this is cambridge standard weight tom s/s jersey, cap and socks

this is cambridge jersey

aside from my professed skills with adobe photoshop, i have slightly lesser abilities with adobe's accompanying vector graphics software: illustrator. sadly, i don't have as many opportunities to work in this environment as i'd like, but when there was need of designing a cycle jersey for debbie's café several years ago, illustrator was the perfect design ploy.

but before we go any further, let me point out that i did not then, nor do i now, consider myself adept at jersey design. i basically created an outline that bore some resemblance to a short-sleeve jersey then filled in the blanks. text, colours, logos all placed where i thought they ought to be prior to sending the file off to those about to turn my graphics into real, wearable jerseys. there is little more cheering than undermining weeks of apprehension when a large cardboard box arrives filled with the real thing, looking even better than those vector graphics on the imac.

this is cambridge jersey

thankfully, the person on the receiving end of my electronic dabblings had both the knowledge, skill and even better software capable of translating all into the various panels that would allow for several differing sizes of jersey without so much as a misplaced seam. were i to have considered setting up my very own cycle clothing company, i confess i'd be thoroughly clueless as to how one ought to go about it.

the second part of that hypothetical equation is why on earth i'd harbour any notions of entering a virtually saturated cycling apparel market in the first place. though the rhetoric that it was hard to find the very style and fit of clothing one had in the mind's eye once held a modicum of truth, that's hardly a credible statement nowadays. which rather makes you wonder why casquette supremos this is cambridge thought it a wizard wheeze to offer jerseys and socks in the first place?

this is cambridge jersey

"The reason for us was customer request." according to andrew at this is cambridge. "When are you going to make jerseys was a frequent ask, naturally leading to the cap, jersey, sock combo."

that in itself is probably one of the few decent reasons left for an outsider to join the party. any business worth its salt would do well to heed the more reasonable requests from an established customer base. "The current releases are part of a limited edition project designed to accompany our handmade caps and sock collection." there is no doubt that a matching jersey, socks and cap ensemble very much helps project the ideal corporate image on the sunday morning ride.

this is cambridge cap

in a minor variation on the 'flatter to deceive' mantra, i was sent the 'wrong' size of jersey. i consider myself a medium sort of fellow through and through, but through the ever more confusing medium of e-mail, the brightly decorated jersey that arrived was marked up as a 'small'. it would have been inept of me to throw a strop and complain unreservedly to the folks in cambridge, so i tried it on first. and blow me down if it didn't actually fit.

i have not become any smaller over the years, and i still think a medium size would have been slightly more appropriate. however, there was no denying that, despite a slight shortness in the front, the jersey's constitution offered no physical restrictions whatsoever. according to andrew at tic, he'd found it necessary to move up a size; the jerseys are based on bioracer's top of the race technical speedwear and offer a particularly athletic fit. though it felt a tad awkward when stirring the porage at breakfast on sunday morning, the minute those arms stretched to reach the brake hoods, it immediately felt like a second skin.

this is cambridge socks

the full-length front zip tops out on a virtually collarless design jersey. the lack of a zip garage promised/threatened to become something of an irritation, but once the colnago was out the bike shed, i forgot all about that until writing this review. the sleeves are of commendable length and close-fit. you can see why bioracer term this as speedwear, for there is scarcely a panel of polyester that would find any opportunity to indulge in flappage, no matter the strength of the headwind.

the three rear pockets are sadly not accompanied by a fourth zipped security pocket and though wide enough, they could perhaps have offered a smidgeon more depth. having come close to overheating only the other day, i rolled up my stowaway jacket to pop into the centre pocket, but felt rather more was left uncossetted than i'd have preferred. in mitigation, it stayed firmly put throughout a subsequently less than billiard flat ride; perhaps i complain unnecessarily.

this is cambridge jersey

the matching cap offers every bit the comfort and perfection of sizing that has been the tic watchword from day one. if white and lime green is not quite your comfort and joy, the whole kit and caboodle can be ordered in black and lime green which is arguably less ostentatious. a quirky quirk displayed on the matching socks is the appearance of a logo on the front of one, but on the rear of the other. i like quirkiness.

the kit's incredible lightness of being, coupled with an hebridean climate that has yet to equate to summer entailed matching it with a pair of armwarmers on each ride and covering it with a cosy waterproof jacket on another. it's not my usual modus operandi to review summer wear in the teeth of an atlantic gale, but more often than not, needs must. as one with a declared lack of skill and expertise in the area of cycling apparel design, i would tender that this is cambridge might consider offering armwarmers of their own, and perhaps even a matching pair of bibshorts.

however, every journey starts with but a single step. or three. this is a particularly commendable introduction.

a 'this is cambridge' ltd edition tom s/s jersey retails at £99. the matching cap costs £24.50, while a pair of tall socks rounds the whole set off at £13.50.

