Sunday, 22 May 2016

Brompton Touring Mods - Part II

A few weeks ago, I set up Lucy the Brompton with everything I believed would be needed to transform her from a multi-modal commuter into a "Short(ish) Distance Touring Bicycle That Folds". 

Trying out the kit revealed a few further changes were necessary, notably a support for the Carradice saddlebag. I have an original Bagman Sport support frame but for convenience for the kind of trip we are making (including being required to take all the luggage off, fold the bike and put it into a bag while on the EuroStar trains), I decided to try the SQR system which fits to the seat post rather than to metal loops on the back of the saddle -- which isn't an option for me anyway having ditched my VeloOrange leather saddle in favour of the Selle SMP Dynamic I prefer for distances longer than a commute. 

I fitted the Carradice SQR today and I think it's a winner. The system was easy to fit and will keep my Carradice Barley saddlebag away from the backs of my legs as I pedal. The metal frame also has a nylon web handle attached to the top, which will come in handy when the bag is off the bike. 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

REPORT: Bespoked The UK Handmade Bike Show 2016 (Bristol)

I really enjoyed attending the Bespoked show in 2014 when it was held in London. When I heard it was returning to Bristol in 2015, I pretty much assumed I wouldn't ever be able to attend again, or at least not easily. But at some point late last year, I made the decision to try to go this year so I put a reminder into my calendar for January to book tickets and a hotel, then another reminder 12 weeks before the event to buy advance train tickets. 

And so Adam and I made a 3-day weekend out of it and attended the show on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. 

I apologise for the quality of these photos. I made the monumental mistake of not double-checking that I had a memory card in my camera before leaving home and then discovered the battery was dead and of course I'd not checked whether the spares were in its case. All these photos were taken on Adam's and my mobile phones, which were not always up to the job.

Links to exhibitors' websites are included where possible - just click on their names. 


The event was held this year in the Engine Shed next to Bristol Temple Mead train station. This venue could not be more of a contrast from the Lee Valley Velodrome where the 2014 show was held! The Engine Shed is beautiful and historic... and a much more intimate space. 


Yes, the venue was small (by comparison with the velodrome) but it was, as the saying goes, perfectly formed... and jam packed with stunning bicycles everywhere you looked. So let's dive right in and have a look. 

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Summer? A Taste And A Test

After a prolonged cool and damp spring, this past week has brought Proper Summertime Temperatures, i.e. 20C degrees! That's 70 in Fahrenheit. (Normal service resumes tomorrow: cool and unsettled with thunderstorms, which means showers, including hail I have no doubt.)

Today is the climax of our mini-heatwave, with temps of up to 27C expected.  This presented me with an unexpected (and very welcome) opportunity to set up my Brompton according to the plan I had devised (on paper) for our South of France trip next month. In addition to prepping the bike, I have also kitted myself out according to plan, anticipating similar temperatures in the Avignon area. 

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