The King of Paddington


Melee. Maelstrom. Chaos. People whirr back and forth like clockwork toys, marching forwards, backwards, phones glued to ears, bags slung on shoulders. Steam rises from the sandwich counter. Pigeons flutter in occasional gaps. The departures board is lit like a fairground. ‘Cancelled’. ‘Delayed’. ‘Preparing’. The crowd plead for ‘boarding’.

In amongst the foot traffic, wheels whirr past with a commuters sprint. All sizes are represented. 20”, 26”, 29”. But it’s the 16″ that prevails. In 5 minutes I count 10 bikes. Black ones, blue ones, green ones, orange ones, red ones. Bromptons with racks on the back and bags on the front. Owners in suits, neon, lycra, jeans. The colour and rider spectrum represented in full, bikes destined for racks and footwells. There’s no question about it, London trains are wed to British folders. The Brompton; the King of Paddington.

I ride a Birdy, but I’m clearly in the minority.

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