this is cambridge

monday 15 june 2015

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the hebrides. 50 walking and backpacking routes. peter edwards. cicerone publishing 251pp illus. £18.99

the hebrides by peter edwards

i'd love to say that walking is overrated, but i'd be fibbing if i did. in the early nineties, the washingmachinepost family took on a black labrador belonging to a couple who were moving to glasgow and didn't want to take the dog with them. the kids pledged that they would be overjoyed to take the lovely animal for a walk every morning and every evening, but in the grand scheme of things, that was never ever going to be the way of the world. so yours truly ended up with the task of so doing every day of the year, no matter the weather or how dark it was in those winter mornings.

it has been said that carrying out any task for a period of twenty-one days or more, creates a habit. in short, this means that my taking the dog for a walk became no more remarkable than having breakfast each day or going to bed each night. clad in highly effective waterproofs, going out into the teeth of an atlantic gale became considerably less onerous than it sounds as if it might have been. the labrador lived to an impressive 17 years, rest her soul and i now find myself still going out each morning for a walk prior to heading to the office.

the hebrides by peter edwards

of course, now the walk has a different purpose; there is no longer any dog to exercise. like many in modern society, i spend the majority of my day sat in a computer chair staring at a large screened imac. walking a mile or so each morning tends to loosen up the muscles that might cease to function or atrophy were they not exercised every bit as well as our doggie.

walking, rather tautologically, preceded cycling. the latter is credited with increasing the gene pool throughout every country in which it became an original means of transport. any healthy individual can walk several miles in a day, but that same individual could cycle considerably further. and further often meant a previously unreachable village or town. it's the very reason that charities such as world bicycle relief donate bicycles to the poor in the less salubrious regions of africa. young girls scarcely have time to walk several miles to school after undertaking the chores that seem to devolve upon the female members of the tribe. give them a bicycle, however, and they can cycle the distance in a timeous manner, allowing them to gain an education that will undoubtedly help them as well as their famiies and tribes.

the hebrides by peter edwards

walking, in the western world has sadly diminished as a means of transport; shanks' pony as we'd say north of the border. you need only take a look at the school run each morning to realise just how many kids are driven to their place of education, when once they would have walked. however, as an extra curricular activity, walking is as healthy as it's ever been. possibly more so. as the more intrepid of the world's outdoor folk become more adventurous, the market for comprehensive guide books becomes ever greater, a market for which cicerone publishing are well placed to take advantage.

but, i hear you ask, is not this a place of velocipedinal discussion? do we not concern ourselves with the world of the bicycle in these pixels? indeed we do, and i believe with the increasing popularity of cyclocross, mountain biking and the recently invented gravel bikes, it strikes me that there exists something of an overlap between more rugged walking routes and those that might be accessed by any or all of the above genres of bicycle.

the hebrides by peter edwards

add to that the fact that the scottish hebrides, both inner and outer are hosts to some of the most dramatic and pleasing scenery this side of easter island, and it behoves us well, i believe, to impinge on the landscape of the walker.

peter edwards knows corners and crevices of the hebrides like no-one else. he and his wife have travelled from south (islay) to north (lewis), taking in mull, skye, tiree, coll, harris, barra and even st kilda along with several others. not only is he well educated in the topography of each, but seems rather adept at capturing the beauty of each on what would once have been referred to as film. the photography in the hebrides is often breathtaking, particularly the mountainous regions of skye.

the hebrides by peter edwards

i'd be guilty of fibbing once more if i gave you to believe that each and every walk detailed within is also suitable to be ridden by bicycle. i daresay those with more daredevil tendencies might scoff at my feebleness, but there are more than just one or two on which i'd be loathe to entrust self and 'cross bike. however, there's no doubt that many are more than equitable from the saddle; which ones depend on which of the hebrides you might wish to visit, or the inherent level of temerity sat between front and rear wheels.

each and every route is detailed by specific location, length, ascent an distance, as well as a precis of the terrain you might legitimately expect to encounter. all are additionally illustrated by a small, detailed map while indicating which os landranger map it would be best to acquire. the subsequent narrative is highly detailed in its description with turn by turn directions.

the combination of early hebridean history narrated in the opening chapter and copious illustration actually makes this a book that can be read as an armchair guide to the very best place in the world to live.

and i'm not fibbing about that bit.

sunday 14 june 2015

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a day with francesco

francesco moser

i have never been renowned as a particularly ambitious fellow, generally one to be satisfied (more or less) with his lot. i have held down the very same mode of employment for more years than i care to recall, and despite the post having existed online for nigh on 19 years, it simply trubdles along under its own steam, utterly devoid of strategy. i know many who would scarcely be content with such an apparent lack of achievement, at least in ground-breaking terms, but the majority are a few years younger than i, so i'm still inclined to put it down to youthful exuberance.

