I’ve owned a Brompton for about five years after deciding to try and live petrol free. Initially this was a nightmare because it took me ages to push the car to work, so instead I opted for a small-wheeled folding bike guaranteed to make school kids wet themselves laughing at me. This was the first time I’d tried racing anyone on it (unless you count every time I commute through London) and I was surprised how seriously many people were taking the event – there were Lycra shorts, cleats and even the odd aero helmet on show.
The race began Le Mans style with a sprint to the bikes, which were then hurriedly unfolded before we surged on to the track. Despite my intention to simply pedal round like a gentleman my inner-triathlete took over about 0.5secs into the race and I instantly started stamping on the pedals as hard as anyone in brogues can. Despite being distinctly under-geared I finished the race in a creditable 27mins, bagging a top-10 finish in the senior citizens (over 40s) category with the added satisfaction of out-sprinting some French arseflute who’d been drafting me for three laps. Clearly continentals are no match for a man powered by fine British tailoring.
I can honestly say that I haven’t enjoyed a race as much as this one for years, and even though I nearly died of tweed-induced heatstroke I will definitely be on the lookout for more gentlemanly races in the future. Until then, though, it’s back to the physio, who wants to use an ultrasound machine to zap my buttocks with electricity. Although after seeing how much this treatment costs I’ve decided to get the treatment free by mooning at a busload of pensioners and waiting for the police to come and taser me.