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Brompton World Championships – 2008

I am such a social cretin before an event and watching the city boys arrive at the coach station in their pin striped suits and titanium s-bar bikes didn’t go anyway towards making me feel at home.

I cheered up a bit on arrival at Blenheim when friendly faces appeared out of the crowd and I was reassured that Emma’s Dave hadn’t abandoned me to do the race on my own. Shame Trinny and Susannah weren’t there though; they would have been able to advise me that the short and dumpy tie style wasn’t going to do much for my physique. They might also have mentioned that a thick woollen jacket wasn’t the best sporting wear for the hottest day of the year.

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I had received tie training lessons some months ago, in a pub and even through the Stella haze I could remember some of the specifics of the double Nelson knot. Or maybe it wasn’t a Nelson, that sounds like a wrestling move and that was another night and a completely different sort of pub. Anyway, my tie, it ended up in some form of quadruple knotting affair which may even have been stylish if only I were tall and lanky.

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So with the race about to start we’d had to lay out our bikes in the folded position, on numbered markers. I was going in the first wave, with Dave two waves and 4 minutes behind me. With the horn sounded we ran to the Bromptons, unfolded, pushed to the track and then set off.

I can’t believe that I’ve gone to so much trouble, practically having my gps surgically embedded in my wrist, and yet “forgot” to set the flippin thing off for the race. Now you are just going to have to take my word for it when I say it was HILLY. Big, long hills!

I may have mentioned before that I don’t do hills, not uphills anyway, but with Dave a mere 4 minutes behind me I didn’t have a lot of choice and had to keep pushing. When I finished the first 6.5km loop I came really close to throwing up on the corner, I thought it would be a slip hazard though and with Dave still behind me it could be seen as unsporting.

One of the guys in my wave had a video camera on his helmet and captured some of the beauty of the course. I was breathing so hard, sweating gallons and concentrating too much on the waves of nausea that I didn’t notice my surroundings.

It’s a bit noisy so I suggest you turn the volume right down, but before you get bored, pull the slider across to 4 minutes and wait for me to appear like a bat out of hell. He managed to capture almost a full minute of my backside flying down the hill with my coat tails flapping in an aerodynamic fashion.

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I crossed the line in front of Dave but the gap could be measured by Brompton lengths rather than minutes but we both looked rather worse for wear.

The results are just in:
Lap 1 15:48
Lap 2 16:57
Total for the 13km 32:45 (Dave’s time was 30:26)

In terms of positions I’m 268/364 overall or 21/44 for the women. So I’m actually in the top 50% for a sport! It beats swimming.

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{ 10 comments… add one }

  • speedyspeedracer 30 September, 2008, 8:32 pm

    I LOVE it! I love that they had a Brompton race, and that you had to do it in a suit and tie. And I love that they put it on a challenging course. You look like you’re really flying on that little toy bicycle of yours, the coattails really add to the effect. But what happened at like 4:45 in the video, did you guys go through a LAKE?! Is that really what I’m seeing on my bicycle? I could swear it was a lot less… bumpy… than that!

  • warriorwoman 30 September, 2008, 8:59 pm

    4:45 marks one of the many cattle grids, an excellent obstacle for the small wheeled vehicle.

    I’ve been analysing the results. Top man averaged 22mph, top woman, and there were only 44 of us, averaged 17.7 mph. I averaged 14.8 mph. That suggests to me that someone of your biking stature would stand a good chance of winning this event. The prize is a £1200 titanium Brompton in unique desert sand colour.

    How about it next year? I’d even lend you my toy bike and purple tie.

  • Suzan - SHS1 30 September, 2008, 9:39 pm

    Well done you!
    I love the outfit, the time is amazing and yet I can’t watch that video without cringing at the serious graze potential of falling off on that downhill. We are talking 2nd degree burns Ouch!

  • Karen 30 September, 2008, 10:25 pm

    That is amazing .. WHAT a blinkin HOOT!

    … I didn’t actually realise those bikes could go that fast! ;o)

    CONGRATS on your ride!

  • Adele 1 October, 2008, 12:26 pm

    Oh, what a fabulous outfit! It looks like real fun. I’m afraid I would be wussying out on the downhills, I can’t help braking, more of an up hiller, me.

    Well done.

  • Highway Kind 2 October, 2008, 9:49 am

    Excellent .

    That looks like fun, I might try it next year, though I’m not sure my ancient Brompton would hold together over the cattle grids

  • Denis CARAIRE (France) 3 October, 2008, 9:30 am

    Hi Warriorbromptonistwoman,
    I almost enjoyed your text as much as I enjoyed BWC 2008 (I’m the guy with checkered leggins left of second picture.
    Hopefully we will have more women in next BWC, and I would be glad if they can all issue some good text as your’s.

  • warriorwoman 3 October, 2008, 10:20 am

    Hi Denis – I loved those leggings. Great pictures on your blog as well btw.

  • Celeste 5 October, 2008, 8:03 am

    That was fantasic!!! That looked like amazing fun! Loved the downhills. The uphills would not have been pleasant on that little toy I suspect.

  • Kevin Heath 27 November, 2008, 2:17 pm

    Hi Warriorwoman,

    I enjoyed your race report and hope you had as much fun as we did taking part in the race. I’m the guy in the shades and light blue shirt, top left of your first picture near the tent. Like everyone I look a good deal worse for wear an hour later after struggling around the course in my suit.

    Good luck and God Speed :)

    Kevin

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