Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Blow out on the Brompton

I got my first burst tyre on the Brompton on Christmas Day of all days. I went for my usual Christmas bike run taken first thing in the morning to offset the feeding frenzy of the day. It was very cold and still icy in the park so I stuck to the main road. In truth I did have the sense that the rear tyre was suddenly not a firm as when I had started, and I made a mental note to pump up tyres. On the second leg of my journey I heard a balloon like pop and knew it was the tyre so I immediately jumped off to stop any wheel rim damage.

The first time I get a flat tyre is on the one day of the year there is no public transport anywhere in London! Any other day I could have used my trusty Oyster travel card and got back to where I was staying. So I had a 45 minute walk back in the freezing cold.

Hopefully I can get to the bike shop either today or tomorrow. Some shops were closed due to the extra Bank Holidays we have this year.

I am still surprised about getting a puncture. Never happened before and I have cycled over some very dodgy roads in London for nearly three years.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Snow basket



Last Friday I did the rest of the Christmas shopping before the second wave of snow hit London. Because I was going to be carrying so many packages and going in and out of shops I opted to leave the Brompton at home and just use the Trek to get to the train station where I locked it. I returned in the evening to discover that it had been snowing in Greenwich and the bike had been decorated in white ice. Luckily it was still clear enough to cycle home but that was the last time I was able to get on a bike until today. We got six inches of snow in an hour on Saturday.

My last working day is tomorrow. The holidays are here. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Bags made for the Brompton - Cyclodelic



I saw this Brompton bag back in late October in the bike shop Velorution. It is made by Cyclodelic a site which produces cycling clothing and accessories for women. This bag is a one off and uses the pattern of the old style clip on front bag that Brompton used to make.  I brought one in black two years ago but rarely use it because it doesn’t hold a lot of stuff, has a black interior and I can’t find anything in it.  But looking again at the same bag in red you can appreciate that the basic design was a good one. I love the colour combo on this bag. Red and vivid purple. I would happily keep opening the bag just to look inside.

Downside is that these are now only available to order but it means you can choose your own colour combination. The one in Velorution was £180.00 but I think if you order it will cost more.

I have checked on the Cyclodelic site and there is no mention of the bag. I was informed by Mary at Velorution that you need to send a email to Cyclodelic to place an order for your bag and agree a price.

(Yes I noticed the two tone yellow and green Brompton!)

NB. Sorry about the fuzzy photos.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Bromptons everywhere

The bad weather continues across the UK. We have suffered less in London but if like me you rely on trains to get around as well as cycling it has been tough. I have seen so many Bromptons over the past couple weeks as Brompton owners can and do use what ever part of the transport network we can and then cycle the rest of the way. While I think about it I have seen so many other folding bikes, like Dahon too. The Brompton is holding up and the only thing I am doing is ensuring that I get the worst of any salt grit off the chain and the bike. I can see tiny signs of rust.

I don’t know how I will manage next week as I have to work up to Christmas Eve which includes a train journey to Southampton on Tuesday.

Most of the shopping has been done on line but if the presents do not arrive I will have to get some small back up gifts.

We rarely get snow at Christmas. Last year was the first time I can recall and it was gone by Christmas Eve. The romantic fantasy of having a ‘White Christmas’ turns out to be a nightmare in reality.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

This snow is deep

I have never seen snow this deep in London. I had to push the Brompton through thick snow down the hill and walk to the main road where the it was clear because the council had been gritting the road. Previously they would also salt the side roads, particularly those roads like mine which are hills. I will be sending an email to Greenwich Council tomorrow.

I can’t use the Trek bike because I just can’t get it down the stairs outside my house. Too much snow. Even if you clear it it just comes back.

There wasn’t much traffic because people can’t move their cars. I managed to get to north London and back with the help of the Docklands Light Railway and the Jubilee Line. I am getting used to it. But the worry is that the slush will turn to ice on the ground.

