Monday, 25 July 2011

Brompton & shoes on 8mm

The short films are of me in my summer Clarks sandals at Willesden Junction station and on the Bakerloo train last week.

I am having a lot of fun with my new iPhone 4 since I upgraded recently. I had the second generation of iPhone that had with a limited focus, no ability to take video and limited zoom. But I was still impressed with the basic phone and simply made the poor photo quality a feature by using the Hipstamatic photo app which create fantastic retro type photos.

I didn’t expect the new iPhone to have a good camera either. I have the phone mainly because I need access to internet and email when I travel. But I have been surprised by the new features and I have been looking at lots of camera apps but my favourite at the moment is 8mm video camera which creates retro 8mm type films.

Now I don’t have to carry my Samsung camera anymore which means a little bit more room in the Brompton pannier.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Time to get the Brompton serviced

I usually get a full service of the Brompton in August but I have recently found that the seat post is sticking instead of sliding smoothly and not going all the way down without a push. I also have also noticed that the gear switch on the left handle bar has moved slowly down and I have to move my hand further to reach the bell and switch gears. Speaking of gears, the change is now a bit sluggish.

So do I take the bike to Compton Cycles or should I give Brixton Cycles a go this year?

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Suede Clogs by Clarks

I got these suede clogs in the Clarks sale. Heels with a platform means that you get the height without the pain. They come with a soft suede insole too. A good addition to the summer shoe collection.

However I am not sure if they will make good cycle shoes. Of course cycling in clogs in tricky but I had no problem with my last pair by El Naturalista. I have even cycled in flip flops so I was caught by surprise when I found that these clogs just slip off the pedals if you are not careful. I can see that although Clarks have put on a rubber section on the sole and the heel the rest of the shoe is a smooth varnish wood which doesn’t grip at all on a bike pedal.

I took sandpaper to the wooden sections of the sole but I am thinking of putting on thin strips of gaffer tape just to make sure.

18.7.11.  Opps.  Forgot to upload this photo.

Friday, 15 July 2011

My first bike was a Bickerton

I was recently cycling through New Cross when I saw these bikes chained up outside a second hand furniture shop. Of course I jumped off to look closer because one of them was a Bickerton folding bike, the precursor to the Brompton.

My first bike was a Bickerton and I learned to cycle on it. I previously had a kids bike with stabilisers and I really believed that I could just get on any bike so I was surprised to discover when I got the Bickerton that I couldn’t cycle at all. I was too embarrassed to get training and I just taught myself by getting on and falling off lots of times. My Bickerton had a large blue canvas bag that acted as a pannier on the front of the bike and a storage bag for the bike when it was folded. Bickertons were very light and I was able to carry my bike. However I rarely did this as I had learned to cycle and I was happy to cycle from South London into the West End and back again. I didn’t like cycling over large bridges so I went over Lambeth bridge. But strangely I was comfortable cycling up Park Lane and around Marble Arch, something I wouldn’t do now unless I really had to.

Just seeing this bike took me back to that first experience of being a cyclist.

Unfortunately I could get better photos of this Bickerton. It was parked right by the main road and I would have had to step into the bus lane to get a better shot.

I wonder who owned this bike. I eventually got fed up with the punctures I had on my Bickerton and I moved on to a sturdy Raleigh Cameo bike. I am not sure if I sold it or left it in someone’s basement and didn’t go back. It was because of the Bickerton that I felt comfortable getting a Brompton so I am grateful for that experience.

The only time I had a serious fall from a bike was on the Bickerton when I braked and went over the handlebars and cut my left knee. I still have the scar.

I have just found the original 1980s advert for the Bickerton where you can see the it in all it’s glory and the similarities to the Brompton.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Bike Club

Extreme weather has mainly kept me off the Brompton over the past couple weeks. First it was too hot to cycle and then we had heavy rain. My Tuesday bike ride to my life drawing class was the exception to my cycling hiatus. Cycling in rush hour through the City is great as I feel part of a big mobile club. There are now many more Londoners on their bikes and I am not including those on the hire bikes. Makes me want to join Critical Mass.