Cycling Monologues No 12 – The Brompton Rider

“So anyway I’ve just got this Brompton you know the folding bike made in Britain it’s the only bike made in Britain I think or maybe not anyway it’s got this really clever mechanism you pull the seat post up this is to unfold it and then you straighten the front wheel and lock that into place I think no hang on then you sort of swing the rear wheel back there’s a trick to it and you lock that in place go on, get in, there’s a knack to it bloody thing and then you lock the handlebars and then straighten the pedal I’ll show you later and off you go, of course the ride is shit it’s quite unstable and the wheels are tiny so it shakes like mad and it’s made of steel so it weighs like 40 pounds or something it’s too heavy for me but it’s really portable I’d use it for commuting but I can’t carry it so anyway to fold it up you basically do the whole thing in reverse so you undo the handlebars and swing them down and then swing the rear wheel underneath or do you do that first not sure anyway the last thing is you let the seat post down and that locks it all together it’s really clever and then you can lift it up well I can’t it’s not working I’ll show you later they do this special bag for it it’s got those 3 speed Sturmey Archer gears which are hopeless of course and the brakes aren’t great mine is British Racing Green it’s an iconic design you see them everywhere I got mine on Ebay from some woman who used it for commuting it’s unisex like but then stopped I don’t know why I think it’s really great I love it I’d ride it all the time if I could set it up but it doesn’t really suit me you can get a dynamo for it and ride at night I don’t think I would it’s not safe there’s somewhere for your briefcase but then you’ve got to carry the bike and your briefcase and helmet it weighs a ton I can’t be arsed to tell you the truth I’d rather get the train but it’s an iconic design apparently the last thing made in this country ever it’s all gone to the dogs we don’t have a manufacturing industry any more I hate it I’m going to put it on Ebay and get an electric bike instead I saw Boris Johnson riding one says it all really it’s got a Brooks saddle so it’s really uncomfortable no you’d love it it’s perfect for commuting but it’s not for me I prefer to drive I’m getting a Discovery Sport with 7 seats instead and alloy wheels and a Satnav, British Racing Green hopefully.”

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