I am very grateful for the Brompton. I can still get around to work and get things done. I will be getting out the pannier tomorrow so I can do my supermarket shopping. I will be crossing my (sore) fingers for Saturday as I have a drawing class at the British Museum to get to.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

It's winter

It’s snowing again! And once again the country is undercover of lots of snow and complaints about how terrible everything is. (We love to complain about the weather). Only a few weeks ago it was very warm. Some of the bulbs I had planted in October were beginning to push through having been fooled by the higher than average temperature for early November. Now we are told we have just had the coldest temperatures since records began.

There is snow in my area but in central London it is clear. Very few trains running in the South East. I was in central London yesterday and there were a high number of Brompton users and I wished I had mine when I found out there were no trains I could get home.. I got the Brompton out today and wheeled it down to the main road which is clear and pedalled off to the Dockland Light Railway which is running as are all the underground trains.

I am off to Brent tomorrow and I will be wrapping up and wearing my sturdy boots from Office. I have got my eye on some shiny black wellingtons but not sure if I can manage being on the bike with them.

(Sorry for being so quiet. Some nerve damage in the fingers of my right hand slowed me down last month.)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

It's autumn

Despite the fact it is November it has been fairly warm in London this week so I am enjoying biking while it lasts. The clocks went back at the weekend so it means I don’t leave home without my lights. There will be another vote in Parliament this winter to decide whether the UK clocks should continue to go back an hour. Once upon a time I said that they shouldn’t but now I am a morning person and I don’t like it being so dark until after 7.30 am.

I have not forgotten about the posts on bike bags, but I am not happy with the photos I have taken so I may do a re-shoot if I can.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Wish list - Ankle strap shoes by Office

I tried on these shoes by Office when I was searching for boots. I want them but I have decided to wait until I have saved up for them or I get a discount voucher.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

When choosing a bag, style matters

I realise from a comment that I got on the O bag that my views on Brompton bags may be considered as a consumer test on which bag to buy and which bag is best. They are not. They are my views based on what I like and whether I would buy and use a bag. Whether it is in shoes or bags, style matters to me just as much as how practical or efficient a bag or shoe is.

I know that using a bag on the front block is more efficient and better for my back. But I don’t like the look of the bag in the front. The exception to this is the Brompton wicker basket which I don’t use so much now that I can get a ‘basket fix’ from riding the Trek.

Brompton provides a range of bags for the front and back for the bike. I feel that until recently the design of these bags never received the same attention as the design and look of the bike. The bags that were available two years ago also had drawbacks, 1. Narrow shoulder straps. The pannier is impossible to carry when commuting because of narrow straps. I had to buy an additional shoulder strap pad. This is an obvious and simple design feature that could have been incorporated at the beginning. 2. Black interior lining. The endless frustration of finding anything in a deep bag with a dark lining was too much for me.

I get asked questions about what bag to buy for the Brompton from those in the process of buying. My advice on this is to go without buying a ‘special bag’ until you get to know your Brompton and your way of riding and using it. This will probably take a couple weeks and not more than a month. Oh yes, get a bag block fitted so that you still have the option.

Here is a rough guide on how I use my Brompton when I am working:
  • Cycle to station. Fold bike and get on the train.
  • On arrival in central London wheel bike through interchange to another platform. This will involve carrying bike up and down stairs.
  • Or on arrival wheel bike through to the underground station to get tube using escalators.
  • Get on second train or underground train with the Brompton. If on underground, change trains and wheel the Brompton through the station and carry up and down stairs. Get on another train.
  • On arrival cycle to destination.
Note: All the various interchanges and tube journeys often require me to have the bag on my back.

I try to minimise as far as I can the number of changes I do or trains I have to use. I work across London and I cannot predict where I will be from one month to the next. My first Brompton bag was the pannier, but I soon discovered that I could not carry it comfortably when going through the various interchanges I had to make between the train to underground tube. I also discovered that I didn’t need such a large bag for my work journeys. But too late I had already parted with £70. I got the zip around bag (now discontinued) and found this was too small for my needs and it was still uncomfortable to carry because of the narrow straps and the hard frame on my back.

I did try wheeling the bike when partially folded with the pannier fixed to the front block. This only works until you have to use stairs and then you have to clip the bag off and on or risk falling over if you loose balance.

