Pimp my Brompton

One of the (many) great things about a Brompton is the amount of bits and pieces you can buy for them. Before our bikes had even arrived, I'd started buying accessories and now they're finally here, I've been busy!

The first thing I bought (pre-bike) was the C Bag and I blogged a little about it here.

I bought it with the frame and front carrier block – which is a very necessary piece of kit should you want to use luggage on your bike. It only takes about 3 minutes to install – Trev's bike being the exception to this as we had to get the mechanic to do some magic to get the stuck fitment screw out. In his case, it was more like three days!

But when fully assembled, the block/frame/bag combo is a thing of beauty. The bag is easily removed via a quick-release lever and can be carried around when the bike is folded, if you wish.

A great piece of kit to keep on when your bike is either fully or partially folded is the shopping basket. We've bought one of these each and Trev has already taken his into a multitude of shops – wheeling the bike around like a mini shopping trolley and throwing stuff in the basket. It's a dream when combined with Waitrose Quick-Check!

At almost all times on my bike I'm likely to leave attached the cover and saddlebag we ordered from the factory with the bikes. These are great because you can just whip the cover out and cover the bike in a few seconds – great for getting on particular modes of transport, or into places that might not normally allow bikes. We tested it the night we bought Trev's bike home when we went out for dinner and nobody knew there was a bike in there! Job done, I think.

My favourite bits so far arrived yesterday. Here's a very vague and mysterious picture!

It's a frame protector, mudflaps and hub shines all made in brown leather. And yes, they *do* have that brand new leather smell! They're from Kettering Leather and made by a lovely man called Jim and in a very speedy fashion too!

The most important part of the trio is the frame protector. I'm paranoid about damaging my frame – particularly with the folding pedal which has already left a teeny scratch where there should be none. The protectors come in a range of colours and lengths (this is one is a full-frame – there are short and medium versions too), depending on what and where you'd like to protect the bike.

I wasn't sure what colour would work best with Clara, but eventually settled on brown rather than honey/tan which I think is also the colour I'll go with for a new saddle when I get it. I think it works pretty well!

You may also be able to see the hub shines in the above photo – hanging down from the centre of the hub on my back wheel and the middle of the front wheel. These used to be quite popular, back in day, so it seems! They were good for keeping these key parts of your bike clean – as they move around as you cycle and stop the area getting mucky.

The final bit which I've not attached yet are the mudflaps. Beautifully finished and stitched as you can see below. I'm going to hang on to them until my current ones need replacing and/or the weather dries out. With the current climate, who knows which could be first!

The last random accessory that came with the bike is the below little wallet/luggage tag thing, which I'm thinking of putting my monthly train ticket in. At least then it would be easy to spot in my bag!

So yes, been another busy day on the bikes! Trev has been trying to take his out every day, whether its nipping to the shops or a bit further. Today we ventured down to Kirkstall Abbey, a fairly well-known local landmark, but pretty nonetheless. It's about 2 miles away and all downhill, which was fun until we had to come home and walked most of the way back up the hills! 🙂

We snapped a few pictures – apologies for them not being great – it was unexpectedly sunny so I've got an odd glare in some pics. (I also think the lens needed a clean, which I've since done!)

We stopped for a break in the little gatehouse over the road which has an amazing ceiling:

Of course there's also some obligatory bike shots…

Seriously impressive doorway!

We went out for pizza on the way home at a place that's only been open since December. It had the best pizza and ice cream that I've had outside of Italy. Seriously amazing – and it's hard not to love a place that has a giant wood-burning oven inside!

Unfortunately we let ourselves down and couldn't eat all our pizza. This is where the Brompton's luggage rack comes into its own as we were able to just strap the pizza box to the back and cycle off. After we'd given the owners a demo of the unfolding, of course 🙂

All in all a good day. The only problem with where we live at the moment is that there aren't any great cycle paths or areas for biking immediately nearby, so we have to get to them, in order to cycle for a few miles to try to improve our fitness etc. We're looking at other options, which will be easier once we can do trips of ten miles plus and feel even safer on the roads. I'm determined to get my bike trips to Saltaire and Harewood House in sooner rather than later 🙂



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