Monday 30 September 2013

Brompton for sale?

Now calm down I'm NOT selling BumbleB EVER in fact he'd probably get buried with me when the time comes. 

But for those of you who are thinking of selling your Brompton(s) there is a promotion at Going Going Bike for the whole month of October.  

"They are offering an incentive for sellers to list. Namely that  Going Going Bike will offer to buy any Brompton that has not sold within 2 weeks of it being listed."

Unlike other sites they have systems in place to make sure everything listed is legal & above board (ie not stolen) 

So if your thinking of selling your Brompton, give Going Going Bike a try.

Sunday 29 September 2013

#LBClub Basingstoke Canal Ride with the legend

Once again dear readers the legend was out for another LEGENDARY ride with the London Brompton Club.

This time we was starting at Richmond and heading  west towards Aldershot but along the Basingstoke Canal paths. The weather looked to be abit cloudy & cool. There was a chance of rain so made sure I packed my Pak Pak type waterproof jacket just in case.Headed to Richmond Station but cause of engineering works the trains where not as frequent as they normally are so I ended up getting to the meeting point just a little late.

While I was coming out of the station a nice lady was commenting on Bumble B and was wondering about Bromptons as she every time she sees one she thinks she should buy one. Told her all about Bromptons and how you can get a lighter version as I always have Bumble B loaded up pretty heavy with tools etc just in case of punctures etc. Gave her one of my cards and she wished me good luck on the ride.

Finally met up with the gang, the normal faces I always ride with as well as a few new faces.

David & Anne P
Orange Brompton,
Mark W,
Wayfarer Brompton
Floyd S,
Robin B,
Richard M,
Andy L
Kevin from the USA that is actually going back the net day but just so happen to have his Brompton and heard about the ride today. Portability of the Brompton is just so good you can take it anywhere and go for a ride. Not sure if his in the group or facebook but I got a feeling he will be soon as he makes regular trips the UK.

Once we introduced ourselves we was off on another LBC adventure....

Richmond Park (Infra Red)
Leading the way as always David P (Master Jedi Navigator). Always a great sight seeing a Brompton Peloton heading though Richmond Park. Makes a change from the Lycra and racing bikes normally flying though Richmond.

Our first mini stop by the Thames River

This was also Bumble B's first ride with his new Brompton yellow saddle and everyone said it really suits him and it was well worth the wait.

Our first major stop for some food, learning from my past experiences I didn't have anything HUGE.

After we have something to eat we realised this was the first LBC ride where a lot of the admin team where here and had the new LBC cycling jerseys on so had to have a good photo for the jerseys.

Do our bums look big in this? >:D
Onwards towards Weybridge where we would be losing Mark W & Andy L but as always its good to ride with the guys. A final photoshoot beside the lock and then continuing though along the canal paths. I have to say some of the canal paths where a little bumpy to say the least, my buns where starting to hurt and we still had quiet away to go. I was putting it down to me geting used to the new saddle as I still had to break it in a little.

Continuing on the canal paths we went past quiet a few house boats of all different shapes and sizes, also ALOT of locks too. We was going up stream so the locks are used by the canal boats to go up the canals in steps. we flashed past alot of people fishing and walking their dogs. Anytime we would come across them we would slow down to make sure we didn't have any accidents along the way.
 We came across this motorway overpass and saw some great graffiti and had another little photo shoot. I wasn't the main photographer this time as Robin B his dSLR and was very happy to snap shots as well as use other peoples camera's to take some too.

Further along we met up with Mick.B. as this was his neck of the woods. Always good to see Mick.B. and very glad he could join us once again, been way too long.

Basingstoke Canal (IR)
Not too long after this point where the canal path got really muddy I found that BumbleB's front mudguard was pretty full of mud and began to rub against the wheel. Just as we got off the path David P discovered he had a front puncture. Lucky it was a slow one & we wasn't to far from the Basingstoke Canal Centre, so he just used his CO2 canister and pump the tire up enough to get to the centre and change out the inner tube.
We pushed on to Basingstoke Canal Centre where we had our last little break before the last few miles to the Aldershot Station and trains home.
I had a pretty damn good scone, butter & jam with a equally good hot chocolate.
Mick.B. warns us about the next part of the canal path being a little rough and to really watch out for the rocks sticking out. I have to say he wasn't kidding so we all had to slow it down abit and really focus on our riding to make sure we didn't fall over. But we all managed it without incident

Got to Aldershot Station and got our tickets back home. Another awesome ride with the LBC gang once again.