Two years ago I considered whether to make my third investment in another Brompton bag, this time the messenger type bag that was available. These came with wider straps but in dark grey with a Brompton logo on the front. I didn’t want to give Brompton any more money for a bag I really didn’t like the look of and given that I needed a bag I could carry on my back I then opted for a non-Brompton bag by a company (Timbuk2) that specialises in bags for people who cycle.

Personally I like riding with a bag on my back and this works for me because of the various changes and folding I have to do. I can fold and unfold and just get going. However if I just had a simple commute, for example, cycle to station get on train arrive and then cycle to destination then maybe I would have just stuck with the pannier. Or if I didn’t have to use the train and I had to cycle all the way and this journey took longer than 40 minutes then carrying a bag on the front or the back rack would be cooler.

Which is why I advise new users to get to know your travel style before parting with more money so you can be sure you have the right bag for your needs and quirks. I like to use a bag that I can carry on my back because of the numerous changes I make in the course of a journey. I now know that I like to ride in this way and as I said, I prefer the look of a bag on the back rather than the front. I also want a bag that is soft against my back, with wide straps and a light coloured lining and works well as a bag when I am not cycling.

I do what works for me and this may not be the best way but it’s my style.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

O Bag for the Brompton

While in the Cycle Surgery bike shop on Tuesday I saw this pink O bag designed by Ortlieb for Brompton, price £169.00.

The O bag comes in pink & black and black. I usually like vivid colours and I like the shiny surface of this bag but I personally would opt for the black. This bag is designed to go on the front of your Brompton and I am not sure if I would feel comfortable with a big pink bag in this position. Matching the colour of your Brompton to this bag will be tricky for those who do not have a Black Brompton which would be a good contrast.

I liked that Ortlieb provided inner pockets and a key holder and importantly a light coloured contrasting lining so that you can find your stuff in what is a deep bag. It is waterproof. Ortlieb has a good reputation in providing waterproof bags.

I liked the option of the handle on the top as well as a shoulder strap. There were additional pockets that came with the bag that if you wished you could put on the back. Ortlieb has provided a shoulder strap pad which is handy given that this bag is not light. However if you are a stripped down to the basics Brompton user possibly on a titanium bike you are not likely to opt for this bulky bag.

If I was a first time buyer of a Brompton and I wasn’t too bothered about the weight I would consider getting the O Bag in black. The big draw back is the price. You would add another £200 to the cost of buying a Brompton. If money is tight, I would choose a cheaper bag. I love accessories but even I would not part with this much money for a bike bag that can really only be used on the Brompton unless I really really really loved it.

The key question is, does this bag work on and off the bike? When I think of the various things I do and places I go to, this bag would not fit in some of those areas. It is not a bag that I can use with my Trek bike either as I can with my Timbuk2 messenger bag. The all black O bag would work better for me on and off the bike. But I also like to wear my bag across my shoulder and this bag with the frame is not built for this.

Again it is the price of the bag that puts me off. I would consider buying one if it was around the £100 mark. I don’t mean to sound that this bag is not well made or strong. It is and appears to meet Ortleib’s usual high standards. It’s just I like variety in my bags and I swap them around on a regular basis so I would be unhappy to spend so much money on a bag that I am unlikely to use that often.

The O bag is an investment piece for a Brompton user who likes the attention (get it in Pink) and just wants to stick to one bag.


Bags galore. I have been looking at lots of bags this week and I will be uploading posts on my discoveries as soon as I can.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Red, yellow and Navy Blue


Three Bromptons ready for sale in the Cycle Surgery bike shop in Spitalfields, London E2.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Blue Flowers on a bike


I saw this bike parked outside New Cross Gate station this week. The owner has done a good job of beautifying a metal bike basket. I have been on the lookout for plastic flowers for the bike. Fabric flowers are easy to find but those kitsch plastic flowers are rare.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

New winter boots

My M&S boots are now worn out. They lasted the year and I worn them constantly when out cycling, particularly when we had bad weather. I caught one of the ankle straps on the Brompton a few months ago which ripped it away from the seam and I have had to stick it back ever since. It lasts for a little time but then I have to re-stick it. The soft rubber sole meant that I could not get the shoe re-heeled. So I began the search for a replacement. Not easy this year despite the huge range of boots out there.

