Category Archives: Rides

Cheeky Brompton’s last ride

“Oh no, Adam is closing Cheeky Transport??”, I think was my reaction recently at seeing the FB news. Following the call for the final Cheeky Brompton ride, we had to be there…
Saturday arvo & we perused all the Brompton parts goodies & I reserved various wheels, a rack, mudguards, etc & then turned to ratting through various boxes of assorted bits…
Finally it was time for the final ride…
As usual, Adam & Nick led us through a myriad of back roads, parks & paths, heading for our much-anticipated Asian dumplings at Wolli Creek. Our route took us past the airport & we just had to stop under the flight path to marvel at the wobbly jets… (oh yes, we also endured some gusty winds)


Once again, all the food & beer got consumed without a thought to any pics – sorry about that.

A few days later I was back at the shop, collecting all my Brompton parts goodies. Adam was soldiering-on, cheery as ever but I see this as a sad pic; prepping his last Brompton orders in his last week of his 15 year shop operations?
Now we’re only left with the Friday Party & Saturday Garage Sale (refer poster below). Thanks Adam, it’s been a pleasure.

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Bridging rides

Wowee, the TdF is on! It’s July already! A couple of trips away that I’m still to blog about (I blame those months of lawn bowls) but some rides in June were pleasant – as well as the winter weather – & so here’s some pics…

Some construction activity along the northern bank of Parramatta River at Rydalmere has been finished & there’s now some extra riverfront cyclepath that bypasses the industrial factories. Our ride in early June took us from Olympic Park to Parramatta on cyclepath all the way. Here we are, bridging Subiaco Creek…

Also in June was a bit of time spent staying on the Central Coast to check-out the whale migration to Queensland. No whales along the Tuggerah Lake foreshore but the replacement of the ramshackle big wooden footbridges was most appreciated, as were these park benches…

Another day when we set out for a ride from our campsite, the weather overcast but fine…

By the afternoon it definitely wasn’t going to stay dry. Just as the rain came down, we were passing the pub at The Entrance. Time to have lunch?

Whale-watching duties were performed every day, although it was so much easier when we had blue skies…

Chrissie picnics

Two Brompton bike shop-arranged Christmas Rides & picnics, two cities & one week apart? How good would this be? Getting to the Cheeky Transport ride in Sydney was our usual multi-modal affair, with trains & riding. The following week our Tardis transported us to Newcastle for Metro Cycles’ ride to Stockton.

Group rides & taking pics for the blog never seem to come together for me (just like Brompton events never having enough chat time?). So, in grabbing some of the pics from other sources, I should acknowledge them – but I’m struggling to identify all the snappers (so thanks to all?)

Cheeky’s ride started from the Newtown shop & headed to Brighton via back roads, lanes, cycle paths & whatever (hard to describe, difficult to remember the twists & turns, happy to chat & follow?). Adam guided us well, showed us sights we didn’t expect & delighted 11 riders (9 Bromptons & 2 big-wheelers) all the way to a Brighton Fish & Chips snack & then back to yummy nosh at the Concordia Club at Tempe. A great time for all; another successful Cheeky adventure.

Burning up the road for our group pic?
Market gardens near Sydney airport? Who knew?
A week later & our Northern cousins, the Newcastle Brompton Club, held their inaugural ride & we just had to go. On Friday the Tardis took us to Stockton Beach caravan park, just as the rain arrived (so Ralph-e & Peregrine kept under cover).
On Saturday we went multi-modal (ride & ferry) back into the city – with a brief stop to avoid a rain storm.
Sunshine from Metro Cycles onwards was well received & 14 Bromptons headed out, riding for the ferry to Stockton & then a tour of the peninsula. Our turnaround was under the Stockton Bridge & time for a good chat.
Taking over one of the picnic shelters (just opposite Nobbys Head), it was time for the group photo attempt & then it was time to unload all the picnic goodies & celebrate. Many thanks for Metro’s Bernie (& Lynn & Gus) & the ever-present Nick “Mr Brompton”. I suspect it won’t be our last Newcastle club ride?

2016 Sydney Rides

Seeing over 20 events in the 2016 Sydney Rides Festival brochure for much of October, my measly take-up doesn’t seem worthy? On the other hand, a lot aren’t so relevant for me: Ride to work? Cyclocross? Bike Polo? Hill climb? etc. Even the Chocolate Ride didn’t drag me in (yes, I couldn’t trust myself) & the timing or proximity for some didn’t fit.

Doing the Brompton Urban Challenge was probably the highlight & our pre-arranged team (Mrs Aussie & myself, along with “master navigator” Mark) was keen. Armed with our guidelines & clue sheet, we/Mark engineered a route around the city & inner surrounds to achieve our tasks over 4 hours or so before we were due at the presentation meet-up area. (team pic courtesy of another Mark?)The delights of getting around the city on mostly car-free routes on our Bromptons was the big reward from the Urban Challenge. (The fact that it was our only reward didn’t matter, honestly! Perhaps our pics lacked a tad craziness? (read “youthful exuberance”?) Maybe next year?) As with all Brompton gatherings, the socialising-time at the presentation area was all too short. The Brompton folding competition, the food trucks, the other bike happenings; all great entertainment. Thanks organisers, thanks participants.

