Monday, June 19, 2017

Brompton World Championships: I Came, I Saw, I Folded

As the sporting world knows, yesterday saw the running of the Brompton World Championship USA race at the Harlem Skyscraper Criterium, a race in which I decided to compete after receiving a special "action suit" from a popular chain of menswear shops:


By the way, it's worth noting their stock rallied after my announcement, indicated by the green arrow:


I'm just saying.

Of course yesterday was also Fathers Day, and so that morning I took my elder son out for a ride on his new all-terrain bicycle:


This is his first geared bicycle, and I'm pleased to report he got the hang of shifting rather quickly, though that's hardly surprising as he's the beneficiary of my prodigious cycling genes.  I did however spare him my retrogrouchical tendencies, providing him with a bicycle equipped with both hydraulic disc brakes and a suspension fork.  Clearly, like many self-made moguls who pull themselves up from their bootstraps and then proceed to spoil their progeny, I am coddling him when it comes to cycling equipment.

(I've also installed a dropper post on my younger child's balance bike, though without a crank I'm not sure how to go about fitting an SRM.)

Anyway, after our excursion, I stuffed the top half of my "action suit" and a helmet into my Brompton bag:


And the whole crew boarded a train bound for Harlem USA:


Arriving at Marcus Garvey Park, the competition was as dapper as it was fierce:


And attire ran the spectrum from Park Avenue Doorman:


To Battle of Verdun:


Deeply intimidated, I nevertheless steadied my hands just enough to pin up:


Each safety pin a stake through the heart of my AWEAR-TECH by AWEARNESS Kenneth Cole suit:


It uses 37.5 technology, an advanced fabric technology from the high-performance sports world, in case you were wondering.

Of course you were.

I also pinned my necktie to my shirt so it wouldn't fly over my shoulder once I unleashed my incredible speed:


Brompton riders are a shifty bunch and you never know when one of them might grab onto your tie for a free ride.

At this point I should mention that it was rather hot.  Also, the Harlem crit is famous for crashes, and the race immediately preceding ours was the Category 3/4, arguably the crashiest field in all of amateur bicycle racing.  The upshot of this is was that our race was delayed considerably while an ambulance tended to the wounded, meaning we all spent at least an additional hour waiting for the start and sweating in our finery.

Linen clearly would have been the move.

In any case, eventually what was left of the 3/4 field finished their race and the Bromptonauts took to the course:


To some (okay, all) it might have looked like a sideshow, but for us it was the main event:


Rolling out towards the start, I experienced an exhilarating mix of intense anticipation and mild embarrassment:


Though it also might just have been the early stages of heatstroke.

We then lined up our machines for the Le Mans start:



And an impressive array it most certainly was:


We then lined up across from our Bromptons, and as we received our pre-race briefing this crew took the opportunity to briefly upstage us:


For that moment, the photographed became the photographers:


"I'm the king of the world!," this rider did not shout:


And then finally we were off.

What ensued were 10 extremely hot laps during which I would have given anything to discard my jacket, and you haven't experienced excitement until you've opened a button and loosened your tie while racing in a criterium on a bicycle with 16-inch wheels:


Next year I'm going with carbon trispokes and seersucker.

51 comments:

Wryguy said...

Test comment.

Wryguy said...

Captcha wants me to identify cars

Wryguy said...

Also. Podium

Kraig said...

"Race report" : Here enjoy this one-sentence summary of the race, two thirds of which comments on my AwearwolfinNYC(R)(C)(TM) performance suit. Don't mention results. Repeat wheel size.

Done.

Anonymous said...

Jeez I can't believe u wore a helmet riding a brompton.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Kraig,

Sorry I let down the thousands of people hanging on the results of the Brompton race.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous 9:28am,

What's stranger, wearing a helmet in a bike race or wearing a suit?

--Wildcat Rock Machine

BikeSnobNYC said...

(Actually I won, I just didn't want to gloat.)

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

8th Scranus!!

wishiwasmerckx said...

What did you win for winning? A gold-plated Brompton? Free entry into next year's World Championships in Dubai?

bad boy of the sooth said...

Glad you had fun.where is Leroy's dog's report?

BikeSnobNYC said...

wishiwasmerckx,

I think the winner (who was obviously not me) gets a trip to London for the finals.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Old Timer said...

Huh? What?

Unknown said...

Snob - regards the SRM for your offspring... Was about to suggest a power tap before I realised how dumb I am. Perhaps Powerpods? https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2016/03/powerpod-depth-review.html Might needs some wind tunnel time to calibrate it for the balance bike's aero-characteristics tho?

Anonymous said...

Both are pretty weird if you ask me. Helmets haven't reduced head injuries in UCI sanctioned races since they were mandated so that makes that weird. Suits are weird too but at least it's an affectation relating to brompton style rather then a misguided projection of safety, because, safety. But I understand if it's the ride organiser's rule: that's the only reason I ever wear a helmet.

