Overnight temperatures below freezing, and a lot of rain generally mean ideal elbow breaking conditions for the commuting cyclist.
I figured discretion was the better part of valour today, and so resolved last night that I'd ride the Brompton to work. I went to retrieve the bike from the cellar before turning in last night to find that it had a rear wheel puncture (due, I think, to Brompton's dreadful plastic rim tape, which had exposed a spoke nipple that had punctured the tube). Note for the To-Do list - replace this with some Velox tape.
Rear wheel removal on the Brompton is fairly complex, with the hub gear system and chain tensioner to deal with before you can even get to grips with the (frankly, absurdly tight) "Brompton Green" tyres themselves, and in to the punctured tube. Not the sort of thing you want to be doing just before bed, possibly, but infinitely better than before setting off for work. With some help from the internet, and my Schwalbe tyre levers (I mention these because every other lever I've used on Brompton Greens has snapped), the puncture was fixed and the bike ready for today's commute in about 30 minutes.
So, there's another milestone, my first Brompton rear wheel puncture repair. Stripping and servicing hub gears next. Or maybe not.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohGa620P-pM - Brompton Rear Wheel Removal Video
I should add that I didn't bother removing the part of the gear indicator chain closest to the hub (as the chap does in the video) - it's easy enough to remove the wheel & work on it without doing this. I didn't futz with the brakes either, as a deflated tyre will go past the pads pretty easily.