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.


Olha Pryymak said...

Put my Brompton away till the weather improves.... I saw a guy wheezing past me on a bike yesterday too fast (to keep warm I am sure) and landing on his back pretty painfully ( he was all right after all). No speed can get your feet/hands I am afraid. So take care when on the road these days ;)

Cycling in Heels said...

Thank you I will. It was so cold again today that I think I will also have to consider whether to get back on the bike or wait for a week or so.

PS. I like the art work on your website.

Joseph said...

Happy New Year!

I am impressed that you are cycling in spite of the much touted 'Frozen Britain', but do take care on the bike; somebody had a near miss in Edinburgh after slipping at a junction - with a bus behind them!

Although it seems that London is less icy - as I was able to cycle there when other neighbouring towns and cities were unridable.

I would also recommend leather gloves - these keep the wind out. If these prove too cold for you still, you can by some nice felt gloves from ASDA for £1, wear these underneath the leather gloves. This way, you can keep the hands warm, and protected.

Cycling in Heels said...

Happy New Year to you too. It is now too cold to cycle so I will be off the bike until the weather gets warmer. Thanks for the tip on the gloves.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I've not seen a Brompton before - where can you buy them?

I developed my cold weather dressing habits after spending four years on a bike in Cambridge - where the Actic winds come racing across the fens. The trick is thin-insulate layer first and then more layers increasing in thickness and

When it was perishing I used to wear silk gloves inside my big thick thermal gloves, thick tights under thick trousers - and aways wore a very long thermal vest. Clothes with cuffs are also very desirable as the air gets trapped and heats up!

Cycling in Heels said...

You need to go to the Brompton site to find your nearest stockist. There are a few in the centre of town but there is sometimes a waiting list.

I like the idea of the layer of silk gloves. Joseph above has also advised me to get to Asda for thermal gloves but I will not be able to get there without the bike. I will be in the West End and so will pop into John Lewis to see what they have.

Thank you for stopping by the blog. I really enjoy your reading your blog or should I say blogs.