After a false start I have now brought these boots from Office. They are very close in style to my old boots and just as comfortable and weatherproof. I have used them on the Brompton and the Trek, particularly in the rain we have had recently.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

I wish the Cycle Show would leave me alone

I am annoyed because I keep getting emails from the organisers of this years Cycle Show.

I went two years ago on a discount ticket because I was a London Cycling Campaign member. It was ok but I didn’t feel it was an event that required an annual trip. Of course I got emails last year notifying me of the event but I didn’t go. This year the email traffic first notifying and then reminding me of the event significantly increased. In the end I asked to be unsubscribed but discovered that I still am getting email direct from the organisers without an unsubscribe button. I then sent a reply email asking to be removed from their list completely for this and all future events.

So I was not happy to get another email asking me to buy a ticket. (Are ticket sales down? )

I do not want to go and I want them to stop sending me emails.

Here is why I don’t want to go.

The Cycle Show is a shrine for all things connected to Sport cycling. Yes, I know Brompton is one of the sponsors but they are there to expand sales to those who would consider a Brompton a gimmick. The show gives a passing nod to ‘Cycle Chic’ because if they can find things to sell to this cycle group it will increase business, but it is not easy to sell to people who like to wear their own clothes, I don’t care to meet cycling sport stars because I don’t consider cycling to work a sport and I don’t want to watch people throw themselves around on BMX bikes. In short I think the Cycle Show makes a brave attempt to be all things to all groups of cyclists but it was not worth the price of ticket given I am not interested in most of what was on offer.

The show is there for businesses to sell more stuff to the cyclist. Fine. But I am lucky to live in London where if I wanted to watch BMX racing I can pop down to Brockwell Park for free, I am surrounded by very good cycle shops where I can also visit for free. I love my bikes and going to the show is not going to increase my affection or commitment to cycling.

I am not saying I will never go back to the Cycle Show, but it will be a very very very long time. Unless of course, Clark Shoes take up a stand at the show.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Rain

Over the past two weeks it has rained just about every day so I have either been a little wet or very wet while out cycling. The new boots from Office are holding up very well.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Pedalling with posies



I saw this bike in Covent Garden this week. It looked familiar and I went back through my photo collection to find I had already taken a photo (top image) on my iPhone of this same bike in Spittlefields in August this year.

Now that summer is fading I keep thinking of flowers on bikes. I have seen flowers on the bike of Naturally Cycling Manchester and on the blog of Riding Pretty.

I wonder if this trend is about to go viral.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Folding bag for a folding bike.

I have been cycling around London with two bags because I have been shopping. The bag hanging from the handle bar is a folding shoulder bag by Muji. When folded it goes into a pouch which I pop into my main bag. In the photo above the bag is carrying a pair of ankle boots which I got from Office this week. I am not keeping them because they are too big. I find it easy to sling both bags over my back when changing trains but when I am cycling I strap the Timbuk 2 bag on the rack and carry the Muji bag on my back.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Red roses


I saw this bike parked in Oxford Street W1 on Monday. Now I like to see flowers on bike baskets but the owner of this bike takes this idea to new level.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Brompton on film



I just love the look of this Brompton in this film by Transport for London. It is part of their series of films for the Catch Up with the Bicycle campaign using famous people and everyday folk talking about why they love cycling. I notice that there is no actual mention of the name Brompton but I guess this is not to give Brompton an advantage over other folding bikes.

But I’m saying it. IT’S A BROMPTON!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The best laid plans - London tube strike

Today the tube strike went ahead and I was ready for my trip to Finchley in North London. I usually go by tube (subway) and the closest mainline (overground) station was Hendon which meant a 30 minute cycle uphill to Finchley.

