Monday, 1 December 2008

Bromptons are Brilliant

Chris has missed his flight home from Dublin. "Pillock" is the word I'd use. He swears blind that he got to the airport on time, but I have to say that I am deeply suspicious. This latest mishap has cost me 35 Euros and him a day hanging round in Dublin airport. I hope he learns from the experience.

For a while I have been expanding my range as far as cycling goes. For my birthday, my wonderful family have gathered together
enough funds to buy me a Brompton folding bicycle which is pictured on the left.

A Brompton has three main states. The picture at the top shows it as it is ready to ride. The second pic shows it with the back wheel folded under the frame, and in this position it will stand on its own.

So, it can be left outside a shop or whatever like this without the need for a bike stand and can be locked up.

The third picture shows it fully folded in which state it is easy to carry on to a train or a bus. As I had to go to London last week, I cycled to the station, folded it up and up, and took it with me on the train to Marylebone. Upon arrival, I unfolded it, made my way through the ticket barrier and pedaled off to Clapham.

This is a distance of around 5 miles and I was astonished by three aspects of cycling in London.

The first was the clear signs which guided me to Chelsea Bridge and onwards to Clapham. The second was the suicidal nature of many London cyclists, they were everywhere going at one hell of a lick, weaving in and out of the traffic and generally frightening me to death. The third surprise was my own ability to pedal this distance without difficulty. I am obviously getting fitter. The journey took me 35 minutes and our friends were mighty surprised to see me arrive in such style.

While I'm on the topic of this trip to London, I must express my congratulations to and satisfaction with, Chiltern Railways. By buying 2 single tickets over the web which were sent to my mobile phone, the cost of my rail travel was £10 i.e. £5 each way. This I consider to be amazing value and I urge anyone who has to travel on this fine railway to use this system. It is excellent.

I have been out again this morning for a ride, and although it is very, very cold this morning, I managed 5 miles without any difficulty at all. I shall have to now spread my wings even further afield.

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