Friday 27 September 2013

Does my butt look yellow in this?

Well I know a few of you have been wanting to see BumbleB's latest upgrade.

Black & yellow baby

Mounted on the legend

The full on LEGEND

So that is the 2013 Brompton Yellow Saddle. Available at Brompton Junction for £35, in Red, Blue, Black, Lime Green & ofcourse Yellow. Also grips to match too. 

But now what's next for the legend?

Thursday 26 September 2013

Brompton Junction Shop

Today I managed to get myself down to the Brompton Junction shop that opened yesterday. This is a Brompton Bicycle shop for all your Brompton needs.

Over the past few months I have been dreaming of getting a yellow saddle for Bumble B and when I saw a few sneak photos from the InterBike show in Las Vegas I spotted different coloured saddles including a nice yellow one.

Well ofcourse I fired off an email to Brompton asking when they where going to be available and was glad to learn that a Brompton Junction shop was opening up in Central London in a few days and would have the new accessories for sale including, coloured saddles, grips & even white and black mudguards too.

Brompton Junction, London
BumbleB in Brompton Junction

Brompton Frame Light
I finally found it, "My Precious" Yellow saddle

The power of "Black & Yellow"

What's next for the legend?

Sunday 22 September 2013

LBC Ride: Richmond to Oxford II

Well folks I have kinda been looking forward to this ride cause it be almost exactly 1 yr since I did it last and I wanted to see exactly how much I had improved.

Heading to Hackney Central so I could get the Overground train to Richmond was my quickest and best option. As I passed my work place I heard one of my work mates calling out for me asking where I was off to. I shouted back riding to Oxford. I think I only heard a distance cry of "Your a nutter"
While on the overground train to Richmond my cycling partner in crime txt me to say that he was a train heading to Richmond as well. I figured he may be on the same train I was on but I looked down my carriage but didn't spot him. Few mins later I got another txt telling me to look to my left, then right and my partner was sitting there with a big smile on his face.

Got to chatting a little as we always do, about the coming ride to Oxford. I knew my riding had improved ALOT since then but still wanted to prove to myself and this was probably the best long ride to do it on.

We got to Richmond in plenty of time and found a few others waiting for us at the Costa Coffe just outside. Meet and greetings all round and few new faces too.

I went into the Tesco Express to get myself another bottle of water when a couple of ladies who had walked past our little group asked me what we was up to. I told them we was riding to Oxford.
The look on their faces said it all. One told me she had a Brompton but never thought about riding all that way and only used it for commuting. We had a little chat about it all and ofcourse I told them that me, Bumble B & the London Brompton Club. Assured them that we don't always do these big long rides but do plenty of smaller ones in and around the London area and handed them one of my LBC cards. They seem pretty surprised and wished me luck on our journey.

Once everyone had gathered we headed off to our breakfast stop, The Monkey's Forehead passing though Bushy Park.

Ann P with a big smile on her face

Fountain in Bushy Park

On our first short stop near a lock on the River Thames.

Onwards towards to the first official stop for breakfast to help fuel ourselves all the way to Oxford. The Monkey's Forehead was on top of a hill which was the first biggish hill we came across. I have to say I felt pretty good getting up it, just kept up my cadence and breathing at a good level and it actually felt much easier. My training & overall better fitness level is paying off. Very pleased.

BumbleB returns to The Monkey's Forehead

Brompton Barn
I was the only one brave enough, ok SILLY enough to order up the MEGA Breakfast. I had it last time and it was great. This time though it go the better of me & I actually couldn't finish it all.

The Monkey's Forehead MEGA Breakfast
After the Monkey's Forehead we had to continue up the hill as pub was about half way up. I have to say at this point the MEGA Breakfast was abit of a mistake as I felt VERY sluggish and I actually started to yawn a little. After an hour or so the sluggish feeling faded and managed to get to get into a good cadence again.

