Monthly Archives: November 2016

Brompton alternatives

Just to prove that it’s not all about getting around on a Brompton, I present these recent alternate activities where the Bromptons either stayed at home or folded.

Rather different to our 2 week Cruise earlier this year, yesterday we had a 2 hour “Twilight Tall Ship Cruise”. The 94-year-old Our Svanen (now Southern Swan) came to Australia in 1988 as part of the 200 year re-enactment of the First Fleet arrival in Sydney from Portsmouth.

Our legs got a solid workout this month when we walked the “Sculpture by the Sea” path from Bondi to Tamarama (& then on to Coogee). Probably 16km for our day out – & a zillion steps?


Our VW Campervan took us away again in October, traveling to the Old Bar Beach Festival (read VW Kombi Festival). All sorts of events overall but Saturday’s main show was the Kombi motorcade through town. About 150 VWs formed up on the local airstrip & then drove through town & out to the highway before returning. Taking about 45 minutes to pass by, the spectator numbers were amazing. About 10 modern VWs like ours seemed out of place but it was worth it to see how the older models were received. Sunday was a static display & about 250 VWs turned up, providing hours of ogling every type of VW Type 2 imaginable; Transporters, Kombis, Buses, Dual-cabs & with customisations galore.(Yes, Peregrine & Ralph-e were onboard the Tardis – & had quite a few folding demos.)




Finally, some of our other Brompton-free outings were steam train excursions north & south of Sydney. I say Brompton-free because we were very uncertain of our accommodation. Heritage carriages usually have limited luggage facilities & for these trips we would be in a private lounge car or a private first class car (with catering). Best to sit back & relax, even though exploring the turn-around destinations on Bromptons would have been ideal. Instead, we just took lunch breaks while the trains were off being serviced elsewhere (funny how many towns don’t seem to have water towers & turntables any more?)

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Flat insurance

I’m hoping I’ve maxxed out my “flat insurance”, with the purchase of a “Kool-Stop Tire Bead Jack” (sorry about the spelling).
This little device now sits in my Brompton bag, ready for service to assist with reinstalling Marathon tyres. I’ve frequently posted about the difficulty of installing any tyre onto Ralph-e’s Alfine 11-speed rear wheel, having a Sun CR18 rim. The rim well is very flat & leaves little space for centreing a tyre while easing a tyre bead over the rim. I believe a Velocity Aeroheat rim resolves the issue but I’ve been slow to obtain one (& then rebuild the wheel). Noting that Ben Cooper at Kinetics regularly produces Rohloff & Alfine-equipped Bromptons with the CR18 rim, I wondered why he didn’t use the Velocity rim. To my surprise, he claimed to not have any trouble fitting tyres – but then confessed that, “I cheat! There’s a gadget called a Simson Tyre Mate (now branded Kool-Stop) which makes it easy‚Ķ”!