The Sydney Suit Ride sounded quaint; the smartest riders in town, rolling through the city – & followed by a free lunch! As befitting a Ride in a suit, the pace was gentle & the territory was mostly hill-free. About 40 bikes attended, including 4 Bromptons, with quite a mix of commuting choices – & about one third e-bikes! The route was from Surry Hills through to Observatory Hill & return, mostly along cycle ways & paths. The only struggle was getting through all the bicycle traffic lights on the all-too-short greens? Such a shame that the priorities lay with keeping motorists happy, rather than allowing cyclists to flow along? Thanks to BicycleNSW for the great weather/organising/shepherding/food.

Attending the Spring Cycle Ride (along with 8000+ bikes sending their way from North Sydney via the Harbour Bridge to Olympic Park?) was always “a maybe” but while riding in the Olympic Park area a couple of days before, my mind was made up. The Ride preparations were underway, sign-posting to guide riders through the winding cycle paths & suddenly my enthusiasm was for a quiet ride with a sea breeze (& out of the hot part of the day?). Accordingly, we headed to the Northern Beaches & undertook our little “Narrabeen Lagoon loop & Deewhy gelato” adventure; much more relaxing?

My last Rides Festival event wasn’t even a ride, but a train trip to the city for a talk named, “How the Dutch do it” (well, shopping & a long lunch also got fitted in). Cycling in the Netherlands as described by a visiting Urban Planning Professor was quite enlightening. It seems that “Build it & they will come…” wasn’t how things happened, but more like “When systems don’t cope anymore, build it…” (& continue the cycle Ad infinitum?). Amongst the stats I recall figures such as “500,000 bike racks, 600,000 bike journeys” & some quite telling pics of overloaded parking stations? (you know the sort of thing; human nature with a full parking station leads to, “I’m late, that’ll do”?)

I can’t finish this blog post without thanking Ralph-e for such wonderful support for all these rides. I’m sure I can say, “I couldn’t have done it without you”? It’s difficult to express how brilliant my riding has become with this e-bike setup. For now I’m having to re-learn how to deal with hills while also comprehending the e-bike potential. Please keep watching.

BWC Final 2016

After 6 weeks touring the UK & Northern Ireland, we’d arrived for “the big event”: the 2016 Brompton World Championship Final in London. Unlike our 2013 experience riding the BWC at Goodwood Motor Racing circuit, this year it was part of the RideLondon cycling events – & Mrs Aussie had won a place in the race ballot!

No problems coping with race registration & much “meeting & greeting”, with lots of time to admire/gawk at some fantastic race outfits. Heading for the circuit Mrs Aussie was all smiles.


On the grid & before the Le Mans start, there was some “Keep calm & Brompt On” time – & probably that rehearsal, “Handlebars up, raise the seat…”?


500+ Bromptons whizzing around the race track make for some serious racing but the “Brompton grin” was often evident – for brief periods?


The post-race activities were a blur & all too short (what with re-fueling, Gin & tonics, celebrations, awards, etc) before Brompton closed the hospitality area & we pedaled away – until next time?

Trip time

Following some rather wet weather in Sydney, we escaped on a little trip to Macmasters Beach. The surf was wild & the foam was deep  

One task was brushcutting some neglected lawns which seemed to bring out a Brush Turkey chick to inspect our handiwork. The chick then decided that the open screen door was done for its behalf & explored some rooms 

 An exploratory ride was included, checking out the cycleway around the Kincumber Broadwater. Some good discoveries were a monument trail for the historical shipbuilders, the Little Teapot Cafe & a business handling VW Kombi restorations (with plenty of work-in-hand?)  

   
 Another trip actually extends into February but for now, here’s the opening scene: Peregrine & Clarence taking their first cruise (& ours) out of Sydney Harbour 

 
Finally, the hint/hope of a trip in July to the BWC Final 2016 in London (as long as we get some good news from the ballot?)

Late ramblings

Brompt activity in December included a great Christmas catch-up ride arranged by Nick from Brompton Australia, commencing at Cheeky Transport & rambling through the Eastern Suburbs & finishing at KL Kitchen in Potts Point. Peter arranged a banquet at his Malaysian restaurant & a lovely evening was enjoyed by all 
 

Some old hands & many new acquaintances & we all received one of Nick’s cloth badges 
 

Late in the month saw a short break at Macmasters Beach. A morning walk to the beachside cafe seemed to deserve one of their breakfasts?  

For lunch we undertook a cycleway ride from Gosford through to Woy Woy, fueled up on grilled fish, chips & salad before returning to Gosford. Along the way we diverted to some laps around the velodrome 
 

Lots of nice/interesting views out over the waterways. Not a shellfish fan & so I didn’t need to work out how to attend this Oyster Barn 
 

Throughout December I managed to get in some gentle rides along the river foreshores near Olympic Park. Very enjoyable.