Neither Snow nor Rain nor Heat nor Gloom of Night…

Having spent most of yesterday delivering the community newsletter, I now have a renewed respect for our postie, and not just because of the whole snow/rain/heat(admittedly unlikely)/gloom of night thing – he does, after all, have a nice wee van to deal with that part. I’d set off in reasonable spirits on the Brompton thinking its front basket would be handy for quick deliveries, but I soon realised that getting the leaflet out quickly was the least of my problems. Setting aside the keen north-easterly wind and the fact that the Brompton, God bless its little compact fold, does not really stay upright in anything but a light breeze when it’s parked, not to mention the sudden flurries of snow and hail, plus the fact that all of those dogs who’ve spent the last four years barking furiously at me from behind closed gates finally got to meet their public enemy number one face to face,* and the fact that it turns out 90% of people in the area live up awesomely potholed tracks of extravagant length, the main difficulty is the fact that clearly, rural people consider letter boxes to be some sort of townie new-fangled nonsense not to be contemplated here in the countryside. Some of them put metal boxes up on their gates, which was handy, but a good half of the houses had no visible way at all to deliver anything other than ringing the doorbell and handing it to them in person.

As it happened, most people were out and the rest didn’t know me well enough to do much but say thanks and go back to whatever they were doing before their dogs disturbed them with the news that there were murderers and rapists and foreigners and A BICYCLE invading the precincts, but someone as well-known locally as the postman will have to at a minimum exchange pleasantries with everyone (or in my case, repeat the same pleasantry three times until I understand it) if not actually come in for a cup of tea and a blether. The man must have the bladder of a camel.

*and I can confirm that among the ‘everythings’ that the everything-bar-the-apocalypse-proof jacket is proof against can now be included ‘not very determined dog bites’


2 Responses to Neither Snow nor Rain nor Heat nor Gloom of Night…

  1. Paul M says:

    Much as I love my Brompton, it does have one or two foibles. One is that point about not keeping its balance too well. I have just had a rear rack fitted, having originally ordered without one to save weight – pointless, as with the rack and EZ wheels you can wheel it along instead – but found that the reinforced wheeled rear mudguards don’t last well. If I thought having a rectangular instead of triangular base would make it more stable, I was sadly mistaken.

    The EZ wheels are great as long as you aren’t on a slope – otherwise you soon end up chasing after it as it slides away.

    Another is the rear fold. I got the rack done because I needed to take it into the shop anyway to replace the rear suspension block, and the new ones are all latched. You can pick the bike up without the rear wheel sagging, which I suppose is useful, but that old flick-of-the-wrist technique for whipping it onto its standing base has gone, and you have to fiddle around to release the catch – not nearly as elegant!

    As for potholes, at the country end of my commute these have been growing like mushrooms, and those small wheels do not like it up ’em, no they do not!

  2. disgruntled says:

    oh dear I was hoping the rear rack was the solution.

    TBH big wheels aren’t keen on potholes either …

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