The iconic brand opens in Barcelona the world’s largest store, a temple for devotees of ‘iphone’ Bikes
Andew Ritchie is the Steve Jobs of the devotees of the Brompton bicycles. What devotees is timely because this profession ex gardener decided the name of the bike I had in mind almost at random. That was in the late 70s From the window of the London office where he worked on the design of his invention, which Ritchie saw was the Brompton Oratory, which is popularly known as the English Catholic Church of the Immaculate Sacred Heart of Mary. It must be admitted that this second name, the officer would have had less commercial stuck if it comes pedaling. Obviously, Ritchie did not invent the folding bike, because that is essentially a Brompton, but an ingenious design and, above all, a process of handcrafting that, allegedly, ensures a lifespan of 40 years of daily use. Total, that if someone believes the ‘street fighter’ between pedestrians and cyclists is at its peak, to prepare for the next round.
Let’s recap. The number of subscribers to the Bicing has fallen gradually since the 2009 public service that planted the flag on their particular Everest. That year there were 190,000 users, or at least, that was the number of issued ID cards. The latest official figure is much lower subscribers, 96,452 this month of April. The use of bicycles as a means of transport in the city, however, grows. Barcelona round a daily average of 140,000 trips by bike. In three years this share has grown 15%. The natural conclusion is to think that the Bicing has been a rite of passage for many locals, the seed of a later flowering, but discomfort (the poor state sometimes available units, the difficulty of finding one or, worse, the inability to park it) have meant that many users prefer to have your own bike.
Although it probably has happened (sorry, but there are no official statistics on the park two wheels without engine of the city) that conclusion overlooked a very important detail such, the Brompton, the ‘iphone’ bicycles effect.
Barcelona opens today in the eleventh shop monographic world of this iconic brand. It is also the world’s largest. Things that happen in Barcelona, is not it a great surface but exhibits permanently 120 units of this folding bike, absolutely artisan, an unusual today ‘made in England’ (remember, Rolls Royce is already owned by the German BMW and Jaguar, Indian Tata), which only 50 units a day patiently assembled by hand. Be the bike James Bond if I had to and pursue the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in a new adventure.
The opening of a shop exclusively Brompton may seem input, a minor event, worthy of a simple journalistic press release, but the figures reveal the classic movement of magma that precedes a volcanic eruption. Barcelona is, according to Oscar Alcaraz, head of the shop, world city with the highest per capita Bromptons. It is said soon. According to the company, there is a 20,000 units in Barcelona this bike that does not stand out precisely because of its economical price. Rounding three purples bills, glups!
In the section page policy is often recounts how the separatists try to “broaden the social base of the ‘proces'”. It seems that the difficulties are greater than expected. In Barcelona, the social base of everyday bicycle users has expanded to unimagined group a few years ago, that nebulous segment of what are considered liberal professionals that they are or not, could easily be confused aesthetically with them. They discovered first with the Bicing that in a city where cars travel at 12 kilometers per hour on average, pedal, in depending on which routes, 20 kilometers per hour are reached. Then simply they decided to have your own bike, but the big plug for “Amsterdamisation” of Barcelona have always been theft. In the Dutch city, the remedy against theft, which also exist, has been opting for bicycles unappetizing for thieves. The Brompton and are scarce in Amsterdam. In Barcelona, the first bicycles to be used as a daily means of transport were mountain bikes, some 20 years ago, totally inappropriate and expensive. With them was born fear, he justified the theft.
Local puzzle solution have been heavy padlocks and parallel, folding bicycles, the use of which increases in arithmetic progression. According Alcaraz (which, of course, sweeps for home), ‘culture Brompton’ has made the leap and is no longer the only bicycle professionals. His prognosis is that polemics margin kilometers of bike lanes in the city and on the pulse with pedestrians, the use of bicycles as a means of daily transport will only grow in the coming years, especially since the next coming revolution are electric bikes. In Germany they have already sold some 500,000. In France, 200,000. In Spain are testimonials. In 2017, in a project that just details are known, the market launch of electric Brompton folding planned. It will be the ‘street fighter two’.