Sunday 28 July 2013

A new begining for the Brompton World Championships 2013

Once again I didn't sleep much. I had been tinkering with Bumble B the day before getting Bumble B in proper tip top shape for the true highlight of my cycling year....

The Brompton World Championships

But this year was in a new unproven location, Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit, Chichester.

We arrived in plenty of time at Goodwood and was guided to the parking space pretty close to the circuit, Perfect. As I unloaded Bumble B I suddenly thought to myself, we are actually here and will creating awesome memories for anyone lucky enough to set their eyes on a legend.

As soon as I put on my now trademark black and yellow jacket I could feel the power flowing though me. I turned to finish unpacking and a family recognised me and Bumble B. Saying that they had see photos from other events as far back as BWC 2012. They said they would cheer for us when we was racing. My fan club was beginning to form, always a good sign of things to come....

Began my way though another carpark and spotted a few fellow LBC members gathering and chatting away.
LBC Gathering
Me and Bumble B decided to make our way to get all registered and pick up a few ordered bits namely the Brompton World Championship Mug & T Shirt I had ordered on Bromptons website. As always getting great comments from everyone saying they loved my whole outfit. Never get tired of hearing how it makes people smile.

Wondering though the Orbital Grounds seeing what was around, I found myself at the Brompton stand ordering myself a cycling jersey. I asked for a XL but I've just tried it on tonight and its a little tight on me, I thought XL would be big enough but these cycling jerseys are extremely close fitting. I'll have to see about getting an XXL when I can.

Walked around the event grounds stopping quiet often as everyone wanted to get a few photos of me and Bumble B.Was very glad to meet one of the guys from NYCeWheels (Peter Yuskaukas) as I always like that they do tours on yellow Bromptons al over New York City, USA. I even had an idea of next year maybe popping over with Bumble B to go on one of their rides.

Finally the it was time for everyone to get to the starting grid. Classic Brompton start as always is FULLY folded Bromptons on the start grid with riders a distance away.

I set Bumble B down, I think he was a little nervous, he wasn't the only one. I calmed him down with some comforting words.
Preparing for the start
Bumble B with more Bromptons
While we was getting ready of the start someone grabbed my hand, shaking it with force. I was taken aback for a moment. I looked up and it took a few seconds for it to sink in. The man shaking my hand was none other than  Will Butler-Adams (MD of Brompton Bicycles). A big smile broke out on my face as I've been wanting to meet him for quiet awhile but never had the chance. I got a feeling he has known of me & Bumble B for quiet awhile. Didn't get to say much but made mental note to try and catch up with him after the race and get a photo of us together.

But now it was time to race.

I narrowed my focus.

Brought my breathing under control.

Steadied my body.

Everything I had done over the year had been focused on the next 30 mins.

All the training I had done on my Cadence, foot position, breathing, slipstreaming.

We was ready.

When the horn sounded my heart was in my mouth but calmly walked to Bumble B, unfolded him and walked him to the tarmac.

Once we hit the track the crowd volume definitely went up, they knew they where in the presence of a legend. I could hear the announcer calling out here he comes, Bumble B in black and yellow. I couldn't help but smile and I think I may have waved and cheered the crowd and myself on.

On the track was pretty good but it was HUGE and with it being so open and a little windy well I definitely felt it. Got into a nice pace I thought and tried to keep up with whoever I could find. I did do alot of slip streaming to help conserve some energy.

I don't remember much of the laps but I do remember making sure I put in a good finish. I do remeber many of the faster riders when passing me shouting out words of incouragement, remembered my cycling partner in crime Mr. OrangeBrompton dinging his bell too. 

On the final corner I was slip streaming another rider and I made my move. I put the power on and pedalled like a mad man. There was another rider up ahead of me that was pretty close to the finish line, I made it my mission to pip that rider to the finish line. I pushed HARDER than I ever have, pushed everything.

20 yards ahead and gaining...

10 yards it was going to be a very close one....

5 yards I pushed and LUNGED at the line. It was a photo finish but I think I just about got Bumble B's front wheel ahead of the rider I was chasing down. My own personal Tour de France finish and it felt WONDERFUL especially with the crowd cheering like crazy. It felt like I was at the Olympic games winning the gold medal.

I'd done it, I powered down and glided to the finishing enclosure and was greeted with big smiles from folks handing out the medals.
My Gold Medal

Waiting for us was a well needed drink, which I sucked down like it was the last drop of fluid on the planet. So this is what winning tasted like and it tasted good & fruity.

After we had rested we walked around finding a few folks I knew and ofcourse chatting about our Bromptons and what the next event was going to be.

