Monthly Archives: July 2014

BAC thoughts

Ooooh, Australia’s getting its own Brompton National Championship (BNC) in October! From the ad it’s listed as a Brompton Australian Championship so I guess that makes it the BAC? The announcement probably created a lot of excitement, especially so for anyone already having done a BNC or BWC event. Very quickly my thoughts turned to what outfit to wear? Before long I started wondering what makes it such a great happening…

One year ago today we were at the Brompton World Championship (BWC2013). It was wonderfully memorable & even with lots of videos watched beforehand of previous events, the weekend was bigger than expected. Leaving aside the historic Goodwood Motor Racing circuit setting & ignoring the excitement of arriving to pick up the race package, seeing 600+ Bromptons of all configurations & colours along with a huge array of rider outfits was rather overwhelming.
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The main event was the BWC race; 4 laps of Goodwood after a “Le Mans start” run to our folded bikes arranged on a grassed “grid” & a frantic unfold before wheeling them onto the asphalt & riding onto the track itself. All this was undertaken in “waves” or groups of about 150 Bromptons, with 90 seconds between, & the race timing (from a transponder fitted to each bike’s race-number) to start from the point of crossing the start line on the track. (This method for the race start gave an equal chance to all the contestants & made for a safe & less hurried chaotic scramble.) Yes, we knew about the untimed fold but did that matter? Knowing that we didn’t need to race our unfolded bikes between those still getting their act together, made for a less stressful, gentler, almost chivalrous start?

Onto the track & we all pedaled away furiously; my pace as usual, rather slow courtesy of my restricted heart capacity. Yes, I was flat out, or so it seemed, but my mid-track position kept me out of the serious rider’s race-lines & placed me ideally to watch most of the field hurtle by (& to be lapped twice by the leaders). The starting gap between the waves didn’t last long & the track soon became an endless stream of colourful Bromptons piloted by nattily attired riders. (The only time I saw Mrs Aussie was when she came alongside suggesting a “team finish”, but sadly I had to inform her that I still had another lap to go!) Across the finish line for the last time & the riders turned off the track, into the arms of many helpers ready with our medals & shepherding us to the after-race snacks & onward towards the post-race tea party.

So, with a heavy heart we’ve missed out on today’s BWC2014 – our fault, but maybe next year? In the meantime, BAC2014 is on the way & there’s an eager anticipation of the event details in a few days. Will we get a good course? Will the unfold be timed? What to do about the outfit? Truly a National Championship for all – don’t miss it.

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100 days to go

The “tbc” Brompton Australian Championship now has a date! More info to follow, they say but from today we’ve only got 100 days to go before the very first BAC…
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Cafe creations

New cafés are always interesting to check out offerings & my recent visit to LidnJar at Rhodes was no different – but in fact with differences? Quirky furniture is nothing new as an attraction (or challenge) but the new cafe took it to a new level by including the whole fitout. Some pics follow & I’ll leave it to you to like/dislike their decor. As for the food & coffee, I was very happy with what I had & no doubt will return soon. (Actually my return will also allow me to check out whether their decor attempt was in fact intended, or maybe the fitout was temporary to suit the opening?)

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Juicy outing

We discovered a lovely bit of cycling road recently (well, particularly lovely for me as it seemed to have no major hills?). It covers about 10-12km along a river valley on a non-through road. It is well sealed, narrow, winding & undulating & as a round-trip of about 20km through nice scenery, it would seem to be ideal for my Brompton escapades?

Unfortunately, I have yet to ride along it, for our discovery was while on an outing with the Tardis to give it a Sunday run on a cool day that was expected to wind up becoming very wet. As part of the day out, we were going to attempt to locate an orchard near Wiseman’s Ferry that was offering “pick your own” Mandarins. So we headed out & had a pleasant time relaxing around the Hawkesbury River locality, & after some lunch we turned back to the task of locating the farm & orchard.

Immediately we turned onto the road we started encountering vehicle traffic coming in the opposite direction. There were a number of properties along the road & with the afternoon getting on, we continued along thinking the traffic was purely coincidental? However, the traffic became more of a flood; convoys of cars all heading in our direction? With the narrow & winding road, we were continually moving over or stopping to await a gap in the traffic before we could continue along. At some point along the road we came to the conclusion that the traffic must have been coming from the farm, as there was little else along the dead-end road. Getting toward the property we were seeing “count down” signs to the farm & concluded that we should arrive prior to the closing time, so should keep going & would likely have the place to ourselves?

Eventually we arrived at the farm, to be confronted with fields of cars (hundreds?) parked near acres of citrus trees. Boy, was picking your own fruit popular?! After being directed toward a field to park, we made our way to the sheds on the property & learned the ropes of obtaining our fruit: a deposit paid for some shears, a map display of where the various Mandarin varieties were located, some rules for picking (snip the stems & don’t pull at the mandarins, no throwing of fruit – presumed to be aimed at the kids? – etc, etc), a bucket for the fruit (we couldn’t see ourselves being able to consume multiple bucket-fulls?) & away we went. Out into the orchard, easily filling our bucket from countless trees heavily laden with fruit; all while carefully stepping between discarded peel & damaged fruit. With the plan of paying for weighed buckets of Mandarins, I suppose there was something in the rules about “no eating of fruit” but it hadn’t been heeded, judging by the amount of peel discarded? As for “no throwing of fruit”, kids will be kids?

Our picking went off admirably, with “just a little” tasting (essentially to verify the tree quality?) & then back to the sheds to have our booty accounted for. A trudge back to the Tardis & then wending our way back along a still busy narrow, winding road & then returning along the main road to home; a lovely day out!
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As for the discovery of an ideal cycling outing for me, time will tell. We shall have to carefully investigate the various picking seasons if we hope to get the road to ourselves.