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.)