I found myself at the Brompton tent and I saw Will Butler-Adams (MD of Brompton Bicycles) I saw my chance to have a quick word with him. First thing he said to me was did I like the presents on Bumble B. My god he knew of the Legend, I was honoured. I told him how wicked pleased I was when I got Bumble B back after getting a warranty claim cause of a small crack I found and they the "extras & upgrades" they put on him. Told him how I pretty much cried in the shop when I picked him up. He seemed very pleased by this.
Will Butler-Adams, me & Bumble B
Brompton Podium

Bumble B enjoying the presentations

I stayed for the presentations of the prizes which was great atmosphere. At the end of if all Will Butler-Adams made a great little speech and even gave me a honourable mention, which had me cheering.

Just before I left Mick B gave me a little present, something he saw and thought of me instantly.

I love it
Well it was time for me to leave the awesome Goodwood Motor Circuit. Great place for the BWC and a nice change. I would however like to return to Blenheim as I did like the scenery there and would like to go around taking photos with my IR camera especially. I did hear there is a Family Cycling day on the 18th August which looks to be on the same day as the next iBikeLDN Summer Ride.

Next big event is the Prudential Ride London: Freecycle next weekend which should be a good with all the roads in central london closed down just for cyclist.

My Garmin Edge 800 Race Data I started recording my data too early so it didn't count the laps properly but other than that the data is pretty good. I did however forget to wear my heart monitor, abit rushed getting in and then too excited to remember put it on.

My results: Position 479/626 - 37mins 56sec Cat Pos: 280 Gen Pos: 399

Saturday 27 July 2013

The night before #BWC2013

Spent some quality time with Bumble B. We was in the back yard enjoying the sun while I had him on the bike stand giving him some TLC.

I've noticed a few things with him as hasn't been going though his gears as smooth as he should be the last week or so. I think his chain & rear cogs are getting worn out but I didn't have time to go and get new ones. At the moment he doesn't change from the small cog to the big one smoothly, it takes a little while before he does. Adjusted what I can but I think he probably needs a new chain and cogs as I haven't changed them since I got him back from Brompton HQ and have been doing some serious mileage since then.

Also noticed a few scratches on the underside of the saddle too, thinking I may have to get another one at some point but not too worried about it.

Also got myself a GoPro Chest mount which should give me some good in action shots. I've liked the photographs I've taken riding along with the handle bars framing the shot. Did a little test of it earlier today and I liking it. We shall see what its like on the Brompton World Championships itself. Also the other cameras which I will be trying to mount in other places to get more different angles etc.

As I write this its raining on and off pretty hard here in London, even a few big claps of thunder and lighting too.
Hopefully the weather will be fine for the BWC2013 tomorrow in Chichester.

If your there please come and say hello to us, I'll be rider number 1589 but I think we will kinda stand out from the crowd, just saying.... >:P

Tuesday 23 July 2013


Over the last week or so it has come to my attention that a website has been copying the contents of my blog and passing it off has their own.

I have NEVER given permission for any of my content to be used in this way. 

Even after the the so called web master was finally contacted via the Brompton yahoo group and then finally banned the site still STEALING content from this blog also my cycling partner OrangeBrompton & many others. 

Please all readers of my legendary blog only come directly to the source. 

This blog is done in my own personal time and effort along with full time job. I don't get paid for doing this as it is for my own pleasure & my personal first hand experiences in having a legendary Brompton Bicycle. 

Do not go to the content thief as this has nothing to do with me, London Brompton Club or Brompton Bicycles. This site or any other has no permission to copy ANY of my content without my express permission. 

Thank you. 

Monday 22 July 2013

Easy Sunday

After not feeling up to doing the Dunwich Dynamo XXI over the weekend and my cycling partner OrangeBrompton being slightly injured and not doing the same event we decided to do a little light training around Hyde Park on Sunday.

For once I was dead ontime for once (GASP) so had a little time to take a couple of snaps at our meeting point.

The Albert Memorial

 Royal Albert Hall

When Orange finally arrived we didnt really have anything planned, we did a couple of circuits of Hyde Park and then heading towards St. Pauls going over the Millennium Bridge

Confirmed on the Millennium Bridge
St. Paul's Cathedral in the distance
At this point we hadn't seen that many people around in London. It was still relatively early and being in the banking district of London most of it was shut down. In the week the same area is pretty crazy with traffic and office workers going about their business.

