Saturday, 18 June 2011

Brompton goes electric?

On Thursday I caught by chance the BBC Radio 4 business programme The Bottom Line. This is a programme of interviews of a small group of people in finance or business about their personal business practices. I normally switch off but this week one of the interviewees was Will Butler Adams managing director of Brompton.

At the beginning of the programme in his introduction Will Butler Adams said that Brompton are currently developing an electric propelled bike! He didn’t give details because this wasn’t the point of the programme but he did describe how the power would be linked to the pedals.

If you want to hear the interview here is the link to this weeks programme. It is available on BBCiPlayer. I can’t promise how long the link will last. The BBC keeps programmes for at least a week and sometimes longer.

I have looked on the Brompton website and there is no mention of the interview or this development.

Is this the new Big Idea?

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Ballet flats by George

I got these black cloth ballet flats in Asda supermarket in April or maybe late March. They are by ‘George’ which is the clothing range that Asda stock.

I have an ambivalent relationship with ballet flats or pumps. I have four ballet pump shoes that I keep as backup for when I am wearing heels. I have them but I often don’t use them. I can fall out of love very quickly with ballet pumps. I discover that some how they are not quite right after a few times of wearing them or I don’t like their shape anymore. I rarely choose to wear them as everyday shoes. I find wearing shoes without heels can be just as painful as wearing extreme heels.

Because these are cloth shoes they are not sturdy and so will only be good to use on dry days. Surprisingly I still like these even after two months and teamed up with black tights they have worked very well. They are robust to use with the Brompton and small and light enough to carry in the pannier or messenger bag.

I like them so much I will get another pair as they were £6.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

I have finally accepted my Brompton pannier

I have been using my three year old Brompton pannier for the last two weeks. While I love my messenger bags I have not been able to carry stuff on my back recently and as I still need to get around I got out the pannier

This bag is the Touring Pannier but it was redesigned for 2010 and it is now called the T bag. My bag has approximately an internal 28 litre capacity and the new bag is approximately 31 litre. On the recent Brompton bike ride another rider showed me their new pannier. Brompton have finally addressed the need of having a light colour as an internal lining in a large bag and the T bag I saw is bright yellow inside.

What I have done with my pannier is to put in my own internal lining by using another bag to keep my small items in so I can find it everything I need.

I like the improvements on the T bag except for the lack of a padded strap for the bag. The Pannier and the T bag are built to carry lots of stuff so why not provide a proper wide padded strap. This can be easily fixed by producing a separate pad for the strap. I use one by Ortileb and it is vital for those moments when I need both hands to carry the bike when using stairs.

What I like best about using the Brompton pannier is that I can peddle faster. Of course it makes sense that if I am not carrying a load on my back I am more flexible but I didn’t see any difference when I first got the bag as everything was still new to me and I still learning to ride in traffic and negotiate getting around stations.

I also like the mesh pockets in which I can carry my phone, ticket, change purse and camera.

The pannier is also good to carry extra shoes and d-lock.