Saturday 28 June 2014

Legend gets a brand new bag ;)

Back in early in June, on my travels though the Brompton facebook groups I spotted something that perked my interest.

It was a design based on Brompton's Folding Basket but instead the material of the basket was red with white spots. It looked pretty cool and ofcourse I thought of something for the Legend. Sometimes I have big oversized loads and wanted to make sure I could transport it safely and this looked pretty good for those rare occasions.

I made a passing comment about would love one but in BumbleB's famous black & yellow stripes.

Not long after I made this comment I was contacted by Valeria Lopes who made the custom folding basket and asked if she could find something suitable if I would be interested in one.

It took me all of 1 billionth of a second to say ofcourse we would be interested so long that the design was right.

A few days later I got a fb mail with a photo attached.

I nearly fell over.....

I thought DAMN its perfect for BBB and was a pretty good early birthday present for my little folding buddy.

So we waited..........while I waited I had to purchase "Brompton Bag Frame For C,T,Folding Basket" which you should be able to get at your local Brompton stockist.

I swear time dragged on, I was tracking the package online and swear the courier was leaving my package till the last possible moment. I had to actually stop tracking as it seemed that took forever to get here to the HiVE.

I came home to the HiVE after work and there was a small package waiting for me, I don't know why but I expected it to be big like the framed basket. *duh*

When I opened up the package I was even more surprised and delighted what I found. So I wasted no time in installing the frame and brace.

24 litres capacity

Folded Basket
From what I can tell the capacity is the same as the original Brompton Folded Basket and appears to be made from hard wearing materials.

Also there are little side pockets as well which can be very handy as well.

The basket uses the same frame & brace as the Brompton Basket and is simple to install and using very good velco straps to keep it all attached to the Brompton Basket frame and brace on the inside.

So I  just had to pop out to get some shopping done to see how it felt to use in person. :D

 As you can see it takes quiet a good load.

I'm very happy with my bag as it compliments BBB's legendary style ;)

Made by the awesome Valeria Lopes who is on facebook (fb mail her for prices & requests) & a few Brompton related facebook groups or email her

Contact her and you can discuss all types of different designs patterns. Welcomes feedback and improvements.


Sunday 15 June 2014

A close shave. TWICE

So this morning like normal I'm heading to work. I stop at a big set of traffic lights and wait. While waiting I saw a woman driver on her iPhone & teenager next to her on theirs. I made a mental note to watch her positioning and let her go ahead of me when the lights changed.

She went ahead at the junction and into the distance. Now after the junction starts a cycle lane going all the way to Hackney. 

I'm coming along at a decent speed and spot the same driver up ahead. My B senses are tingling a little so I cover my brakes just in case as there is a side road coming up. Just after the side street is the entrance to KFC. She turns into the KFC just as I'm under taking in the cycle lane with NO indicators STILL on her iPhone. 

I shout out, no I SCREAM out loud at her and put my body against the car and push BBB away from going underneath the car while she is STILL turning into the KFC. I was banging on the car as hard as I could but she kept going for about a meter before she stopped. She only stopped when most of her car was in the entrance to KFC. 

I'm screaming at her asking her what the hell she was doing on her phone while driving the car. 

"It was an important call/message about a job "

This just made me even MORE angry at her and I let rip asking her

"Was your mobile more important than my life? You couldn't wait til you was parked in KFC to deal with it? And you got kids in your car with you?"

I checked myself & BBB but we was ok just really angry. You would this this was the end of it but oh no. 

About 1 mile down the road again just after a incline from a set of lights another car was ahead of me while I was using the shared bus/cycle lane and cause of the down hill section and was going at a fair speed when another car in front of me left turned on me without ANY indicators, just turned. 

I slammed on the brakes again and put my body up on the car and pushed BBB away again banging hard on the body of the car SCREAMING thinking " Shit something really wants me dead. That's twice in less than 10mins"

Again I'm SCREAMING at the guy driving asking him what the f does he think his doing without indicators. 

He then said " You was going pretty fast and never saw you"

"How did you know how fast I was going if you didn't see me? So you DID see me just didn't care and turned left in me. Yeah?"

I let rip once again as I was double angry. A few guys came out from the car wash place right at the turning looking to see what the noise was about but me & BBB was ok just crazy mad. 

I've been doing my commute for just shy of 5yrs now and NEVER been cut up like that before and now twice within 10mins?

