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!

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't be there, so it was lovely to read youir account of the day.


Thank you for leaving a comment.