Last month in Barcelona, I did a whole lot of cruising with my Brompton. That is when I wasn’t meeting cool new people or racing. And if you bring your trusty sidekick abroad, you better ride it, right?
On my rides I found the coolest shops where I bought myself some mighty fine bicycle related goodies. Some of them served me well during the Brompton World Championship race, others are to be considered memorabilia of a fun weekend in a city I love.
White Foldable Carerra Helmet
Somehow I managed to forget my black Carrera helmet (obligatory for a BWC race) in Belgium so I had to buy myself a new one. Oscar at Brompton Junction suggested he’d lend me a helmet, but when I came across this radiant white, foldable Carrera helmet at Cycling Barceloneta, I just knew I had to buy it. As it turned out, it suited my outfit way better than the black one. Up to you to decide if I really ‘forgot’ my black helmet, or if I left it at home intentionally.
Trouser clips & cycling gloves
Turning my dressed pants into shorts for a Brompton race, I’ve given it some thought but really, would it be worth it? Why not wear random shorts? Well, that wouldn’t be stylish enough and we’re all about style. So when I saw the trouser clips in Bike Gracia*, purchasing them was a sure thing. I even bought myself some nifty retro bicycle gloves too. It’s a damn shame I didn’t win the best dressed competition. I mean look at me!
A decade ago I bought a Ramones street art fridge magnet in a stall at Rambla de Raval. Imagine my surprise to see that said stall was still there, selling fridge magnets based on pictures of street art. ‘Happiness is perfect chain tension’ indeed!
One can never have enough tote bags I reckon, if only it was to avoid plastic bags. At the race I was given a black Brompton tote bag which I immediately lost. Luckily they had spares so after the race mine got replaced. At a bike rental shop in the gothic area I bought myself the white ‘Ride or Die Barcelona’ one. It was that or a cold beer and drinking and driving don’t really match.
Cinelli NACCC Cap
At another one of the numerous bicycle rental shops I spotted a couple of cool cycling caps. For a mere 15 € – which seems to be the standard price for a cap – I bought myself the official 2016 North American Cycle Courier Championships cap, made by Cinelli. A cycle courier championship, can you believe it? And you thought us Brompton racers were an odd bunch! One only needs one or two caps, but as it turns out, I’m starting to have quite a collection. It’s not yet a fetish, but it does come close. I’ll have ‘em on display soon, I promise.
When I walked to the hotel after having spent some time in El Xampanyet – a must visit when you get the chance – I passed a rather nice looking shop. It sold a fair share of must-haves and also stocked a fine collection of magazines and books you just don’t see every day. The flight back to Belgium in mind – one has to kill some time – having some reading material at hand is never a bad idea. Now I had never heard of Boneshaker Magazine – what a lousy cyclist I am – it immediately appealed to me. And when I checked their website when I got home, I also noticed they have caps. CAPS!
A sideways look at cycling for bicycle lovers of all stripes, full of the passion, poetry and politics of life on two wheels.
* the story of Brompton in Barcelona started in this exact location, yet under the name Bike Teck. More on that in a follow-up post.