Feeling a little hungry even though I had a good porridge breakfast before leaving we headed to what is becoming out favourite haunt Look Mum No Hands on Old Street. If you get the chance please visit as the food is great, healthy and very cyclist orientated. Even got a little workshop where they can work on your bike if needed.
Breakfast @ "look mum no hands"
After my 2nd breakfast we headed back into central London's banking district as the traffic was still pretty light. OrangeBrompton wanted to visit The Gherkin before we called it a day. There is always something interesting to see & photograph in central London.

Sculpture in the city 2013 - Really shiny things that don't mean anything by Ryan Gander
Close up
The Gherkin
Security Guards?
After we hanged around the gherkin taking photos for a little while we decided to call it a day. We said our goodbyes and headed in opposite directions. I did take a couple of shots on my way home as the traffic was still light and not many about.

PAD: 21st July 2013
LOVE You Bumble B

Sunday 14 July 2013

To Whitstable Beach & beyond

I wasn't true sure that we would be going on this ride till the morning I woke up, but in the end I'm glad that we did. It was EXACTLY what I needed.

The weather forecast said that it would be the start of a VERY hot spell in the south of England and boy they where so right. With this in mind I made sure that we loaded up properly with as much water as we could carry. But also making sure that anytime we came across a place to top up to take it.

3 HARDCORE members (OrangeBrompton, Mark W, and Geoff S) where cycling from Charming Cross Road Station, London to Whitstable Beach. (70+miles)

7 of us normal humans of the club decided to take the train from Victoria Station, London to Otford which is about 30 miles into the ride and join the hardcore at this point. So in all it would be for me about 47 miles but for the hardcore, closer on 77 miles. Good training for them as they are doing The Dunwich Dynamo (120 miles) ride next weekend.

We arrived at Victoria in good time and found a couple of members of the LBC that I hadn't met before. Got my ticket early from the machine as it seemed ALOT of people at Victoria Station had the same idea to take a train to go somewhere in what turned out to be a wonderfully sunny hot day.

Short train journey and we was all at Otford Station, did have to wait as one of our number missed the train as the line for the ticket machine was pretty long. But our timing was pretty good as not long after I arrived the hardcore trio arrived.
The legend has arrived...
Getting a few supplies

The LBC getting ready to roll
As soon as we left the station there was a hill. This would be my first test as it where and I have to say I felt pretty good on it.

On recent training sessions I have been focusing more on my breathing, making sure I get enough oxygen into my lungs, therefore into the blood which supplies the muscles with what they need. I wanted to take my heart monitor which comes with the Garmin but forgot. One day I will bring it all together on a big ride like this and get full complete ride data for it. What I would do with all that data I have no idea, but I like viewing it all though.

Didn't do much in the way of taking photos but just got on with the ride.

Bumble B & OrangeBrompton in the shade
 Had regular stops along the way cause of the heat, got to be one of the hottest rides we have ever done to date.
It's a little warm
 Glad I cut my hair the night before. Panting like a dog actually helps to keep me cool.
More shade and water top up

We finally made it to the Kings Arms Bar & Restaurant, which was in the middle of a little hill. I was really hitting abit of a wall at this point and thankfully the pub was just 200 yards away and everyone decided it was a good place to have lunch and alittle break.

Ordered up myself a awesome "Trio of Wild Boar Sausages served on a bed of creamy mash with onion gravy and fresh veg" and VERY yummy and filling it was too. At this point i've been making sure that I been drinking plenty of water as I could feel and see the signs of de-hydration as I was starting to get a little headache. As soon as I took on water the headache eased away.

Well earned lunch

Keeping cool

After lunch we continued on to Whitstable Beach our target and we was only half way there.

the rest of this ride was just a blur of cars on country lanes, hills, tarmac roads & not so good un used roads. It was on one of these rough loose roads that we had our first and only puncture on this little ride. Mark W had a rear wheel puncture but was quickly sorted and we was all on our way again. When we did catch up with the few that was ahead of us they where just sitting topping up their tans :P

Inspecting Mark W's repair
Chewing up the miles we where about 15 miles out from Whitstable when this vision greeted us. The co operative food shop. I have to say it was a very welcome sight as most of us where running low on water at this point and boy did we top up here in a major way and even had a quick ice cream or 2. My head was starting to go a little as I didn't have much water left and was making sure I had a few mouthfuls left if my head got any worst.

Glowing beacon of delight
I have to say the staff was abit surprised to see us all raiding the fridges for ice cream and water.
Bumble B taking a little rest
At this point we wasn't too far as we started to see caravans and water sports equipment on their vehicles etc.

At this point we all pushed on to get to the Whitstable Beach for a well earned ice cream, fish & chip dinner before we headed back on the train.

