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April 1, 2013 2 comments
Rabbit Dropping - The Brooks "Peter" & "Flopsy".Saddles, Bags, Etc. Curiosities Urban Cycling
Very little rabbit was wasted in the construction of our Easter Edition Brooks Peter P13's. And so, the British winter continues apace. As we find ourselves in the middle of laughably named Spring Classics season, the R&D department at Smethwick has come up with a Special Edition to commemorate the first snowbound Easter weekend in living memory in the Midlands. It's an open secret that for some years now, we have invested heavily in researching the feasibility of producing the occasional saddle made from non-bovine leather. Purely because not to put too fine a point on it, the grade of material we typically take for our B17 and Flyer, say, can only come from cattle that have lived long, contented and ultimately rather expensive lives. And while Brooks remains broadly committed to cow, we feel it would be contemptuous towards our customers were we not to at least "shop around" in the current economic climate. Two Lancashire Harlequins, or at least five Flopsys depending on how you look at it. It was in this regard late in 2012 that we were fortunate enough to source a consignment of two gross of tanned Lancashire Harlequins for our studies. Impressed by their apparent pliability, we shaved a few down and fixed them to the undercarriages of a B72 and Titanium Swift. They sat beautifully. There is famously no shortage of rabbits in the English countryside, and we were given to understand by our suppliers that they could meet our ongoing leather demands at a fraction of current farmed-cattle costs. Moreover, we felt vindicated by Eric Murray's assertion that it was "like chamfering butter", but shelved any further development plans until spring. Which never came. As winter dragged on, our thoughts slowly turned to chocolate eggs and the Easter Break. The work commute remained unforgiving for all concerned, and one miserable midweek morning some time after Pancake Tuesday, a sleet-soaked Works Manager Steven Green was spotted by colleagues cuddling for warmth among a pile of our as yet untried (and unshaved) Harlequin pelts. The Brooks Peter is ideal for cold weather, short-hop bicycle commuting. Staff attempted to pull him forcibly from the tea chest of hides, and in the ensuing fracas Steven slipped, somehow landing seated on the factory floor atop a Harlequin furry-side-up. You can see where this is going. To make a long story short, we're no longer shaving our new leather, preferring instead the look, feel and warmth of a rabbit saddle au naturel . Above, we can see an example of the thick, bushy top of a Peter, and below,the smooth plush of a Flopsy, our saddle for female cyclists. As we say, it seems like the perfect time to "drop" such a piece, given the confluence of nasty weather, universally accepted Rabbit-Easter associations and absence of any other one-offs in the pipeline for our Second Quarter. The Brooks Flopsy in all her combed-down, streamlined glory. Stainless steel rivets are machined to set off the luxuriant surface textures of the Peter and the Flopsy. Both pieces are available as Special Editions forthwith. Pricing and technical details can be perused at the Brooks England online store. A joyous long weekend to all our Readers, and Happy Shopping!