Step one: Get the map of the route. While Google Maps are handy they are sometimes not very accurate. I checked the Transport For London TFL cycle route, Google and Multimap. After this I just photocopied the relevant pages in my A-Z. I tapped in the destination into my iPhone Google map for backup should I get lost.

Step two: Work out how I get to Hendon. I went to the National Rail website. I discovered that once I got the overground train into London Bridge I could cycle to Blackfrairs Station and then get the overground train to Hendon and then cycle up to Finchley.

Step three: Check the bike and pump the tyres. My checking just involves looking (very technical), but I did pump the tyres.

Step four: Decide what to wear. The meeting in North London was formal so no jeans. I wore a dress which was cool and my purple rain coat as rain was expected. I packed a hat.

Step five: Choose shoes. I considered wearing my tan Office brogues which are my formal work staple at the moment but in the end I wore my flat suede boots. Comfortable but appropriate for the meeting and rain should I get caught. (These boots are waterproofed and have kept me dry in a heavy rain fall.)

Step six: Pack bag. Of course I used my Timbuk2.

What happened?
I got to London Bridge and discovered that the Northern Line t tube line was running with a reduced service. So I jumped on the train. I think if I hadn’t been worried about the work meeting I would have done the trip but I just wanted to get there on time. By the time the meeting was over I had a headache so it was back on the tube to London Bridge. I actually did less cycling today than I would normally do when I use my Brompton. Still flexibility is the beauty of having a Brompton.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

What colour is your Brompton?


I got this comment from Richard and I decided to answer it in a post.
'Found your site after searching for 'yellow Brompton' (even if yours aint)
So what do you think - if you did it all again would you still get a black model?
Just about to cyclescheme one and am choosing between red, black and yellow ....'
What to do what to do. If I was doing it again I would go for another colour but don’t ask me what colour as everytime I see a Brompton that becomes my favourite colour. I saw a red one last week and I wanted a red one until I saw this soft cream colour this afternoon.

Yellow is a rare colour in London and I am always on the look out for Brompton riders on yellow bikes. The last time I saw one was outside Waterstones in Garrick Street on a rainy day over a year ago and it stood out like a ray of sunshine. The paint work was gloss and as you know the paint work on new Bromptons is now matt.

I think you go with your heart but more important is make sure you have the right model for your needs.

Photos
  1. Apart from the woman on the cream Brompton these pictures were taken over a year ago and so the colours may not be available anymore.
  2. I loved the combination of the leopard print flats and the cream of the bike. Style in motion.

Friday, 3 September 2010

It wouldn't be summer if we didn't have a strike


I have been cycling in town on the Brompton and enjoying the last days of summer. The number of Bromptons around seem to be on the increase but that could be me looking out for other Brompton riders. It is hard to get a snap of Brompton cyclists because we are fast movers, unlike these two cycle hire cyclists that I caught on camera at the lights in Covent Garden.

I have received an email from Transport for London informing me of the underground strike due to start on Monday evening and last through to Wednesday. If it goes ahead central London will see an increase of cyclists and it will be a good test for the Cycle Hire scheme which should now be available to the casual user. I have an appointment in North London on Tuesday and I had better get the tires pumped up and plan my route.

Last chance to wear another pair of Clarks shoes from my collection. They come with air holes so they are cool in the heat. I found them about 4 years ago in the mens section at Clarks but to me they are clogs and clogs are unisex so I brought them.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Orla Kiely bags




This summer I have not been using the Timbuk2 messenger bag unless it was raining or I had a lot of stuff to carry.

I have been using my Orla Kiely bags and I felt they should get a mention on the blog before I retire them for the winter.

I was lucky enough to get notified of an end of season sale and I got the tan leather bag at a reduced price at the start of the summer and then I got the tote in July, also at and end of season sale. If you go to the Orla Kiely website you can leave your email address and they will send you notice of the next sale and where it is taking place.

Neither bag is completely cycle friendly but the tan bag has a wide adjustable strap and is completely comfortable across my back. It is deep enough to carry my D-lock and all my stuff and there are four handy pockets outside to carry keys, phone, travel card, cash, or ipod. This bag is for those times when I don’t want to use a bike messenger bag but I still need a deep bag to use on my bike.

