My new Brompton foldable bike

The Brompton: On the Thursday I collected it, the haze had  broken and I had my first ride.

When my kids were little, I bought them bicycles. Now they bought me a Brompton foldable bike for my sixtieth birthday, several weeks in advance, before the clearance sale ended. They knew I wanted it because I had talked about it. They had also seen me searching for a pre-used Brompton at the togoparts website. The sale had gone on for several weeks but I was blessed to have a cobalt blue version which was available only in the H6R model, which was the model I had wanted. The H handle-bar enabled me to have a more comfortable upright posture when I ride. The handle bar looks like the M bar but is two inches taller.

When I ordered it the haze was thick. When I took delivery of the bicycle, it was a Thursday, 8 October 2015.  That day the sky was clear and I could ride the bike that day and the next few days. What a blessing it was, especially after almost a month of staying away from outdoor activities.

The Brompton in kneeling posture.

Compared to other foldable bikes the Brompton is not the clear winner. It is made of steel and quite heavy at over 10 kilograms. The parts are proprietary and modification is limited. The wheels are small at 16 inches. The basic body shape has remained the same and there are no other models or departures from this classic design. It is a good ride but a rather expensive one at $2,780 before discount.

A great compact fold that works for daily commute and storage.
A great compact fold that works for daily commute and storage.

What makes the Brompton a winner is the fold. The fold is the best ever for the kind of comfortable commuter or leisure ride that the average person would want. Its fold is compact with nothing sticking out. After folding it can stand stable and it can be placed in a luggage bag for travel. It is mobile and easily wheeled around. You can take it into your home or office without occupying much space. You can commute with it in the car boot, or take it into the MRT during off peak hours. You can push it around in the shopping mall too.
The marketing of Brompton is superb. It is made in Britain and nowhere else – the pride of British engineering with the bike joints skilfully welded by hand. In addition, the marketing helps the Brompton to exude the classy image of a British gentleman in his top hat.

Brompton bikes have a cult following in countries where they are sold. Brompton owners form clubs and participate regularly in cycling excursions and charity events. They have a kind of fellowship of the wheel. I have joined one such Facebook club, to trawl for pre-used accessories on their website. You don’t just buy a bike you buy an image, a fellowship and a good and highly portable ride.
The Brompton bicycle is like a good Pentecostal. He is modest the way the main body of the bike is low. However no matter how low a profile he keeps there is that bit of attention it cannot help but attract. The bike also has a kneeling position when it rests. I like this unique feature – it’s like the bike is praying on its knees, the way a good Pentecostal should. This is often a conversation starter with other cyclists and strangers. In addition, the Brompton is highly mobile and ready to go the way a good Pentecostal is ready to go with the the good news even to other cities and countries. The clearest evidence that the Brompton is pneumatically filled is the pleasant clickety-clack of the wheels in motion, a bicycle version of speaking in other tongues. I know quite a number of pastors that own a Brompton, and they are Pentecostals!

My Pentecostal heritage

Pentecost: come Holy Spirit
Pentecost: come Holy Spirit

I have always been thankful for my Pentecostal heritage. Like a river of life, it has enriched, fertilized and nourished my spirituality. I have many reasons to be grateful and here are just a few of them:

The Pentecostal experience has made the reality of God’s presence and activity in my life is undeniable and unforgettable.

It  gave me a vision of how great and alive and loving our God is.

I have a deep assurance of faith and never doubted the reality of God throughout my Christian life.

I have experienced the spiritual empowerment and abilities of God’s Spirit in diverse ways.

I am glad to be part of such a vast and enriching spiritual movement.The Pentecostal movement has resulted in the salvation of millions of unbelievers around the world as well as impacted social concerns like political oppression, poverty, racism, unemployment, and even the green movement.

Evangelist T.L. Osborn: still pressing on

Evangelist TL Osborn in healing crusadeEvangelist T.L. Osborn was one of my Pentecostal heroes in the early years of my Christian life. We young leaders in the church also looked up to him as someone we wanted to emulate for reasons right or wrong. We read his books and gave out tracts written by him on Saturdays as we walked from Queen Street to the esplanade. We prayed for the gifts of healing for we saw it so evident in his ministry. Over the years though, we have seen so many Pentecostal heroes falter through immorality or financial improprieties that we begin to believe the only safe Pentecostal hero to talk about is a dead one. It was heartening though to read J. Lee Grady’s interview with this humble man of faith, T.L. Osborn, now 88 and still active. Even more heartening is that he has kept his integrity (Lord I believe, help my unbelief). Grady wrote about the interview:

“I once had a vision of the Lord,” Osborn told me, leaning over in his chair to look into my eyes. “But in the vision, God didn’t have any hands. Then He looked at me and said, ‘You are my hands.’” Throughout his worldwide ministry—which has never been well-known in the United States—he reminds Christians that God is waiting on us to obey the Great Commission.

Read the rest of the article from Charisma Magazine here, “Why T.L. Osborn Is My Hero”