Well earned ice cream on the beach


Having a quick shot with beach huts

We made it
Trademark Bumble B

Garmin Edge 800 Data: LBC: Otford to Whistable Beachfront

After a good rest and food we decided to catch the train back to London.

Now this is where the TRUE adventure began....

Heading to Whitstable Station

The adventure begins

All lined up ready to go
We got to the station in plenty of time to catch the train back to London at 20:06. It didn't arrive. More than 2hrs later a train arrived but by this time the platform was pretty full of people trying to head back to London as the sun was setting. There wasn't much information  as the station itself was all locked up and no one was about to answer any questions.

Everyone was jumping on this train as they had no idea when the next one would be. We all managed to get on in the end. With the trains being all full up and families running late with kids etc people where a little on edge. On the first train there was abit of trouble and maybe even a fight broke out the next carriage down. While British Transport Police where dealing with it at the station the train company decided to transfer everyone to another train as this one was not going to Victoria any more.

Cue everyone grabbing their stuff and running down stairs then up stairs to get to another platform to get on another train heading to Victoria Station. I think in the end we did this about 5 times in total as there had been some problems service since early afternoon. Signalling problems and people on the tracks as well near London. At one point we was told to get off the train we was on only to be told 30 seconds later to be told the train we was getting off changed to go to London, Victoria again. Crazy.

Running about with a folded Brompton is interesting and something I don't want to repeat again if possible.

So the return home by train was took almost as long as cycling to Whitstable in the first place. We I did finally get home it was just past 01:00hrs in the morning. Hot shower and bed for me at that point.

It was a damn good ride and one I'm most pleased about with my performance. I actually rode up quiet a few more hills than I have done in the past which I'm most proud of.

Next week is The Dunwich Dynamo XXI which is 120 miles from Londonfields Park, Hackney to the Dunwich Coast, Suffolk but I'm personally not going to do it as for me that is just way to far in my current physical condition.

I'm getting there but not quiet yet.

Sunday 7 July 2013

Legend at the @iBikeLDN River & Picnic Ride

Today was billed to be the hottest day of the year so far. 28C (82F) in London. The iBikeLDN: River & Picnic Ride had ordered up the perfect weather

Rode in from my place & made it with about 5 mins to spare. Once again was met my fellow members of the London Brompton Club as we always have a good turn out for these things. Greetings & hugs where exchanged

After a brief safety talk, we set off. I would say there was about 80-90 of us in all.

Heading though Hyde Park

Heading out onto the road
For a change for someone to take a snap of me. Most of the time I'm behind the camera.

We are One

Entering Brompton Cemetery. This is NOT a place where Bromptons come to die like some have commented. Bromptons never die they live forever.

We've been though Brompton Cemetery a couple of times in the past and its always nice ride though.

Surprised to see this guy taking his birds for a walk in the sunshine. I was surprised at how BIG the birds actually are.
Bird man of Brompton Cemetery
Crossing over the Thames we caught sight of probably the UGLIEST building I've seen in a long while.
Probably one of the ugliest buildings I've seen
We always causing abit of a bike traffic jam going into an underpass.

Waiting for everyone to catch up
Once again heading along The Thames river heading towards Richmond Park, passing the many rowing clubs along the Thames. We did have a pretty long pause as I think someone further back had a puncture but we was in the shade of some trees which was very welcomed on this hot weather.

Finally heading into Richmond Park where ALOT of other cyclists in training etc. The final stop was going to be at one of the carparks with abit of a cafe & toilets. Lots of green grass around so many folks had bough with them picnic stuff and set about on the grass near by. We where not the only ones and was actually pretty hard to find a spot under the shadow of a tree.

After a little awhile a few of the hardcore where gonna go on a circuit around Richmond Park I personally decided it was just alittle too hot for that which the sun beating down directly overhead and relaxed in the shade having a good chat.

Decided to head back home via the London Overground train and just as we was leaving Richmond Park I found a family member sitting on Bumble B.

Another Bumble Bee.

Being a kind hearted soul I tried to help the little fella on his way but he wouldn't move, even shaking pretty hard he didn't want to go. I think he was waiting for me to take a photo before buzzing off cause as soon as I took this shot he took off.
Another Bumble Bee hitching a ride
After leaving Richmond Park, our little gang decided to head down Nightingale Road which is a 25% gradient road. We love going DOWN this road but we've never been up it. I think next time we are in the Richmond area we will attempt going up especially now with the 6 speed upgrade.

Once again a WICKEDLY AWESOME ride with the folks from iBikeLDN with perfect weather.

Check the iBikeLDN on facebook or the iBike London website for information on the next ride. Normally every month.