Eden Fowler who now lives in Brittany, France, contacted me to tell me about his newly acquired Brompton M3R. I asked him if he could write a little bit about his bike, here it is:
My love of things mechanical started as a kid and from the age of 7 or 8 years I was able to dismantle, repair & rebuild just about any bike and it’s gears (nearly all hub gears back then at the end of the 40’s). A lifetime’s bodgineering later and I’m still at it.
I have long been an admirer of the Brompton concept and it’s singular style & quality, and I thought I might have one in my grasp when my sister decided to sell her canal boat, but her Brompton went with the boat. All was not lost, however when an old friend from my time as a jobbing blacksmith in the Cotswolds offered me her long-unused Brompton which needed a dose of t.l.c.
I must say at this point how very heart-warming it is to find so much info, video and customer support freely available from Brompton. Apart from multiple punctures, knackered cables & missing bits & pieces, both the front wire basket carrier & the rear carrier had lost most of the plating due to surface rust. These I had sand-blasted & powder-coated and then I set about finding a LARGE bag to hang on that brilliant front luggage rack. The Brompton stuff is beautiful but too expensive for me and I found the answer at a local sports shop here where I live in Brittany for the princely sum of just under 30Euros. I added a floor of 6mm plywood inside the bag & bolted through to plywood strips outside and onto the rack plus pipe clips just to gild the lily. A quick coat of Burgess Wood-Sealer et Voila! A 40-litre carry-all.
I can now set off on the local bus with bike & bag to our county town some 25 kms distant an do all our specialised shopping for a mere 2 Euros fare each way. Mind you, that new Brooks saddle ( picked up for a song in Brighton during a recent visit) gets a lot more wearing-in than on mere shopping trips. It’s like I’ve got a new release of energy to my legs. I can hardly keep off her even though there’s a stack of other jobs to be done about the place. I always knew Will Self couldn’t be all bad!