We've all been there: on paper it looks like your commute is 45 minutes each way, but every day, there's some delay. An accident. A 16 minute wait for the next train. It all adds up, and suddenly you’re looking at a 2 hour trip to the office.
That’s why we choose to ride.
You don’t have to see your commute as a pain; in fact, it can come to be the best part of your day, opening up a different way to experience your world each morning and evening.
That’s why we’ve unfolded a sense of freedom: travelling to work on a Brompton means all you have to do is ride, fold, work, repeat.
But others take it one step further. When your alarm goes off at 7am and you reach to press the snooze button, consider this: there are some riders already jetting down from the shires into the city on their favourite set of two wheels. These Brompton riders are shaving hours off their long working commutes and finding time to gain world championship status or help raise hundreds of pounds for charity. Others are shooting across the city to their start up office to help change the world and provide education for all.
Tales From The Road:
Ease of travel is one of the common features that attracts new riders to the Brompton community. But once cyclists have mastered their commute on a Brompton, they often want to take it to the next level. We spoke to three Brompton riders to find out what it was that made them choose their Brompton and why there is no looking back as they break records, win races and build groundbreaking companies.
Occupation: Civil Servant
A Stranger To Rush Hour Stress
“My Brompton story began over 10 years ago. My husband and I knew that commuting into the city by public transport from Oxford was going to be tough, so we were in search of another solution. A colleague of ours had two second hand Bromptons that he had never washed. They were absolutely filthy, but apart from the dirt they were in perfect condition. We managed to get our hands on them at a steal of the price, and never looked back. Years on, our family grew but our taste in bikes has remained the same. We are proud Brompton owners with bikes that never seem to stop. Regardless of the weather, they just keep going.
I love the reliability of my Brompton.
It’s a reliable ride, of course, but it’s also reliable when it comes to timing. I can be sure that my commute will take two hours and no longer. It’s also so convenient travelling with a Brompton as it folds up so easily without taking up any extra space. Some of the other bigger folders can take up the whole luggage rack… which I always thought was a little mean.
I also enjoy the community feel a Brompton brings. It's as though we give each other a little smile on our commute. It makes it all so much more enjoyable so early on in the morning.
Thinking about it, I have a stress free ride on the train and when I arrive in the city I don’t have to worry about factoring in additional time in case there is a tube delay. An added bonus are the beautiful sunrises I get to see over Hyde Park every morning."
Beyond Commuting: World Championships
"When I’m not riding my bike to work I’ve also ridden in the World Championships. It’s so much fun! There are always people dressing up and trying to either ride fast or just get round. And, if you think about it, it's the closest I will ever be to becoming a world champion, so I'll take it!"
Occupation: Insurance Underwriter in Lloyd’s of London
A Man In His Shorts
"I've been riding to work and back for about 16 years. My first Brompton was a secondhand model, but about three years ago I gave that away to friends. So it's still going and doing the London circuit. I bought a new one on the cycle to work scheme.
Cycling Has Helped Me Raise Awareness For a Cause I Believe In.
Over the last two or three years, I’ve had a couple of friends who've taken their own lives. It makes you realize that suicide and mental health is becoming more and more of an issue. I found CALM - Campaign Against Living Miserably - an organisation that prevents suicides amongst men in the UK. I was really impressed by the website and the charity and thought about how I could raise money to help them. I realised that I pass hundreds and hundreds of people every day on my bike. And so I thought, to get noticed what could I do? I originally thought maybe carry something on my back, like something heavy. You see people running marathons carrying things like dishwashers and fridges on their back. I thought maybe I'll carry a microwave or oven on my back, but logistically it really didn't work out, mainly because it wouldn’t have been safe in London. Then it came to me. Why not try and do sort of cold endurance challenge throughout the winter in just a pair of shorts? So that’s what I did last year and what I’m doing this year. I ride my commute to work every working day in just my shorts for a whole winter, that’s six COLD months, November through to April. Marylebone to Fenchurch Street- 10 miles a day.
Fuel The Body, Pedal Faster.
When it comes to riding through the winter my top tip would be to eat a lot of food because you burn so many calories when it's cold. Some people occasionally ride a bike and they haven't eaten enough, and they can start to feel really weak and a bit lightheaded. I can't have that happen to me on my commute because I have to ride fast to stay warm, so I need to make sure my body has enough fuel."
Occupation: Founder of Net2Work (a tech platform that connects companies and young people with internships and apprenticeships)
The Ever-Changing Commute of an Entrepreneur
"I live and work in central London making accessibility and flexibility key factors in how I commute. As the founder of a startup, I don’t really have a fixed routine. Everyday is very different. My office is in Marylebone, so I love cycling there as well as going through Hyde Park. Sometimes my job means that I have to attend a lot of meetings or go into schools, so the fold down capability is really handy and works out well. But in all honesty, no day's really the same for me, but the Brompton adapts to my ever changing routine.
I began my cycling journey using the Santander bikes. I kept wanting a bicycle of my own but it just didn't make sense; I was hesitant because you hear of so many bikes getting stolen in the city and also if I decide to go out after work, riding a bike isn’t an option. So a bicycle didn't seem feasible. So I was just going to use the Santander bikes everywhere.
Then I came across Brompton and I thought it would totally make sense to get one as it solves all those issues. The Brompton checked all of the boxes. If I didn't want to cycle back after going out, I could come back on a bus or in the boot or a cab. It’s also a simple addition like having a basket; I suddenly had a place to drop by bag in or a change of shoes. My dog can even fit in there which is an added bonus!. These options would just not be possible on other self-serving bikes.
Because you can pretty much take a Brompton any place you want, it frees up your schedule and opens up possibilities when travelling. It doesn't restrict you in any way and it frees up your journey. On my list of places would be Scandinavia. My racer green Brompton has a whole world it’s waiting to see, and lucky for me, the design of the bike, means that it’s all possible."
Whatever motivates you to cycle, you can be sure of one thing on a Brompton: It will be a commute that is full of ease as you unfold a sense of freedom. Thinking of starting your own business? Dreaming of winning a championship or raising money for someone that matters… anything is possible on a Brompton.