The tote bag is a little cutie. It is great for a trip where I don’t need to carry anything at all. It just pops over the handle bar and doesn’t get in the way.

Note. OK bags are not cheap and unless I get a lot of cash or loose my mind I would not pay full price as fabulous as they are. My tote was only £30 in the sale which is a substantial reduction. But a well made cycle bag is also very expensive. The Barbican leather bag on the Brooks website is priced at £587.

I am wearing my old Clarks Originals summer Mary Jane shoes.  They also will soon be put into storage.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

No room at Craven Street

I was on my way home with the Brompton yesterday when I passed the Bike Hire Stand in Craven Street W1. This is the closest docking station to Charing Cross Station and would be the one I would use if I manage to sort out the hire bike registration.

I was taking photographs and other people like me were looking at the bikes. Three cyclist on hire bikes arrived and started to wait. At first I thought they were waiting for friends and then I realised there was no spaces to dock the bikes. I asked one of the waiting cyclists and he confirmed he was waiting for someone to take a bike so he could park his bike. By this time another cyclist was looking on the map for the next docking station. (I think the next station is down on The Strand and is about a 10 minute walk back to Charing Cross.)

This is something else to consider. I catch my train from Charing Cross Station and if I got to Craven Street and found I could not park and go get my train I would be a little stressed.

This is also another reminder of how wonderful and portable the Brompton is. Yesterday I took the bike from South London via train and tube to Seven Sisters in North London, (there are no hire bikes outside central London). Cycled to my meeting. I then took the tube back to Oxford Street to do some window shopping for winter boots. As traffic seemed a little crazy with Bank Holiday shoppers I took the tube back to Charing Cross and parked the Brompton next to another black (matt) Brompton outside Waterstones book shop at Trafalgar Square where I stopped to look at books before going to catch my train. It was on this short walk back to Charing Cross that I passed the full docking station at Craven Street.

As for the hire bikes they are getting popular as I see more people use them.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Converse high top plimsoles


I had completely forgotten I had these shoes. I got them in 2006 just before I went on holiday to New York. They are shoes that are good for the transition from summer to autumn, when it’s not hot enough for open toe sandals and not cold enough for shoes or boots. Although there are still a lot of Converse shoes around I have only recently seen full colour ones in black and mine are dark chocolate.

They are comfortable when riding the Brompton despite the fact there is no heel. Converse still have the non-slip soles that were needed for sports and games.

They are not cheap but they are a good unisex classic. I plan on keeping these. Office Shoes stores seems to have a good range of colours.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

A short but lovely story

Yesterday I had to take the Brompton to the Borough of Merton. This involved taking the bike to East Croydon station and then catching the tram out to Merton. Two stops into the trip all passengers were asked to get off because of vandalism (egg throwing) on the tram which now had to be clean. This incident happened before I got on but no one had told the driver. While we all waiting on the platform for the next tram, an elderly man called out ‘that’s a Brompton’. He then proceeded to tell me and the other waiting passengers about the Brompton and his memories of the first model. He said it was called a Brompton Superior, because it was a superior ride. (I have tried to find out any early names for Bromptons, but no luck so far.)

On the tram he told me that he was 87 years old and that he still used a bike when he could. He said that he had been cycling for 80 years and had two custom bikes (one racing and one for training) that were now over 20 years old. He said that he kept cycling because of his legs and his theory that if he ‘didn’t use them he would loose them’. The only thing he didn’t do was cycle in the rain because of the quality of the road surfaces and not having any mudguards.

I was impressed.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

The squeek has gone


The squeek that came back with the Brompton after the service has gone. Turns out it was just ‘stuff’ on the rims. I didn’t even have to clean it as when I went out cycling after the rain the surface water on the road did the job for me.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

London Cycle Hire - Review by Sheffield Cycle Chic

I have just read a great review of the London Cycle Hire scheme on the Sheffield Cycle Chic blog. (Here is the link.)