however, there are those but a mere matter of a few years older than i who are world renowned, at least in their own sphere of influence. those are the very folks that have, on occasion, had me question my own confessed lack of ambition. but who can be bothered doing anything about that?

born but five years earlier than yours truly, francesco moser more or less dominated aspects of professional cycle racing from the mid-seventies up to the early 1980s, winning the world road championship in 1977 yet still suitably atop his particular tree to take the pink jersey in the '84 giro d'italia. granted, his total number of victories are marginally over half the number accrued by the great eddy merckx, but aside from three victories in paris-roubaix, two at lombardy, several other classics wins and three italian national road championships, he was also an accomplished track rider, participating in six-day races throughout his career.

francesco moser

however, since the subject is highly topical at present, it is also worth mentioning that, on 19 january 1984, francesco moser relieved eddy merckx of his hour record, one that had stood since 1972. this he did at mexico city, riding 50.808 kilometres on an advanced aerodynamic bicycle fitted with a pair of disc wheels, considerably at odds with the steel track bike ridden by merckx some twelve years earlier.

in the light of such an impressive palmares, you could forgive the man if he retired serenely to cantine moser, a vineyard established at maso villa warth by francesco and his brother diego. after life in the fast lane, relaxation amongst the grapes is possibly the very thing the doctor ordered. however, though that may well be the future moser sees for himself, he has apparently decided to spend a few days in england this september (20th) to participate in his very own sportive ride.

the 69 mile francesco moser sportive begins in shoeburyness, essex, heading out to little baddow, arcing back to the start via battlesbridge and rochford. it's not the only time moser has set tyre tracks in the uk "I have very happy memories of racing in England back in the 1980s, when I took part in rounds of the Kellogg's City Centre Cycling Series and I look forward to coming back to meet and ride with fellow cyclists". if moser is a hero you've always wanted to say you'd ridden with, click the link below to sign up for the ride.

it'll probably be the only chance you ever get.

franceso moser sportive

saturday 13 june 2015

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the missing (expensive) link


graeme obree was hardly the first of cycling's mavericks, but recognisably, the most recent to reach the headlines. his record-winning bicycle old faithful was built in the comfort of his own kitchen from the now legendary washing machine parts (excellent name for a website if you ask me). i'm sure i read somewhere that graeme built the frame for around £50, considerably less than the cost of chris boardman's carbon lotus bike which offered obree's principal competition during the early nineties. despite the ever more astronomical costs of bikes on the shop floor, it still brings tears to the thighs when looking at the price tags attached.


yet, despite obree's ingenuity, most recently practised in the building of the beastie the uci subsequently banned old faithful on the basis that it wasn't a commercially available machine and thus others would be unable to acquire one to attempt either their own hour recrod attempt, or win the 4,000 metre pursuit (a discipline itself that seems to have gone the same way as old faithful). though we all know the uci to be less than logical in its ministrations, it seems more than likely that obree's bike ban was as the result of a hastily scribbled rule to stop him upsetting the cosy world of professional cycling any further.


as we move forward around twenty years or so, bradley wiggins' hour record of 54.526 kilometres recorded last sunday afternoon was achieved on board a pinarello bolide that had been allegedly tweaked by the carbon experts at jaguar. though i believe the bolide to be a commercially available frame, i have serious doubts that the chaps at jaguar would be too amenable to nipping round to the bike shed for an al fresco carbon-tweaking session. at least, not without large amounts of flexible plastic being waved at reception.

add to that the fact that brad reputedly had a custom, 3d printed titanium handlebar created specifically for the successful hour attempt, and you can begin to understand why there have been one or two murmurings after the event. now in truth, though the latter handlebar is almost definitely not a commercially available product, the hour record is the hour record, and the uci's history of rule implementation is hardly impeccable, whoever sits in the big chair at aigle.


but it gets better and worse at the same time. lubrication specialists, muc-off, revelling in their assistance to team wiggins with that off-the-peg bolide were keen this week to make their connection a tad more tangible, revealing that they assisted with the development of a super-duper chain to reduce the inherent friction coefficient in the drive train. the bad news is that this is being trumpeted as having cost an eye watering £6000.

now i bet that made you sit up and take notice.

according to muc-off "We started by speed grading over 30 Shimano Dura-Ace chains on our specialist lab equipment. This allowed us to hand select only the very fastest, most efficient chains to then be deep cleaned and treated with a groundbreaking new formula." this new formula apparently utilises a military grade additive along with extreme pressure additives to create a chain lube promoting greater speed.


lest we forget, this was not to assist nasa in reaching mars, but simply to assist a british cyclist to ride as far as possible in one hour. a headline-grabbing achievement no doubt but...

