Saturday, 24 March 2012

Spring has sprung

It has been warm enough to bare my ankles, so I got out my clogs and peddled off to evening class. These clogs just slip off the pedals of the Trek but are fine with the Brompton pedals.

The road works in the City just feels never ending. As soon as one stretch of road (ie Broadgate ) reopens another (ie Cannon Street) is dug up. I have kept the Brompton tires pumped up and so far no problems with all the grit I have had to ride over.

I saw these pumps in Marks & Spencer. I am gradually beginning to change my mind about ballet flats. I have them but not ‘mad keen’ on them. But occasionally I see nice ones. I tried on these blue suede ones with thick black tights and they worked for me. Didn’t buy them. Just thinking about them.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Fabulous advice

Thank you to everyone for the good will messages and advice on protecting the Brompton following the near theft last week.

When I have travelled by train this week I have kept the Brompton beside me as I used to or placed it in the luggage rack in front of me so the bike is full view. I will consider locking the bike on those times my view is blocked and I like the idea of a lock with an alarm. I will track one down.

I have noticed there is a reduction in the the public places that will allow you to place your folded bike in the cloak room. The British Museum now have a weight and size limit. This is likely to get worse as we draw closer to major public events this summer. So it means, pack the lock or be prepared to take the bike everywhere.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Someone tried to steal my bike

This evening I caught a man trying to steal the Brompton while I was travelling by train into central London. I still can’t believe the audacity and that I caught him in time.

The story
I was going to my evening class and the trains going into the city are generally quiet because everyone is on their way home going in the opposite direction. Because of this I sometimes don’t fold the Brompton because there is plenty of space and it saves time at the end of the journey. A quick flip of the back wheel and away I go.

The bike was parked as above and I always sit near by incase the bike falls over or I have to move it out the way of other passengers. I was sitting on an aisle seat with my back to the Brompton.

I was busy drawing in my sketch book when I caught the smell of a cigarette. I was automatically at attention because smoking is prohibited on trains .

The bike had come into a station and the doors opened. I heard a noise at the Brompton and I turned my head to see a man in a baseball cap, the smoker, trying to work out how to pick up the Brompton. For a moment I couldn’t work out what he was doing, then I saw he trying to move the bike to the open door. I just jumped up and stood in front of him and the bike and said, “What the FxxK are you doing?” By this time I was full of adrenaline. He let go of the handlebars and jumped off the train before the doors closed. I was shaking with rage after he left. He must have hoped that I was too distracted to notice what was happening or maybe he thought another passenger was the owner. But the smell of cigarette gave him away.

I will not leave my Brompton like that again. In someways it was fortunate it was not fully folded as he could have just picked it up and walked away. Likewise had it been completely open he could have just wheeled it away but I would have heard it. Bromptons, are very noisy.

I am just very grateful I caught him in time.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Off with the boots and back in heels

The beginning of March has brought warmer weather to London. Too warm to cycle in my faithful biker boots and the Camper shoes are always a good transition choice for this kind of not cold not hot weather.

It has been very tricky cycling through central London over the past couple months due to the road works. The City is in a rush to get everthing ready for the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics which has involved lots of detour routes and narrow lanes. Bishopsgate, a road I use once a week on my way to evening class is now fully open again. My one worry is that when everything is back in place will they remember to replace the cycle lanes and junctions. These are always the first to go and the last to be replaced.