For years I've talked about Bromptons and have always wanted to try one. As we were planning our wedding we were visited by a celebrant, while we were getting ready for her arrival I spotted a smartly dressed lady walking down the street with a baby blue Brompton trundling along behind her. I joked to (my then) fiance that it would be great if this was the celebrant we were expecting as this may be my opportunity for me to try one. We both cheered when the smartly dressed lady knocked on our door. The Cycling Celebrant had arrived.
As the rest of our wedding plans progressed we began to look at transport, not that I'm not interested in fancy cars, but crossing Birmingham on a busy Saturday by car seemed difficult, so we began to think and came up with an idea, 'I wonder if we could hire Bromptons'. After a quick trip to On Your Bike in Birmingham (a local Brompton Dealer) the guys were really helpful and said we could simply hire their test fleet for the day. They also mentioned the Brompton hire scheme, they explained how flexible and easily accessible it was and this gave me an idea for the Stag do.
The Stag was held in Bristol, it was a lot of fun and the guys and I had a great time. One of the stand out activities was getting the train into Bristol, then picking up some Bromptons from the local dock before heading to Bath. I think we initially thought we'd cover perhaps 20 miles on the bikes but we were massively surprised when we got back to the dock to figure out we'd covered 60 miles on 16 inch wheeled bikes. All of us are experienced cyclists, both on road and mountain bikes and, to be honest, before we rode them we were expecting them to be good but what we actually experienced was a revelation. The size and design of them make them perfect for moving around in cities, the open frame means you can slip off the saddle easily and the small wheels make weaving round erroneous obstacles a breeze. From a bike of this size you'd expect them to be at ease with city commuting but what we didn't expect was their pace and stability at speed. On the flat open tracks we were able to maintain an average speed of over 20mph on the run into Bristol, the robustness of them made you feel surefooted and stable as we grouped together to reduce wind resistance and maximise pace. The amazing performance of the bikes only wet my appetite for the wedding.
After a quick trip to On Your Bike on the morning of the wedding we were mobbed by family and friends as we wandered into the hotel. Everyone wanted a ride from my 5ft Nan to a 6ft6 usher, the saddle was up and down like a fiddlers elbow. There was even more excitement and amusement as we tried to fold them away for the first time. After a few failed attempts the technique was mastered and the bikes were squirreled away in our rooms while we dealt with other ancillary matters such as getting ready for the wedding.
With suits donned, cycling clips affixed to trousers and Bromptons in hand we wandered downstairs back into the melee of friends and family. As the time of the wedding approached we mounted the bikes to begin the short ride to the venue. As we navigated across Birmingham we passed another wedding party, as we dinged our bells we passed their large white Range Rovers and they wound down their windows, cheered and honked their horns as they were sat in traffic. It was great fun passing them in our full wedding regalia and, although I would never normally ride the bikes in this sort of attire, it wasn't restrictive and the layout of the Brompton didn't impede our progress.
What followed was a fabulous wedding and, while I never set for the focus of the event to be cycling (never mind Bromptons), they somehow became a fun feature. From the Cycling Celebrant, then the guys at On Your Bike and not forgetting the bikes themselves, we've met some incredible ambassadors for the brand and have been amazed by how utilitarian, functional and fun the bikes were.