Right I've calmed down and again we are OK. 

But anyone using the roads look before you turn pram, bicycle, car, van, bus, truck whatever flipping look before you turn left or right. 

Sunday 8 June 2014

#LondonNocturne & #NightriderLDN2014 on the same day

Once again my cycling partner, Mr Orange & I do the double header of the London Nocturne Folding Bike Race & Nightrider London.

We had been to the Nocturne Circuit in Smithfield's Market the week before to get a taste of the circuit on which we will be racing. Since upgrading BBB's chain ring for better hill climbing I was a little worried I wouldn't be as fast but on this tight circuit I didn't need to worry.

We did this last year and it was the first time I had done 2 events so closely together so I knew what to expect.

We met up with a good number of the LBC crew at a coffee shop just outside of the event, Mr.Orange was sporting a really nice orange waist coat & shorts. I have had the idea on getting a yellow waist coat since the heat of Brompton World Championships last year when it was abit of a heatwave and many rides didn't ride with jackets.

Well it was time to get registered and ready for our heats as they where the first events on the list

Waiting in line to register for the #londonnocturne #foldingbikerace
Waiting to register

Everyone to gathered together to get into the riders area in the market building itself. Preparing our B's, suits and putting on the riders numbers which was abit of a mission.

The legend is always ready
My heat was the first race of the day so. I had almost missed the call as there was alot going on but managed to quickly run to get on the grid. Even after I got there late there was still a few more riders after me running to catch up.

A the start #londonnocturne #foldingbikerace
Riders waiting for the Union Jack
I did have my GoPro mounted and ready to record the race but because it was delayed it timed out and in the rush I didn't start it up again. May look into upgrading to something else in future maybe the Garmin's Virb as I can control it via my Garmin Edge.

Now in the race itself I was just focusing on my own race making sure I did better than last year which I felt I actually did, I pushed a hell of alot more and my body did what it was told. There is a slight incline after a short hairpin corner which last year I had problems with but this year I was up and out of the saddle pushing like hell and really giving it some welly which even surprised me. Clearly the new 44T chainring upgrade is agreeing with me greatly.

Out of 40 riders 31 actually completed I came 27th which I was pretty good as there was quiet a few VERY fast riders in both heats.

After my race I was offered a massage which I just couldn't say no to. I have to say my legs have never felt so good and where so relaxed after that it didn't feel like I did a race.

It's a hard life #londonnocturne #foldingbikerace #massage
Oh baby

The legend has arrived #londonnocturne #foldingbikerace #chilled out
oh hello ;)

After my massage with my nice jelly legs I began to relax abit, I brought my number 1 fan with me & had to take a little snap of the little guy.

Thank you to all the fans who where cheering us on. #londonnocturne #foldingbikerace #bee #robot #blink

BLink checking out some development wheels #londonnocturne

Quite a number of the LBC member's got into the final but that wasn't for a  couple of hrs so most of us decided to go and get something to eat.

#food time yum yum #londonnocturne
Salt Beef with radish, very yum

Mr. Orange & Mr Green (Mark L)?

John M & Ann M
After a damn fine lunch we went back to enjoy the rest of the racing.

Penny Farthing Racing

Classic bike racing

Classic Bike Racing
Seeing a Boris bike on rollers is a whole world of wrong. For one thing it takes 2 guys to make sure it doesn't come off as its a little longer as you can see from the photo below the front wheel almost coming off.
TdF Boris Bike on Rollers

TdF Yellow Boris Bike in action
Then it was time for the Folding bike race final that alot of the members of the LBC got in on. Seeing these guys is always great, seeing these little Bromptons flying around the track and the crowd just loving the action.

Some of the LBC Legends
Looking at my data compared from last year my Av speed was higher, from 15mph to 16.3

Nocturne 2013 Avg Speed: 15.0 mph
Nocturne 2014 Avg Speed: 16.3 mph

Nightrider 2014
Well while everyone else made their way home me and Mr.O had anther event to attend, the Nightrider.

We did the same thing last year and I knew could do it again without any problems. I got home and changed into my BBB cycling tops and got delayed looking for my cycling glasses. I found another pair I had which actually worked out a little better.

