Brompton World Championships 2016 – London

The sun briefly showed its face across the city. The big day had arrived, this was it. Breakfast on this special July morning, however,  could only be one thing. Porridge.

5 Very big wheels

All over the Capital, every kind of bicycle was being ridden by people of every kind of age all of whom were smiling their way around closed roads as part of Sky Rides. The organisers had excelled themselves not least because all security marshals were so helpful and willing to find solutions to every problem they were given. Unbelievable.

7 Conferring

Early into the afternoon, the number of Brompton bicycles in the VIP enclosure grew and grew. The huge variation of type and colour-way with extra emphasis on this wardrobe accessory could be seen. The dress code was met with impeccable standards.

23 Fellow Competitors

In a very short space of time the whole thing turned into a ginormous party. The Brompton World Championships 2016 was on its way. Competitors and their guests all mingled together and it didn’t matter whether you were in the race or not – it was the perfect opportunity to meet up with fellow Brompton owners from around the globe. Literally.

Putting faces to names, discussing race tactics, recent rides and gawping at other peoples’ outfits under an umbrella of continual laughter summed up the whole afternoon.

14 Whoosh

At 5pm the sound reduced as we watched the world’s first women’s professional race where – at last and for the first time ever – the prize money was the same as the men’s. The crowds grew, more and more Brompton spectators arrived and the pros took their place on the course. Seeing Skoda banners made my heart miss a beat in the excitement of it all.

31a Womens Professional Race

A starting lap and then they were off. The speeds at which they flew around the course were absolutely incredible. It nearly blew my hat from my head. 12 laps, the commentators voice becoming more and more excitable and the air around us was electric. It was just fantastic to see.

2c Le Directeur

An hour later it was me on The Mall. With my Brompton. For the eighth time that day I asked myself what am I doing?! In no time at all, we were running to our Bromptons, unfolding (not in six seconds) and pedalling our socks off around the course. The crowds were just spectacular. Cheering, waving, ringing cowbells as we went by – it was incredible.

The serious contenders were lined up like a peloton and whooshed along like a train.  Wow! I thought to myself, wondering why I hadn’t done any training – at all!

1 The 5mile Cyclist

From the moment the email arrived saying I had a place in the race, my focus had been on my wardrobe. All those years of my youth being a size 19 (13.5 stone/85.7kg) with very little choice of what to wear had fallen away with a calorie-controlled diet and had opened up a level of what to wear I had never, ever known before.

Enhanced with a recent I Quit Sugar diet meant that a wardrobe combination of Max Mara, Bruce Oldfield, Accessorize, Kask, Shimano, VV Rouleaux and Skyecaps made it  probably the most photographed day of my life. Not something I’d seek without a Brompton but it was a firm reminder of how losing 4.5 stone (28.6kg) had changed both my life and my look.

17 Sydney Brompton Club

Whilst the race was taking place, the Brompton party continued. So many Brompton peeps had joined to celebrate the event and it didn’t matter if you were in the race or not. It was, like the Henley Royal Regatta or Royal Ascot, a tremendous and extremely social way to spend the day.

19 Quick gear check

Without doubt Brompton had excelled itself. No matter how long their day had been, every single one of their staff was ready and willing to help. Whatever it was, nothing was too much trouble.

27 Tommy

Unwavering and absolutely awesome to see the attention to detail from every single one that truly echoed the fastidious focus generated by Andrew Ritchie when he was working on the perfecting the design, decades before. Even at the very, very end, senior Brompton peeps were all folding up chairs, tidying up, sleeves rolled up just doing what needed to be done.

That, Will Butler-Adams, is a memory that will stay with me for a long time.

31 Speeches

Eventually, we had eaten all the burgers, pizzas and drunk all the gin. We collected our medals and our Bromptons then headed for home.

32 Bromptons and Gin

Thank you Brompton, Prudential Ride London, TfL, City of Westminster, RBK&C and a big thank you to the UCI authorities for giving women’s cycling the kudos it deserves.

Kirsten Wild I don’t know how you cycle that fast and I still can’t believe I’ve been on a bike ride around Richmond Park with Lucinda BrandStrongher.cc and VoxwomenBritish Cycling, Breeze and Sky Rides are just a few of the organizations bringing more and more women into cycling.

37 On the grid Homeward boundLooking around The Mall on Saturday, Brompton are definitely doing their big bit to bring cycling as a form of transport, not just one of exercise or championships to our every day lives.

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2 Responses to Brompton World Championships 2016 – London

  1. Roddy says:

    What a lovely story, I was there too, not only did Brompton do us proud with the enclosure but the culture of fellow Bromptoneers really lifted the entire event. Everyone dressing for the day and the eccentricity of the tribe really stood out. My wife and I went for the first time and we took turns gawking (gawping in English) and feeling relieved that there were others enjoying the day with the same enthusiasm.

    I will review your suggested reading on avoiding sugar, it sounds like you have had a wonderful result with it?

    • the5milecyclist says:

      Thank you for your kind comment. The enthusiasm was very noticeable wasn’t it? An absolute delight. The I Quit Sugar 8 week detox diet has transformed my eating habits which quite frankly used to involve quite a lot of sugar (a slice of cake a day became a habit and a stone in weight!). Looking forward to BWC 2017!

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