McFly said...

Le Mans style start?

Le Womans style start is way better....you just walk around looking for your keys and sunglasses for 10 minutes.

Philip Bey said...

I can vouch for the Powerpod. It's a bit fussy to set up, reacts a little slow, but it's the only way to go ($cheap$) if you have Campy cranks. I also have a 4iiii and they match up pretty close.

Joe said...

Snob,

We need some brompton racing tips here! What should I focus my training time more on, unfolding technique, z6 sprint intervals, EPO injection?

Die free said...

Perhaps the unfolding is like a tri-transition? And you failed to have practiced the unfold and mount enough. We would have been happy to assist you with video analysis of you tri-ansition.

Kraig said...

Wildcat,

I keep coming here for race results and my friends find it weird when I saw Cippo wins them all.

bieks said...

Just as well you didn't win as the technical suit would have disqualified you for being neither sufficiently wooly, nor suitably itchy.

Did Heras come in second again?

Spokey said...

dang

missed top twenty

my fault of course for reading the silly thing first.

Anonymous said...

Next year go with an aero carbon tie, and shave your legs, and you should podium.

N/A said...

Nice that you got a good ride in with your son.


The Brompton Grand Fopdu looks like it was fun.

Bespoke Haberdashery said...

Nice tie, I don't get it.

Blutarsky and Blutarsky Attoneys at law said...

Flounder dead and Trump in the White House. A sad state of affairs all around.

Anonymous said...

Nerdy white guys and their clown bikes unleash ironic havoc upon the mean streets of Harlem.

Anonymous said...

Dignity came in last place, again.

Anonymous said...

Disk breaks for a child?!

I hope you included a Nomex kit and chain male gloves.

BamaPhred said...

Ahhhhh. That sweet spot in the age of child rearing. They can pretty much take care of themselves and still want to associate with dad. Good times.

Al said...

I've seen the London final, it is proper nuts, hundreds of riders in one race. And noted "ex" dopers (eg Millar) racing against noted not dopers (eg Dr Hutch) and not winning.

Spokey said...


i found that i could fold my co-motion. just leave it on the roof when i drive in to the garage. the unfolding is a bit tricky though and probably takes longer than a brompton.

bieks said...

BamaPhred - kid's already rebelling, he's rocking wheel reflectors and a pie plate just to piss off the old man.

Spokey said...


also sporting a healment

Alfred Pennyworth said...

Did anyone compete in a butler's suit and a bowler?

Grump said...

The photo makes it look like you were using the 4 pin method on your numbers......Say it ain't so, joe!!.....Please!!!!..Never do that again.....Shame.....just Shame. (Head shaking while looking down)

BikeSnobNYC said...

Grump,

I have no idea what you're talking about.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Dooth said...

Oh my God, you're wearing skips! And in Harlem, no less...

Grump said...

Snobby, come on, it hasn't been that long since you pinned a number on....(unless you always used the Cat 6, 4 pin method).....It should ALWAYS be either the 8 pin, or the 9 pin method.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Grump,

Well, there are in fact 8 pins on each number if that's what you're getting at.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

weight weenie said...

Why would you pay literally a couple of thousand extra dollars shaving a few grams off of your frame and componentry, then weigh yourself down with a handful of heavy-ass safety pins, for G-d's sake?

9 pins? Have you lost your mind?

weight weenie said...

I hope those safety pins were titanium, at least, if not carbon fiber.

skelter weeks said...

Maybe next time go with English tweed.
Or, to really psyche 'em out, a style that could best be described as 'Hogwarts Headmaster'.

Fit to be Tied said...

Tech tip.
If racing with a tie, the half windsor knot is aerodynamically superior to thr full windsor knot.

bad boy of the sooth said...

Lol,dooth
I haven't seen that word,skips, used for cheap sneakers,over,ahem,forty years.we also called them a&p specials.

Habersharey said...

Seersucker is where it's at next year, Snobby!

Grump said...

Sorry Snobby, my eyes must be wearing out.

Drock said...

Little late today but I like all that folded up action

JLRB said...

My dog ate my blog

janinedm said...

Perhaps it's a side effect of going to parochial school in Virginia, but I'm on team seersucker.

Also, this dude is really angry at me for being dismissive and mocking (I can't help it, that's my post-Trump resting mood) of his advice that I ride in the park instead of on the street. You see, when he told me that 1) he's been riding a whole 3.5 years, 2) he only rides "in season," and 3) his commute is a whole 5 miles, I told him I didn't care what he thought and that I knew better. I guess that's rude or something, but wouldn't I obviously not care what he'd think? Why should I have to humor him? "Wait, there's a park in the middle of manhattan? That must be that stuff on my right when I go down 5th! Wow, thanks for the expert tip, bro." He told me to pull the stick out of my butt. He's just pointing out to me that I'm not making the safest choice, is all. There's got to be some sort of way to welcome new cyclists to the road while encouraging them to shut their pie holes.

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