It does seem to have problems (registration, key activation, getting through to the helpline) which hopefully will be resolved. However if you have planned to use the bike for only one day you appear to need an alternative plan to get around.

More importantly in her review SCC points out the poor cycle infrastructure, poor street signs and aggressive driving that we who cycle in London tend to accept as our lot. I completely agree with the need to reduce the speed limit in congested areas. I also don’t understand the various no cycle signs that seem to be springing up.

I nearly registered with the cycle hire scheme at the weekend but I couldn’t get through the registration process. I will try again. I have seen quite a few cyclists in Central London using them, but they appear to me to be people who work in the area and jumping on a bike is a quick way to get around, especially on a sunny day in August.

The photo was of the actor & bike I saw on the launch day of the scheme.  The fade effects are courtesy of my iPhone using the Hipstamatic Photo app.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Green Brompton locked outside John Lewis

I am not the only Brompton user who locks their bike up with a strong D lock and goes to the shops on Oxford Street in the West End. I saw this Brompton on Monday locked up on the bike racks that are by the side of John Lewis department store. I usually leave my Brompton fully opened so that I can just get on and ride, but I can see that folded takes up no space at all. My only worry with this is that another bike rider may just lock their bike on top of the Brompton and make it very difficult for you to get your bike out. Just like when you are blocked in with your car.

Nice green colour. Reminds me of deep sap green oil paint.

Last month I caught a Brompton owner locking his bike outside Cannon Street Station with one of those long but thin cable locks. I just went up to him and told him he was mad and the bike was too expensive to be left with this type of lock. He laughed and asked me if I was going to take it. I said No, I have one at home. I was parking my Trek bike at the time. The Brompton wasn’t there when I returned so I hope I scared him into taking it with him.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Squeeky clean

I took the Brompton on a trip to the shops to check all the gears were ok following the service. The cable was initially stiff but that is to be expected because it is new. All the dirt has been removed too but of course will be replaced this winter with the rain and snow. All of the six gears are fine.

The only difference is that the Brompton squeeks. This is quite loud as I break. I am assuming this is a combination of the wheel rims and break-pads being cleaned and will therefore eventually disappear. But I don’t recall it squeeking like this when I first got the bike and I don’t recall it this being like this after the service last year.

On the plus side is pedestrians can hear me and so stay out of the road.

I have gone back to wearing my old Topshop fabric flats as it has not been warm enough for sandals this week.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The Brompton and I are reunited

The Brompton is back all clean and shiny from its service at Compton Cycles. The cost for a service, clean-up and new cable was £78. I will go for a proper ride tomorrow to check the feel of the cable and gears. While I was at Comptons I was invited to check out the range of new colours of the new Bromptons. I saw a juicy red titanium one, but when I picked it up it didn’t feel any lighter to my steel frame bike. I had a look at the Brooks saddles and I will need about £100. But I will do more research on this. I carry my Brompton by the saddle quite a lot and I want something that will be strong enough.

Oh yes, the photo is of me taken today by M in my green wool beret by Kangol, purple rain coat by Marks and Spencer, black leather bucket bag by the Moroccan leather company, berry and red Spanish shoes by Art. I think a crazy colour combination gets you noticed by drivers and can in my opinion do a better job than a fluorescent tabard.

Many thanks to ‘That’s not my age’ for the link and introducing me to her fabulous blog which is the reason why I posted this photo.

Thank you M for the photo.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Bike service, shoe clearout and Comments

The Brompton has gone for its service. It will be back in a couple days and I will be about £70 poorer.

As I am in the middle of sorting out the blog and clearing out stuff at home I found these black suede court shoes by New Look. They must be about five years old and unworn! I had forgotten I had them. I will be wearing them soon with my rolled up jeans.

Comments on the blog. Sorry I have had to turn them off, but it is just for a few days. They will be back soon. Promise.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Sorting things out

Over the next week or so I will be sorting out the blog mainly adjusting the labels into more specific categories and rearranging the side bar. I will try to not loose anything.


The photo is of me in my Camper heels taken a couple days ago and is a reminder that I also have to sort out my shoes and boots for autumn/winter.