A Busy Sunday Morning in Strathclyde Park

It was an early start this morning as I wanted to get in a round of golf on my local 9 hole course and go bird watching after it. It was very cold and there was some frost on the course at 7.00am, but this soon cleared.

During the winter the course is maintained and many tees and greens are not in use. Temporary ones are used instead. This should last until about the beginning of April when the course should be back to normal. 

Ice on golf trolley wheel

While on the course, the sound of music could be heard and it was obvious that there was an event on in nearby Strathclyde Park. When the music can be heard as early in the morning as 8.00am, it usually means that it is a sports event.

South Lanarkshire Leisure Duathlon  

After finishing the 9 holes, I was making my way home by foot, pulling my golf trolley behind me. In the Palace Grounds in Hamilton, I saw some runners and was told that a duathlon was in progress – South Lanarkshire Leisure Duathlon. This consisted of a 5K run, 20K bike and another 5K run. 

While passing, I managed to get some photographs of the action with my phone. 

Running


Cycling
After completing the first 5K run, the competitors had to collect their bikes and start on the road racing part of the event. 

A competitor gets his card scanned

As the competitors left the transition area with their bikes, they had to get their cards scanned. This presumably was to help the organisers in getting the details of the competitors times during the event. The competitor above is being ‘scanned’ by the woman on the left. 

Getting ready for the cycling


On the course

Commonwealth Games  
The cycling part of the event was around the closed roads of Strathclyde Park. This was the course used last year at the Commonwealth games triathlon. This is not easy – there are quite a few small sharp hills in Strathclyde Park.  

Turning point on the course


The camera phone coped reasonably well in taking the photographs but will never replace a ‘proper’ camera with a good lens.  

All-in-all it had been an eventful morning despite it only being 10.30am.

Carrying Luggage on a Brompton ‘S’ Bike

Now that Spring is here, I will be using my Brompton to cycle to work instead of taking the bus. This has the benefit of saving me the 45.00GBP which I have to pay for my monthly bus ticket. I tend to take the bus to work from November to February, as it is too cold to cycle and the roads are not always free from ice.

Brompton ‘S’ Bike

My Brompton ‘S’ bike (which is the one with the flat, sporty handlebars) does not come with a luggage rack so I was thinking on how to carry my items to work without having to wear a backpack.

Carrying a bag on a Brompton ‘S’ Bike

After searching the internet I found a Brompton bag, but as it was quite expensive I thought I would try and see if any of my existing bags could be used instead.

Brompton ‘S’ Bag Frame

One of the things I noticed was that the Brompton bags are mounted on a frame and inserted into the carrier block on the front of the bike. Mine came with the carrier block so that was one item I did not need to buy. 

I then looked at the mounting racks and saw one for 20.00GBP which was for sale in a shop in England. I sent away for one and it arrived the next day, which was very fast indeed. 

Bag carrying frame for a Brompton ‘S’ model

The next thing was finding an existing bag to fit the frame. After looking at the bags I already owned, I picked up my Timbuk2 Classic Medium courier bag which I had bought last year in a sale for less then 30.00GBP.

The bag fitted well, but the base of it sagged, so I needed a rigid material to put inside the base it. I thought of the material estate agents use for their signs and searched Ebay for this, but the sheets being sold were far too big for my needs. 

Making the Bag Rigid

I then went looking round the shops for something suitable and saw a ‘Value’ cat scratching pad in ‘Pets at Home’ which was quite light and quite rigid. It was a bit long so I cut about 2 inches off the end and it fitted perfectly. 

For a back of the bag to make it quite rigid, I used a cheap plastic clip pad which is both light and rigid.

Securing the Bag on the Frame

Holding the bag secure without having to use straps or bungee cords which would be a faff, I decided to see if I could secure it using the loops on the bag. I used a system I have use in the past on my rucksack to hold my walking poles which is just a piece of cord tightened by adjustable cord toggles. I bought these in a local dress-making shop and the cord is very strong. I would prefer paracord but they didn’t sell it.

Securing the bag.

This system holds the bag nice and secure and there is no danger of it falling off. For safety, it is essential to tuck away the shoulder strap in case it gets caught up in a moving part of the bike.

I also found a cheap fluorescent rucksack cover in my local Asda which was reduced to 3.00GBP. This fits the bag perfectly and will be ideal if it is raining, to save the bag from getting wet and also to provide extra visibility in the rain.

Raincover

The raincover is also secure and shouldn’t blow off in the wind.

Rear view of raincover

So there we have it – a cheap way of carrying luggage on a Brompton bicycle. It should be noted that the ‘S’ model has lower handlebars and requires a smaller bag and frame than the ‘M’, ‘P’ and H’ models. 

If you are looking to put a bag onto a Brompton at as low a cost as possible, it is worth looking round at any existing bags you may to see if they can be used on the bag frame before buying a Brompton one.

Further info

Brompton cycles

Timbuk2