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

Archery at Clyde Arrows Archery Club

When Nicola, a friend from work invited me along to receive some archery coaching at the Clyde Arrows Archery Club in Milngavie (pronounced ‘Mill-Guy’) I jumped at the chance to learn a new sport. The club meet at the privately-owned Milngavie and Bearden Sports Club on Auchinhowie Road in Milngavie.

Travelling to Milngavie by train is easy as the train travels directly there with out changeover stops. The sports club is a short walk from the station and took about 7 minutes.

Simon the Archery Coach

As I was walking down the drive to the club house I saw Nicola, who introduced me to the other archers who were there. Nicola’s husband, Simon, was going to be coaching me and he went through the commands to be obeyed when on the course. A siren sounds once to tell the archers they can fire their arrows and three blasts tells them they can walk to the targets to retrieve their arrows.  

The torrential rain of the previous 24 hours had stopped and had been replaced with bright sunny weather, so the session was held outdoors. 

Equipment for Archery

After being given my bow, arrows, a bag for holding the arrows (called a quiver) and some leather protective gear, I was ready to start learning the basics of archery.

Simon was a very good teacher and went through the basics and also taught me the safety advice. Archery is a sport which can cause injury so safety on the course is very important. 

Recurve bows on stands

The bow I was using is called a recurve bow because of the curves at both ends. The bow sits in a stand when not in use to prevent damage to it. 

Collecting the arrows

I had four arrows to shoot before waiting for the siren to sound to give the all clear to collect them again. 

Archery course

 

The boy above is a Scottish junior champion

I had a great time learning how to use a bow and look forward to my next lesson.

Further Information:
Clyde Arrows Archery Club
http://mandbsportsclub.com/

Commonwealth Rowing Championships 2014

The forecast was for cloud in the morning and some showers in the afternoon so I decided to go cycling in the morning and spend the afternoon doing something which would not get me too wet in the showers.

Cycle Paths

I am fortunate that I can ride a good circuit which is mainly on cycle paths – this makes it more enjoyable but care has to be taken to keep an eye out for pedestrians who share the paths with the cyclists.

The paths were quiet today so I was able to tear along the path at 22 mph. I was heading for Strathclyde Park, which was the venue for the recent Commonwealth Games triathlon.

Commonwealth Rowing Championships

When I arrived in the Park I noticed how busy it was and realised a major rowing event was being held. A woman in an England rowing top advised me that it was the Commonwealth Rowing Championships. The course at Strathclyde Park is one of only 2 World Championship courses in the UK.

The Commonwealth Rowing Championships Regatta has been organised in the year of the Commonwealth Games since 1986. This year there were teams from Scotland, England, Wales, N. Ireland, Canada and Australia.

I cycled around Strathclyde Loch on the lochside path to get a good view of the racing. By this time the sun had come out and it was turning into a lovely day. 

Rowers going to the start of their event

I cycled to the start of the course to catch the action there. A ladies race was about to begin and I stood to watch it.

A Scottish rower
Rowers about to start their event

I then cycled back to the main area of the Park and caught up with some friends who had come over to watch the action. Sensibly, they had brought a pair of binoculars with them.

Welsh team made themselves comfortable

 The Welsh team had made themselves at home and looked like they were enjoying the day.

Medal ceremony

Medal ceremonies were taking place frequently and we caught one of these. 

Australian rower being interviewed

An Australian rower was being interviewed for the TV and we guessed he was one of their top rowers.

On the Loch
A rower carries the oars back after the finish

All the teams had painted the blades of the oars which was a nice touch and is helpful in identifying them when in the water. The above rower is from Northern Ireland.

Scottish oars

It was good to watch the rowing and enjoy the sunshine at the same time. It’s a pity rowing is not a Commonwealth Games sport.