The Brompton Story

Here is a great little book that tells the story of the amazing (if a little geeky) Brompton Bicycle.  The history of the company and it’s very unique product makes for a great read.  It’s really astonishing that over thirty years later nobody makes a more compact folding bike and here you can find out all about how this very famous little bike was invented.  It’s a very english tale (slightly eccentric) and keeping it all british (made in London actually) is an adventure in itself. Brompton Bicycle is fantastic for any fan of great product stories but it’s a must for any owner of this UK marvel.

Great news photo

Mount Merapi releases pyroclastic flow as seen from Cangkringan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010. Indonesia's most volatile volcano unleashed its most powerful eruption in a deadly week Monday, spewing searing clouds of gas and debris thousands of feet (meters) into the air. There were no immediate reports of new casualties. (AP Photo/Trisnadi)

This is an amazing photo that really struck me today. A volcanic eruption always makes for sensational images but this particular picture really tells the story of the drama of the eruption in an exotic locale (the silhouetted palm trees are very evocative). Photojournalism at it’s absolute best.

The amazing Brompton folding bike

I’m starting a series of posts in a cycling subcategory entitled “Brompton Adventures” about a bike I recently bought : my amazing Brompton folding bike (and details will follow about the specific bike I bought).  I absolutely love this quintessentially british slightly eccentric bike.  As an introduction see below the video of the inventor of the bike, Andrew Ritchie, demonstrate how the bike folds and unfolds.  It really is as simple as shown in the video.

Third change of platform

In August 2004, I moved to Movable Type (see Change of platform…).  It was a good publishing tool and a huge step up from the type of programs I was using before.  Things have moved along though (six years in Internet time is like an era) and I’m now switching to WordPress.  It’s free.  It’s much easier to maintain for a non-techie and on the publishing side is much more complete and easier to use.  It also has an iPad and iPhone app to create articles.  From what I have read, it also seems to be the most popular platform nowadays for blogging.  Here’s to hoping that this great new tool will encourage me to write a bit more regularly…

Aston Martin Carbon Black editions of DBS and V12 Vantage

Carbon Black DBS and V12 Vantage

Aston Martin has just released two Carbon Black Editions of it’s most aggressive coupes : the DBS and the V12 Vantage.  These special editions have a new black paint job as well as all the black options from the list (wheels, side strakes for the Vantage, wheels, and piano black consoles).  They will also have specific tread plates and sill plaques.

I imagine these cars will look really good.  Most cars usually look good in black but these two aggressively styled Astons should be awesome.  The price is announced as being 5% over the standard cars which sounds like OK value for money considering the options that are included with these cars. For the V12 Vantage, they’re also throwing in a free PDC (Performance Driving Course).  If the feedback on the Aston Martin’s Owners Club forum is anything to go by, this all-day course is really excellent and gives the owner a much better understanding of the potential of his car.  Being the lucky owner of a V8 Vantage Roadster (actually a black one too…), I’m intending on trying this course next spring.  I will post my observations once I’ve completed it.

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Great Little Eco Video

Hereunder a really sweet eco video done by American artist Andyra Dorfman.  I’m always mightily impressed by this type of creativity melding old (drawing, painting, poetry and music) with new (youtube, video editing, photography).  This video is remarkably well done, poetic and very on-message.  Kudos !!!

Cool Fixie Vid

I did recently try a fixed gear bike and know that I won’t be buying one any time soon.  You really need to relearn everything and I just don’t have the time or the inclination.  This being said, fixed gear bikes are nowadays really cool looking and fashionable.  Some riders also do simply amazing things with them.  The video here is a good example.  Don’t, by any stretch of your imagination, think that this is easy though !

Bike Movies : Seasons

I bought my first commercial bike movie DVD and I have to say it’s a great one : Seasons by The Collective.  It chronicles the life of a series of downhill, 4X, and dirt riders over the course of 4 seasons.  You really get a feel for the type of life they live.  The hardship of training, the excitement, thrills and disappointments of racing, the camaraderie, the passion and the simple joys of going for a great ride, simply stunning nature and trails, all come across brilliantly.  Shot in 16mm, this film is really beautiful.  Poetic but exciting at the same time.   You can see the trailer for the film hereunder.  I have watched the movie several times now and consider it something akin to what “The Endless Summer”is for surfing.  A masterpiece !