Dressed to Win: Tie-Wearing GJ Editor Dominates at 'Brompton U.S. Champs'

Folding-bike brand Brompton Bicycle sanctions an annual U.S. Championship, and this year it was held in GearJunkie’s home town of Minneapolis today, June 23.

A 6-mile race, the event starts with a Le Mans-style foot sprint to a pack of bikes folded up — racers run to their Brompton bike and flip the handlebars, secure the frame, and flick the wheels into place before jumping on for laps on a closed street in Minneapolis.

Area bike shop Calhoun Cycle organized the event this year. It also corresponded with a Minneapolis initiative called Open Streets, which kicks cars off city streets for a day of biking and pedestrian-only fun.

(More photos from the Brompton U.S. Championship on next page.)

GearJunkie editor Stephen Regenold competed in the U.S. Championship at the last minute… and he won! Regenold had never ridden a Brompton before the race morning. But he got the unfold procedure down before toeing the starting line.

Bikes folded at the start (top) and scenes from the race

Dressed in the required suit coat and tie — not to mention a Giro Air Attack aero helmet! — Regenold took an early lead and never looked back. He pedaled in the lead pack for five laps before darting ahead after the final course turn to sprint two blocks to the win.

“I kept waiting for a big gun racer to pass me,” Regenold said after the event. “I pedaled steadily for the first few laps and then put down the hammer!”

To be sure, the competition during this race was 90% in the “fun” category. Only a small pack at the front were competing. But those serious Brompton racers were putting out a hard effort, their suit coats soaking through with sweat within a lap or two.

Best-dressed peloton in Brompton race

Brompton bike owners traveled from around the country to compete. At stake was the U.S. Champion title and a trip to England for the Brompton World Championships in July.

More than 50 racers competed. As is the Brompton aesthetic, all racers were required to dress up. The organizers awarded for “best dressed” as well as speed.

Regenold buckling down in the final stretch for the win; photo by Travis Anderson

With his visor-equipped aero helmet, plaid shorts, Chrome bike shoes, and a stripe tie, Regenold was perhaps too clashing for the best-dressed prize. He was happy with the race win instead. “Those little bikes are fast,” he noted, hoisting his winning stead — unfolded — up in the air near the podium.

The crowd of fold-up bike fanatics applauded the competitors, including the distance course racers, the fold-up-your-bike contest winners, and, of course, the dapper men and women winners who out-dressed the rest.

(More photos from the Brompton U.S. Championship on next page.)

Winners hoist a British flag — first-place men and women get shipped to England for the World Champs in July; photo by Travis Anderson

Posted by Jon - 06/23/2013 11:26 PM

Yeah Stephen!!!

Posted by Leah - 06/23/2013 11:56 PM


Posted by Susie - 06/24/2013 01:16 AM

You might be familiar with the sight of bicycles speeding past you as you sit in your car in a traffic jam on your morning commute that only seems to nudge forward a few inches an hour. You may also have seen a mountain bike hurtling through the open countryside, keeping their owners supple and fit.

Posted by Ben - 06/24/2013 07:32 AM

Never a surprise bro. Hilarious.

Posted by Carolyn Regenold - 06/24/2013 11:33 AM

WOW! Great race, way to go!!

Posted by Eric Chatham - 06/24/2013 01:37 PM

What did you think of the Brompton ride quality? I have always been curious about that.

Posted by Editor - 06/24/2013 02:28 PM

The Brompton was SPEEDY. Low center of gravity, and watch out for pedal strike on sharp turns. But honestly the bike rode like a champ. I think I hit 30mph+ on the final stretch pushing hard. Fun, comfortable ride overall, too.

Posted by Catherine Nelson - 07/10/2013 09:52 AM

Congrats Stephen! That’s a sharp look!:)

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