|Zoomzoom admiring The Mall|
|The Belgian contingent|
Without fear of hindrance and with high sense of being privileged, I walked confidently into Brompton hospitality area with Zoomzoom. In plain English this is the area where the riders and their guest congregate before the start of the race, the exact area I want to get access to. This is where I will be able to rub shoulders with the riders and say hi and hello to the lovely people from overseas I met during last year's BWC at Goodwood.
|Mac Beltran and friend from Italy|
As soon as I stepped into the arena, I was in party mode. I made sure I was dressed up for the occasion and as if I was going to participate in the race. As you know Lycra is a no no in Brompton Race. So I wore a pair of expensive looking soft light gray leather shoes and Desigual shirt I bought in Barcelona, a dark blue summer suit and red shorts from H&M and a bow tie in navy blue with a touch of red and yellow. I thought I looked smart casual.
Everyone was looking young and beautiful. Men were mostly in suit and tie and in fashionably cut shorts. Oh no, it was not like those boring and almost uniform liked suits you see during FAMAS award nights. The attires on displayed were very individual in all exciting and personalized shapes and colours. The lady riders were equally impressive in their choice of gear. My favorite was the lady wearing a full wedding gown accompanied by her groom. They are from Italy.
|Representing Brompton Mafia from USA|
|Valery Lopez and friend from Barcelona|
In no time, the riders were in position and at the strike of 5pm, the first wave of riders were off like bullets, except for one rider who had difficulty unfolding her bike. She however, earned the loudest applause as she finally got it going. I would have died from embarrassment but she took it in stride and pedal along cheerfully.
|A beautiful smile.|
|A happy and lucky couple. Both got a place in the race.|
As I hesitantly headed towards the exit, a little sadness crept into my senses. For it confirmed in my mind that BWC 2015 is the beginning of an end of an era.
|Jon Rivero and friend from Canada. Nice to see you both.|
An era when BWC is more of a fun day out. A time when the whole Brompton family is one and united, when there were no barriers, no fences, when you can still say with certainty "see you next year". It was an event when you see couples in matching costume, a bunch of riders in similar attire, a senior gent and ladies just happy to enjoy the ride instead of being there to race. An era where the the spectator is not segregated from the participant.
|Flowers in a basket. It won't be BWC without it.|
|Switzerland ? sorry I can't remember.|
|The young Frenchman I met outside without a guest pass.|
I also saw a little disappointment in other people eyes. I saw quite a number of couple where only one partner was wearing an attire. Last year they were in matching attire. I missed the other fun people and those "little eccentric" people from last year. Moreover, I missed the Brompton family atmosphere.
|Well done David . So happy for you. I will nick that nice medal.|
|Jenny Chung, Samantha Skye and friend. LBC people|
However I find this year's BWC more of a polished public performance by Brompton Manufacturer via selected 500 privileged few, directed towards mass audience. It was not an event for the Brompton family of owners as the previous years.
This years BWC ,will be hailed as the best ever BWC. It is true and I agree. It is the best ever BWC to a beginning of an end of an era.
|Guest pass. You are in or out.|
All the best for everyone next year. Will you be in or out the fence next year?
|Bag of goodies giveaway as you exit the hospitality area|