Getting to the start point was the first mission. For some reason I thought I was starting and Crystal Palace and started to head there but checked and turned back to Alexander Palace before I got too far. Once I hit Finsbury Park to get the overground train there was alot of confusion as to what was going on. Seems the trains where delayed and  changing destinations. Finally we got moving and arrived at Alexander Palace about 40mins late missing my start time.

One thing that Mr.O had noticed earlier when I posted my photo of me getting my riders pack was that he had the next number. I was 0931 & he was 0932 which was not planned at all it just happened like that.

After rushing though registration we got into the next staggered start time and we was off  at 00:25
I lost Mr.O at the start of the first big hill which is what I expected. I know that he loves the challenge of pushing himself esp on hills. I just made sure I did the hills my way which may have been slower but I kept pedalling in most cases. If anything I stopped a couple of times but not walk up which is now my mission.

Anytime I get to a hard hill and I feel that I can't make it I stop, get my breath back then carry on pedalling. With the new reduced gearing it made this a whole lot easier for me and has in turn made me a whole lot happier with my cycling. I now know the buzz Mr.O gets out of going up a hill especially without putting a foot down.

While cycling along I got into a few groups along the way and struck up conversations with everyone to past the time. Most of the time they where commenting on me doing it on a Brompton. This always makes me smile as people thing cause of the small wheels it wouldn't be up to the job. I'm slowly but surely changing the mind-sets of cyclists not knowing the  "Power of the FOLD!"

Didn't really take many photos on the first half of the ride as it was getting though Central London with busy traffic and clubbers as always. This is where the Brompton comes into its own, While everyone was holding back and threading their way though the heavy traffic me and BBB just fly though hardly stopping and manoeuvring easily and quickly.

Focusing on getting to Crystal Palace I knew I had gone past the half way point and would be heading back northwards and the home straight.

A tip that Bob H gave me is not to stay too long at check points, basically stop for  refuelling, fill water bottles and go. This way your muscles don't relax too much and you don't get cold either.

Finally got to Crystal Palace just before 03:00hrs

Crystal Palace half way point

Crystal Palace Half way point

Now with the sun starting to rise I started to really push harder as I knew I had broken the back of this ride and it was the home straight.

There was a few really nice down hills that I enjoyed but twice my water bottle shook itself loose form my bottle cage and fell off so I had to stop and grab it. Second time though the top came off the bottle and I had about 1 mouthful of water left inside. I started to worry abit as I have been purposely taking little mouthfuls of water on a  regular basis but then I remembered there where a few more check points coming up and just kept on pedalling.

 Thankfully a check point appeared not long ahead of me where once again I stocked up on water, snacks. Now the sunrise was pretty amazing at the check point near Tower bridge where I was reminded of a number of rides I have been on.
This kicked me off into a higher gear as I started to really push again. Sometimes I would kick myself into a short sprint once in awhile.

This year the route had changed and the check point in east London was down at in the Olympic Park Velodrome

Not long now. Last bit though my local area to Alexander Palace #nightriderldn2014 #urban #bromptonbicycle #selfie
Olympic Park, Velodrome

I was practically home turf so was enjoying the ride even more but then I knew I had one last MEGA hill to kill. The last hill is the one leading up to Alexander Palace which is a bad one. I attacked this hill with everything I had but with big hills I did my stop start routine  on it and I was really getting angry at it to be honest. I say sorry to anyone that was in ear shot of me while I was going up this hill was my language to myself would have made even a sailor blush and cover their ears.

I hate this mofo hill #nightriderldn2014 but neat done #bromptonbicycle
Killing Alexander Hill
We made it. Finally finished the Nightrider London 2014

Stopped started a few times but didn't walk up the mofo hill at start finish. #nightriderldn2014 #legend #done

My prize maybe? #nightriderldn2014 #car #bromptonbicycle
My prize?

Our true prize if the #nightriderldn2014 #food #medal  The bacon butty that tastes sooooo heavenly
Best bacon butty EVER

I had a little rest and enjoyed my bacon butty and tea. Repacked my Mini O bag and made the journey home. By all accounts my cycling partner finished just after 05:30 and I finished about 07:00

Amazing view from ally pally. #nightriderldn2014 #urban #bromptonbicycle
Glorious views from Alexander Palace
Big thanks to everyone that was supporting me and BBB on both of these rides and to Nocturne Series & Nightrider folks.

See you next year :D

Jupiter London Nocturne 2014 Ride Data

Nightrider London 2014 Ride Data