Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Time to clean up

The Brompton needs a clean and some oil on the chain. The recent bad weather has left it looking rough.

Monday, 25 January 2010

The Brompton continues to rise

The London Standard newspaper is currently running a series of articles of cycling in London. On Thursday 21.1.10 they profiled the rise of the Brompton. There was a picture of Andrew Ritchie, designer of the Brompton along side Will Butler-Adams the current managing director. I would have brought my Brompton regardless of where is was made but the fact it is a British bike and made in London is the icing on the cake for me.

For the full article by Nick Curtis in The Standard click this link.

The above image is my now crushed copy of The Standard, the original photograph of Ritchie and Butler-Adams is by Daniel Hambury.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Big yellow cape keeps off rain

I am tired. Had a long day and a long week. Still the highlights were cycling on the Brompton with the Timbuk2 on my back. Cycling does make me feel better when I am tired. I have been using the Brompton for the past three days, in the sun and rain. I got out my big yellow cape again. I have only used it twice.

Nearly forgot. There were three Bromptons on the train home this evening. A little rain is not going to stop us.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The joy of travelling by train

I had to go to another meeting in Peckham but this time I used the train for part of the journey. All possible with the Oyster Travel Card that is available to Londoners. It is a prepaid card that you tap on a sensor so that it registers your journey and charges you accordingly. It has been around for a while and was very handy for one off journeys on the bus and tube (subway), but you couldn’t use it for one off trips on the rail network. That is until two weeks ago when the ticket sensors went on line at all rail stations. For me it means I can either cycle to Lewisham from Greenwich or jump on a train for £1.20.

I used the Trek bike today but I forgot how heavy it is to carry a full size bike up and down the stairs of a train station. I don’t have this problem with the Brompton which I can now happily carry around if I am not wearing heels.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Back on the bike

Who would have believed a few days ago we had snow, ice and extreme cold in London. Today is beautiful. It is almost warm, with sun and blue sky. I jumped on the Trek and went out to get the Sunday papers. It’s only been a week but I have really missed being on a bike.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Bikes are back in town

We got rain on Thursday and hey presto the snow was washed away. I have not got back on the Brompton but on Friday while I was in the West End I saw the London cycling community are back on their saddles.

I caught these two traditional bikes parked in Goodge Street. They look related. I like the basket.

I then saw this fetching two tone Brompton (white/black) in Tottenham Court Road. I particularly like the aqua with pink flowered bell. I have never seen a non-Brompton bell on a Brompton. It is difficult to fold the bike up with large accessories. The owner wasn’t around to ask how they managed it.

Thursday, 14 January 2010


I have had enough of the snow and would be grateful to the return of our usual mild winters. I haven’t been on the Brompton or the Trek for nearly a week. It is just too cold and icy. So I have been walking, mainly in my paisley Wellingtons but the M&S boots are also getting a good workout.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Brompton by Bus

The Brompton had it’s first bus ride yesterday. I had to travel to Peckham in South London and not able to drive. I live on hill on a road that is still very icy so moving a car is risky. I walked the Brompton up, past the snow covered Common and to the main roads which are now all clear and off I went to Peckham. It took just over an hour. I had to get off and walk in a couple places but I had the joy of being able to cycle over the large roundabout at the Sun-in-the Sands junction. I would never usually do this because this is a junction that connects with the motorway, but the icy weather has meant fewer cars on the road. (So many schools are closed this week.)

The downside of my trip is that I had to stay on the main roads as all the cycle routes I would normally take are still icy and while there were few cars out there were lorries (trucks) out whizzing past. The other low point was getting very cold in my hands and toes. I wasn’t cycling fast enough to generate the heat I needed. I was cold when I got to my destination and then had to sit an unheated room for an hour and a half before travelling back.

I was getting colder and then I decided to go back by train but couldn’t because of the snow there was a reduced timetable and I had just missed a train. I couldn’t bear getting any colder waiting so I cycled into Lewisham and went window shopping. I just folded the Brompton and wheeled it through H&M. I saw a great dress and I almost brought a pair of leg warmers but the queue was too long.

Here is the bus part of the story.

As I was psyching myself up for the trip up the hill in the cold I saw a bus that would take me home. People were almost on but the wonderful Brompton which unfolds in 15 seconds was collapsed and I just jumped on. The bus trip took 20 minutes and then I had another 10 minutes cycling after this, but I was warm enough.

I wouldn’t usually consider taking the bike on a bus because the point of having a bike is to use it. Yesterday it was necessary.

I am going to double up on the socks and look for some thermal gloves.

PS: M&S black leather boots holding up very well in this weather. A quick wipe with the leather cleaner and they are good to go again.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Little things that help - MAC Lipglass lip gloss

The cold weather continues in London and as I write the snow is falling for the first time in the New Year. I was so cold this afternoon I got off the Brompton and went by tube (subway) for part of the journey to warm up. (The bliss of using a Brompton.)

My lips are cracked at the moment and the only thing that works for me while cycling in the cold is a layer of MAC Lipglass lip gloss. This is heavy duty stuff that covers your lips and stays put for hours. It is sticky but doesn’t slide off. You need to apply it with the ball of the applicator, no fingers as you will find out how sticky this really is.

I use ‘clear ‘ which works fine on bare lips or over your usual lippy (lipstick). I think even a man can use this because if you only apply a little it gives the same sheen as using Vaseline. If you use a lot you get a full-on shine and get out the sun glasses.

Monday, 4 January 2010

New Year Shoe Sales

Apart from two very wet days last week I have been on the Brompton and Trek cycling around my little corner of the World. I am stunned by the large number of pot holes which spring up after a little bad weather. Both bikes are holding up very well in the cold but need a clean. Advice. Clean your bike when there is only a little bit of dirt on it so it is just a wipe down.

I have of course been to a few sales, but not seen any thing worth grabbing or in my size. (Missed out on a lovely pair of mustard coloured t-bar shoes in Next.) The sales start very early these days so really I should have looked before Christmas. But I want real bargains so I have waited until now. I have enough shoes so I don’t mind if I don’t get anything this time around. Advice. Be prepared to walk away with nothing.

I saw these quirky animal print ankle boots in M&S before Christmas so I will be going to see if there any on sale.

PS: Happy New Year!