Sunday, 22 April 2012

BWC2012 Launch - Manchester

Bromptons in the Velodrome
Today Manchester was busy with Brompton's for the official launch event for the 2012 Brompton World Championships. It was a bit like a teddy bear's picnic "If you go down the canal today, you're sure of a big surprise ..." and 60 Bromptons on the towpaths in the rain certainly caused one or two surprises.

Gareth Rees (winner of the London Nocturne Folding Bike race)
 The action started at the Rainy City Velodrome, home of British Cycling, with people arriving from all over the place. There was Ian from Northampton, Mick from Aldershot, Alan and Jill from Leicester and a bike shop owner from Sunderland. There was world champion Rachel Elliot, Gareth Rees Winner of the London Nocturne and a whole team of people from Brompton in London. There were black bromptons, pink, yellow, claret, white, blue, red-white-and-blue,  and Bromptons of a thousand colours. There were enough to fill a Christy Moore song.

Tagging along with the factory team
Down at the trackside the Bromptons circled round and round the blue area and the riders fought the temptation to ride up on to the wooden boards (if anyone saw me it was an accident, honestly!). After plenty of laps of the dry velodrome breakfast was provided in the Velopark cafe before a couple of photocalls and a briefing and off we all went to scare the geese on the canal.

The rain grew heavier and the cobbles got more slippery but determined riders refused to put feet on the floor. Around the Fallowfield Loop, through Chorlton and back to the city centre where the London style marshalling came as a shock to the northern motorists (but at least it woke them up and they were more observant).

The atmosphere from start to finish was friendly and relaxed and the Brompton Team should be congratulated on an excellent job

Bromptons on turbo trainers
At the end of the ride everyone was smiling and chatting and enjoying the excellent company

Shortly afterwards I was back on the bike to pedal home and complete my longest day on the Brompton (just over 46 miles).


  1. Great blog! Just to confirm though that Michael Hutchinson wasn't there today - and it was Gareth Rees (winner of the London Nocturne Folding Bike race) who you've named as Michael Hutchinson. Hope you enjoyed it today - I got rather cold on the ride to the town centre. Rachael E.

    1. Rachel, thanks for the correction - I've fixed the text. I'm glad you've warmed up enough to use a computer, I know you were really cold out on the ride.

  2. Brilliant account, Seamus. Good to have met you (and your wife on Saturday evening). Thanks for the mention. Hope everything continues to go well in Rochdale. All the best, Ian.

    P.S. I blog for CTC Northampton at

  3. Fab write up. I've decided not to do the BWC this year but not without some regrets... By the way, I am a huge Christy Moore fan yet fail to recognise the reference. What am I missing here??! :)

  4. Great write up wish I was there now but had to work booooo.

    Anyways I wanted to ask those turbo trainer things, they any good? thinking of getting myself an indoor bike but seeing those I've been wondering...

  5. Can't speak for everyone and I don't know the particular model in the picture but years ago I didn't have time to train as I would like and used a turbo trainer to prepare to ride two 200km audax events. Other than the turbo sessions I did nothing over 50km on the road but still completed the hilly 200km events.

    Turbos are boring, tough and training properly on them requires determination and planning - but it does work if done properly.