The Man Behind the Magic Bike

Britain is bonkers for its bicyclists.

On Day 2 of the Olympics, the host nation won its first medal when cyclist Lizzie Armistead nabbed the silver in the women’s road race.

Then on Thursday, the team of Philip Hindes, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny teamed to win gold in the men’s team sprint, which started an avalanche of British gold and world records in the velodrome. Hoy also won a gold medal Tuesday in the keirin.

Hoy reportedly took up cycling at age 14 after being inspired by the flying bicycle scenes in the Steven Spielberg blockbuster, “E.T.”

Cycling has been a major bright spot for Great Britain at the London 2012 Games and one British businessman cheered particularly loudly each time the cyclists won. Andrew Ritchie has shed blood, sweat and tears for his fold-able bicycle company, Brompton Bicycle. Brompton is churning out 32,000 sturdy, colorful bikes that are turning into an urban sensation.

But it was far from Easy Street back in the 1970s when Ritchie started down the manufacturing road.

What began as an idea thought up in his living room is now a shining example of “Make it in Great Britain.”

Watch the video above to hear more from Ritchie.