Sunday, 28 February 2010

Sensible shoes

What a surprise I have brought some more shoes! I love these because they are so sensible and they remind me of an old pair I had when I used to wear wide-legged trousers with cuffs. I don’t wear trousers at the moment and I plan to wear these shoes with my dresses and skirts. They are also perfect to cycle in. I went cycling yesterday on the Trek bike and I plan to test them on the Brompton this coming week.

They are made by Office and are called ‘Frank’ and come in a range of colours, including red, mustard yellow and blue.

Me, trying on the shoes in the Office shop in Bromley
Me, wearing the shoes on the way back from the supermarket.

Friday, 26 February 2010

The Brompton goes to the shops

This is a photo of my Brompton in the changing room of Marks & Spencer. (I was trying on a dress.) I didn’t bring my lock today so of course I had to bring the bike into the shops. When I was in a crowded lift at John Lewis department store a woman asked the usual question of how heavy the Brompton was and asked me if she could pick it up to test it which I obliged. ‘ Ooh, not that portable’ she said. I said there are lighter ones if she wanted to pay extra. When I left the lift I pushed the bike along the ground on the Eazy wheels and behind me I could hear the woman go ‘Ooh’ again to her friend. Earlier when I was at the London Graphic Centre the security guard offered to watch the bike for me so I didn’t have to carry it upstairs and when I was in ‘Accessorize’ opposite John Lewis the staff showed me to the staff lift because I needed to go downstairs. Staff in small shops are often very helpful about watching the bike while I shop. I can only think of one occasion at Cass Art in Islington when I asked to leave the bike at the counter and they said no. Having said that in the tiny branch of Cass Art on Charing Cross Road last week a member of staff saw me carrying the bike and took it from me. She carried it too saying she would leave it at the counter.

Carrying a lock is a hassle but I sometimes find it easier to leave the Brompton in one place while I shop.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Off to market


I saw this pair of Bromptons outside the supermarket yesterday. They were owned by a couple who had gone to do their grocery shopping. I loved the complimentary colours, the matte powder blue and gloss of the viridian green.

As I was also shopping I had my Trek bike laden with food. But realising that I haven’t been on my Brompton for over a week I took it into the West End later in the afternoon to return a book to Waterstones in Piccadilly and a bag to the Cath Kidston shop in Spittlefields. Travelling in Central London is getting tricky, but I will write about this another time.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Something to brighten a wet week

I got this bicycle ‘ping’ bell from Bobbin Bicycles on Wednesday. I had to replace the bell I got a couple months ago for my Trek bike. Nothing wrong with it, but it was a little fiddly to use and I prefer a ‘ping’ sound. This bell is a tiny globe of baroque flowers. Love it. I was so pleased with my bell that I forgot to get the name of the maker. Next time I am in Bobbin I will ask.

It has been raining and wet most of this week and the one dry day we had I was on the Trek cycling in the West End and Angel. I have not used the Brompton all week. But I saw man riding a pink Brompton along Charing Cross Road and two very speedy Bromptons, one red and the other green weaving in and out of traffic in Piccadilly. Whenever I see other Bromptons I miss mine.

The sun has returned this morning but I have to wait for an engineer because I have no hot water. But after it is fixed I am jumping on the bike and back to a hot bath. Bliss.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Happy Anniversary to my Brompton


I have been a Brompton owner for two years! I can barely believe it. The reasons why I started this blog was because I needed the motivation to take what was for me a huge challenge and then I wanted a record to remind myself that in the beginning it wasn’t easy. It was fun but not easy.

What has changed in the last two years as a Brompton rider? I see lots of Bromptons as I cross London these days. A neighbour now has a pink Brompton.

I see lots more folding bikes in general, particularly the Mezzo. More commuters are using cycling as part of their journey and I think this will increase in time.

I am certainly fitter and stronger. As a Brompton user who has carried her bike up and down stairs (avoid Kings Cross Station in rush hour) on a regular basis, in flats and heels my muscles had no choice but to toughen up. Who knew fresh air would give me such a buzz.

I see a lot more of London on a bike. Obviously I would, but this is an unexpected delight. I tend to stick to the same route when I travel by public transport and in a car I have to focus on the traffic I don’t see much. On a bike I am always finding new routes through traffic and then finding lots of places that I didn’t know existed.

I have more conversations with non-cyclists. Other travellers will ask questions, smile, and at the beginning helped me carry the bike. Typical question is ‘how much does that cost?’

Finally I have discovered the wonderful ‘slow and stylish’ cycling community that exists everywhere. I believe cyclists will change their communities, the environment one pedal push at a time.

Thank you to all who read and or comment on this blog, your support is appreciated.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Little things that help - Electron 'Backupz' light


This is a tiny red LED light by Electron. I got this in December and I am impressed. When I have the Timbuk2 slung over my shoulder and back it serves as a bright but tiny rear light. This is in addition to my Cat Eye light. It can blink at two speeds as well as constant. I had seen other small LED lights but their fixing system is not a simple as this loop of strong but thin elastic as I prefer to hang mine off the bag. Electron also make a white light for the front. I got mine at the bike shop in Woolwich but I have seen them elsewhere. Cost £7.00