In 1975 a guy in London developed a bike that speedily rode around town, but would also fold up so it wouldn’t get stolen. Today, the Brompton is still mainly used for short trips, sometimes also including public transport, the boot of a car or storage under a desk. But how far can you actually ride one in a day? Well, our general manager Stu, will go some way to answering that question when they embark upon the 300km course of Around the Bay on Sunday October 7th, mounted aboard a 2-speed, S-bar Brompton, all to raise funds for The Smith Family to support disadvantaged kids in accessing education.
Around the Bay (in a day) is Australia’s largest mass-participation bike ride and has been running every year since 1993. The first event attracted 2,700 riders, and over the years numbers grew until 15,600 rolled off the start line in the 2009 event. In recent years, different ride distances have been added, putting the event within reach of casual riders and families – with a distance to suit your level, or your goal. This year there are 10 options, starting at a child-friendly 20km and going up to the punishing 300km route.
The monstrous 300km course is brand new, perhaps reflecting the recent ultra-endurance riding trend, and offers riders a next-level challenge. As well as doing the full loop of the bay, incorporating the rolling hills near Portarlington from the 250km route, the course detours up the famous Arthur’s Seat climb, before heading over to Flinders on the ocean side of the peninsula and then back over at Red Hill to the bay. That’s right, not comfortable with adding one steep climb for the elites for the first time in Around the Bay history, they’ve added two! This should get the carbon crew into their lower chainrings well and truly!
But Stu won’t have that option because the steel-framed Bromptons they are riding have only one chainring. And, it’s only him! He was go be accompanied by Lucas again this year, but a niggling knee twinge means he’s not wanting to aggravate it. So, one rider, one Brompton, but he does have the choice of two gears (he again chose this model over the 302% range 6 speed, for lighter weight) but it’s his sheer tenacity which will likely get him over the hills. Yes, it’s an epic undertaking, but he’ll be well-served by their experience of last year’s event, where he did the 210km course on the same spec bikes. And again, he’s raising money for the Smith Family, so if you have a dollar or two to spare, head over to their fundraising page. Proceeds will go towards resources to help disadvantaged kids with their education.
We know that the world’s best folding bike will get you around the city, and last year Stu and Lucas proved that they can take you on the long haul. This year Stu will be pushing his boundaries of Bromptoneering again. Will he make it?
(If you see him, let him hook in behind you for a few kms – provided you’re going fast enough for him of course. Hey, he can always fold and jump on the train, cab or Uber – but somehow we don’t think that’s gonna be an option).