It was just short of a month ago when I got asked to try out my very first Brompton bike. I had seen some of these cool cats riding around on the well known fold up bikes around London, however it was only starting to become a trend up here in Manchester. Or so I had thought.
Going to pick up my ride at Piccadilly Station, I was incredibly excited. I never really got on well with bikes in the past, but this was no ordinary bicycle. Brompton’s were made specifically for ‘the busy’, something that I can very much relate to. Quick and easy to assemble and off you go, a bike that you can take to work, on public transport, through a crowded city, without it getting in anyone’s way. The dock is located just outside the main entrance with instructions plastered over the gated lockers (in case you are new to this, just like me). After making sure you are registered and have credited your account, you just go to one in 36 UK Brompton docks, mine being at Piccadilly, and collect your very own Brompton.
I jumped onto the Manchester Metro, which was easy enough. I stored my bright red Brompton easily on the rickety tram, and jumped off a few stops later. I have to be honest, it did take me a while to unfold the bike once off at the station, but being in such a rush (as per) I had left the dock without reading the instructions properly (Typical Emma) but had made sure a picture had been taken, so resorted to that. Once assembled, it was then easy to dismantle again, just took a bit of getting used to! I was soon whipping her in and out of shape.
In honour of getting my Brompton, I then planned out an adventure. I had been made aware of a competition that was being run by the company with the hashtag #MYUNSEENCITY. I would have to create a 15 second film about a part of my city that many had not seen and upload the video to Instagram. Then all I had to do was share with the world! Seemed easy enough, and as a fitness fanatic, why would I not want to take on this opportunity?
When thinking of a place to shoot, I had one in mind. Fletcher Moss. A beautiful park that is based in Didsbury, which is not far from my house within Manchester. I had been for walks around the botanical gardens here with a past lover, and many a run by the beautiful river that passes through the amazing forestry. You forget that you are just moments away from the busy city life of Manchester.
So I set my alarm for 5am (eurgh) and got my kit on. It was early, it was so cold, but I was extremely excited. Even waking up to a text from a friend who was to join me for the bike ride adventure, bailing out on me first thing couldn’t stop me. I was determined enough now that I had planned to go alone. I packed my much needed tripod in with my thermal insulated coffee filled cup and realised… This would be a challenge, but one that I wanted to do. It felt like I was going on a mini holiday, getting up this early for such a trip. The plan was to see this much loved park of mine in a different light. Knowing the sunrise was due for 7am, I picked up my Brompton and set off. It was a very misty morning, which only added to the delirium.
The whole experience was a success. I caught quite a couple of snaps and collected a few videos of sights that I never imagined I would find. Being able to travel around the park when the rest of the world sleeps is just something else… I even believe what I had filmed will not even justify what I had saw that morning.
This competition had really opened my eyes to a new way of keeping up my fitness. I usually run around my city to see the ‘unseen sights‘ however getting out on my Brompton, I saw that it was easier for me to get out further into the city more often then if I were to ever go out on foot.
Check out my video below and if you enjoy what you see, give it a share!
Instagram Video for #MYUNSEENCITY Give it a like! 👍