Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Help - middle age has hit!

At least he is not wearing sandals.
OMFG – well that’s a statement that I haven’t used before – but considering it is a young person’s term, I figure I had better use it now before it is too late, but sadly I fear it is too late. 

An old school friend – a peer – has decided to buy a Brompton! Therefore the only logical conclusion I can draw from this is that as my peer has become middle aged I therefore must be also.

So why is a Brompton a sign of middle age? Well let’s just look at the facts; it is practical, it looks dull and functional. To choose a bike for these reasons means that aesthetics have taken a back seat to practicality. Surely there is no greater sign of mid–life, than making a purchase based on these sensible reasons. For me a bike purchase has to be about gadgetry level and looks with practicality taking a back seat.

If I were being sensible I would buy a Brompton because then I could cycle and use trains when required and not be forced to travel at certain times. But then I would have to sit on a T-bar bike with small wheels that if I am honest looks like a giraffe with hamster’s balls hanging underneath it. Given the alternative of a super sexy carbon frame with fairly pointless ridges to reduce wind resistance (but the curves are sexy which is all I care about) a wardrobe stuffed with overpriced lycra based products and the computing ability to put an army on the moon used to navigate me the 55 miles to Brighton, I know what I will be wasting vast amounts of money on!

Of course, I do have to caveat the above to take into account regarding Bromptons being for the middle-aged; the occasional super fit hipster zooming along believing he is being all ironic, riding he Brompton in his skinny jeans and suitably fashionable top (what constitutes a suitably fashionable top I cannot accurately say as I am not a hipster – come to think of it, what constitutes ironic is lost on me also).

The Brompton also offers up additional problems that my post illness fitness levels, cannot cope with. I will detail this theory of mine for your benefit (and sit back and wait for the haranguing I will get from our foldable bicycle fans).  Bromptons have small wheels and owners I believe suffer from wheel size envy (think penis envy, as it is much the same). Every time they see a road bike with those big sexy wheels on them the riders feels they must at all costs overtake that bike and show that although he has small, indeed despite the fact he has small wheels, he is just as much a man, if not more, and will prove it by overtaking that big wheeled bike. This would lead to extreme levels of tiredness – such levels as my poor broken down body cannot currently cope with.

Life is simple with a Brompton, whilst I may sit there spending hours reading about various grades of carbon and how they are layered up to ensure maximum lateral stiffness, before making a frame purchase, a Brompton owner will just give an extra hard turn on that little bolt thing in the middle of the frame – problem solved, lateral stiffness is max'd up.

In a desperate attempt to put him off the idea of buying a Brompton I have suggested that using the same logic he should sell his Porsche and buy a Skoda – after all they are practical, safe, well built. Additionally they are excellent value for money (unlike a Brompton). After all if he is giving up on life as a trendy go getter by buying a Brompton, why waste money on a flash car as well? 

My final chance is in the pub tomorrow – I shall suggest to him that instead of train / Brompton that he goes for the far more healthy and sensible option of cycling the 11 miles into work all the way on a sensible road bike – this will have the benefit of also reducing his waist size as well as stopping him look like a fool / tool on a Brompton. After all I am beholden to him as his friend to stop him from becoming prematurely old and unfashionable (it is my cross to bear I know). Either that, or I can hope he has a mid-life crisis and decides to buy an overpriced bit of carbon bling for a bike - and I know just the bike for him.


  1. Did it not hit you when he bought a Porsche?

  2. lol - very funny. Sadly he has always had one of those since his 20's and for reasons of personal fear I am not going to say you enter mid-life in your 20's