly five years away. (It feels like longer). 

This time there is no specific dress code - apart from no cycling lycra. (Hopefully a few will adopt business attire as they have done in previous years). There will be up to 500 runners and riders and it remains to be see whether it is a full house or short of this amount. The five laps of the 900m circuit should prove to be rather interesting and add to the spectacle. It does remind me of the old London Nocturne circuit but this one will have many more turns and less straights. It might be perfect for a single speed or 2x speed rather than 3, 6 or 12 gears. 

It should be a great event. Expect to see some familiar faces from the London Brompton crew and plenty of those social media types, who have had a Brompton for all of five minutes, done absolutely nothing to write home about but will try to make out they have on their various media platforms. 

Until next time, stay safe out there people.