It wasn't long before we was out of the city and riding along nice country lanes and much less traffic.

At about the 30-35mile mark we came across The Bell Pub we stopped at for lunch last time.

Seeing I had that HUGE MEGA Breakfast I was in no way needed anything more to eat. But took the time to take a few snaps and chat. We was actually waiting for another rider Dina D who was coming up by train and cycling to the pub to join us the rest of the way to Oxford.
The Legend
Parked up BumbleB here and noticed a little sign, I don't think John "The Ticket" Birkett would mind the legend parking up here for a short time
Reserved Bicycle Parking
Tempting "Bee Sting" 7.5%

Nice chips/fries

Bromptons parking up
After our lunch stop we powered on though getting the miles under our belts.

Finally we came into Oxfordshire and was on the home leg.

As we entered Hanley-on-Thames we lost Amanda O & Ann P.  It was a good but long ride and always good to not push yourself to hard if possible.

The rest of us headed off towards Pishill. I remember this hill from last time and in my mind it was a hellish hill for me to get up.

Back then BumbleB was a 3 gears and now with the 6 gears I was looking forward to how we would cope but I was still a little nervous about it. At a turn off just before the long road towards the hill we all stopped and fuelled up on energy bars and water. Also making sure I took of my cycling jacket and securing my camera & mobile in my saddle bag. Last thing I want is for me to be going up the hill and something bugging me and putting me off my cadence.

I had forgotten how long this road was as it seemed to go on forever and ever. For the most part it was me and Michael B heading up this way, tried to keep up best I could but in the end I just had to slow right down to a pace I would be able to keep going.
I did stop a couple of times to just get alittle rest & water. Once I finally hit the hill properly I made sure I focused on my breathing and cadence and just kept those going. At one point the hill for REALLY steep and it was just a little too much for me, I was completely out of energy and hopped off and walked for about 5 mins or so.

The hill levelled out a little so I jumped back on BumbleB and continued on, next thing I knew I recognised the final corner of the hill. At the top of the Pishill the rest of our little gang waiting for me. I have to say I was very pleased with having ridden up pretty much all of this hill and knew the combination of higher fitness level & 6 gears saw me though to the top. Next time I will ride up it all.

Now was the fun part, the decent. Last time I came down here I think I topped out at just under 40mph, this time according to my Garmin Edge 800 I hit a massive 41.2mph this time round. I really zoomed past a few riders that where not as bonkers as me but hell after going up a big hill you have to enjoy going down the other side.

Now it was the finally run into Oxford itself and only had one other stop to get more water.

We finally made it into Oxford City and headed towards Oxford University where we took a photo ofcourse.

Distance:                      64.91 miles
Time: 5:19:48
Moving Time: 5:15:38
Elapsed Time: 8:47:58

The LBC at Oxford University

BumbleB outside Oxford University

We finally done it. We made it and kicked BUTT :D

Garmin Data

We all headed towards Oxford Station to purchase tickets and head back to the big smoke, London.

Oxford Station Bicycle Park

A knew addition to the station was a Brompton Docking station where you can hire a Brompton. Pretty cool

Most of us got our tickets and this time I got a train that we didn't have to run for, we had about 30 mins before our train arrived so had something to eat in the station.

The train back was a little packed but with the Bromptons ofcourse we never had a problem getting space. On the train I met a guy that had a CTC top on and ofcourse recognised Bumble B as soon as he saw him. I do post links to my blog post quiet often to the CTC facebook page and  Bumble B is pretty hard to miss.

Paddington Station, London

While on the London Underground on the way home I saw these guys on the train. Fancy dress tennis stars, so funny. Hope they had a good night, it sure looked like it started off well.

Old Tennis Champions?
I'm EXTREMELY pleased with how this ride went. Just shows me how much I have improved in just over a year. I know people already say that I'm a completely different cyclist these days but its only after something like this that I truly believe it.

BumbleB & me have basically evolved into what we are today & evolution NEVER stops.