There are already winners and losers in this race – and it doesn’t even officially start for another five months!
I am, of course, talking about the 2016 Brompton World Championship (“BWC”) Final. The ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ are those who took a gamble and entered the ballot, hoping to be chosen to fill one of the coveted 575 places available for the race.
Some Bromptoneers dream of pitting themselves and their Brommie (or Brompty) against the best in the BWC Final. Some have tried numerous times to enter – without luck. Some enter without too many expectations either way.
I was in the last group. ‘Why not have a shot?’ I thought to myself, ‘After all, what are the chances?’
I’m not writing this to gloat.
My first thought when I saw an email from ridelondon.co.uk beginning, “Dear Bromptoneer, Congratulations!” was “Oh shit. I got in.” Followed by, “I’M GOING TO THE BROMPTON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP!!!! IN LONDON!!! Um… I wonder how much a return airfare is…”.
By the time I’d announced the very unexpected (but hugely exciting!) news to my partner and my prospective coach, comments from other Bromptoneers were being posted, mostly on the London Brompton Club and Brompton Society Facebook pages:
“I am in, partner is not. I am crying with both happiness and sadness at the same time.”
“… unsuccessful… two years in a row.”
“See you in london 🙂 “
“BWC computer says no 😦 “
“Selected with my boy friend *thumbs up*”
“I just opened my mail and again no I was not successful: which would have been amazing since I never entered.”
There have been calls for prominent Bromptoneers who missed out to be admitted, suggestions for a different types of ballots, and even for a British National Brompton Championship separate to the BWC. Some Bromptoneers hold out hope that they may get offered a place after 11th March – if someone from the first round of offers doesn’t complete their registration by the cut-off.
All these highly charged, emotive messages jarred against my sense of personal excitement. Should I feel excited about going if Francis (THE Francis Mulleady) has missed out? Do I deserve my place if internationally renown Brompton Ambassador Paul Chiu didn’t get in? Orange Brompton’s out, BumbleB (aka The Legend) is waiting in the reserves…
Looking around to see if any other Aussie’s have put up their hands yet to say they’re going, I came back across Sam’s comment, above: “You’d have to go if you were called, right?”
And he’s right. Completely right. I’m going, and I’m going to make the most of this fabulous opportunity.
As one unlucky Bromptoneer quoted from his confirmation email, “Once the ballot has closed […] entrants will be selected across a range of abilities”. I can only presume my abilities (one of which could simply be being female) are different to either Francis’ or Paul’s. Well, I might not be as speedy as those two, or as famous (not that that matters), but to quote Francis, “we are all [Brompton’s] brand champions, everyone who buys and uses one”.
I hope to see you all at St James’s Park in London, on the 30th of July, 2016.