not content with having the chain processed in the manner described, muc-off were then supplied with special billet chain rings to put through pretty much the same procedures in order to save as many watts as possible during bradley's bicycle ride. it would be improper, however, to point the finger at muc-off for such apparently formula one style excess. aside from the considerable number of brownie points to be gained from association with the hour record while shedding light on their technical expertise, the knowledge gained from so doing is almost certainly likely to trickle down to the lubes we can all buy from our local bike shops in the foreseeable future.

muc-off's recently reviewed hydro dynamic chain lube has had a positive effect on each and every bicycle chain to which i have applied it. if they can manage that for the great unwashed while helping prince bradley to more than 54 kilometres, it'll soon be our turn for even more frictionless bike riding.

and we should likely be eternally grateful to brad for stumping up the ridiculous sum of £6000 on our behalf.


friday 12 june 2015

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spreading the word

shand bahookie

there is an inherent dichotomy that frequently surfaces between one's place of residence and any product (if i may demean physical output by referring in this way) brought to light in that specific locale. some twenty-eight years ago, mrs washingmachinepost, our daughter and i moved lock, stock and barrel to this attractive little rock in the atlantic in order that i might practise my abilities as a visual artist. in terms of landscape art, this made perfect sense; the wide open vistas and craggy northern shores offered much in the way of appropriate subject matter.

shand skinnymalinky

however, it is an incontrovertible fact that though such visual treasures abounded, and my ability to transfer those to both paper and canvas experienced continual improvement, islay was hardly the place in which to make a name for oneself. do not, for a moment, consider that this was any narcissistic form of self-aggrandisement, for other factors were at play in the art world in which i was simply a naive beginner.

if there are folks happy to purchase your works because they remind of a wonderful summer holiday, or perhaps less commendably, because the colours match the wallpaper, pictures will be sold. but hardly at a rate or price that would allow one to live in the style to which i had hoped to become accustomed. in order that a career as an artist might be prudently pursued, it was necessary (and doubtless still is) to arrange exhibitions in the big cities such as edinburgh, glasgow, troon or ayr. and rather tautologically, that costs money.

shand bahookie rohloff

'tis no wonder that there are still artists starving in their garrets.

as the tv programme has proscribed, it's very much a case of location, location, location, a factor that is not without its influence in the world of the handbuilt bicycle. in portland, oregon it's said that you could throw a track mitt in any direction and it would probably hit a framebuilder. the city has a such an impressive pedigree when it comes to percentage of those riding bicycles coupled with an impressive cycle infrastructure. it is therefore little wonder that life as a farmebuilder offers tangible rewards in the immediate locale as well as further afield. i might figuratively point towards the chris king cielo in the bike shed as evidence.

shand stoater

scotland, however, is a whole 'nuther kettle of silver solder. though edinburgh harbours a population that is not entirely dissimilar to that of portland, there's no real doubt that the capital city's cycling population is less intensive than that of america's pacific northwest. i can identify this more specifically by pointing out that the sole framebuilder in the area is steven shand. in fact, it's quite possible that he is the only full-time framebuilder in scotland. equate that with a national population of around 5.5 million and you can perhaps begin to see my perspective.

shand stoater rohloff

while shand cycles have gone from strength to strength, increasing their staffing level concomitant with improved order numbers and offering a small range of superb bicycles that can easily hold their own with the very best the world has to offer, it's difficult for any prospective customers to view the frames in the flesh, so to speak. and though steven and russell are as proudly scottish as any of us born north of the border, it would be naive to ignore the reality that he too has need of exhibiting further afield.

such a problem has been encouragingly solved by the recent announcement that the entire shand range of bicycles is now available via london's quality branches of bespoke. up till now, i'd always viewed shand cycles as being the sort of outpost of sanity which it was entirely necessary to visit in its natural setting; livingston. why the change of retail circumstances?

shand stoater rohloff

"We've been thinking about working with someone in the retail channel for a while now. It seems like a logical step forward for us. One aim is to increase our volume and the other is to have product available to view in the flesh in an area closer to where the majority of our customers live.
"As I'm sure you're only too aware, being located in a relatively 'out of the way' spot can make things difficult. When one of the key selling points of our bikes is finish, it's clearly advantageous for potential customers to be able to actually see the things!"

shand bahookie

bespoke has three retail outlets in the london area, shops that stock indyfab, parlee, colnago, moots and other high end brands alongside which shand cycles are an excellent match. but was this a case of bespoke taking note of shand's 'grey sky thinking', or did russell and steven call first?

"I'm not sure who approached who first. I think we were aware of each other and chatted a few times, then in more detail at the London Bike Show in February. Bespoke have a great deal of experience working with smaller brands, their customers are well educated and understand the benefits of buying a hand-built bike."

shand hoy track bike

so how does this work? i ask mainly because the process up till now has been to give livingston a call, choose the model and colour desired, then proceed to talk measurements. will bespoke be handling those duties on shand's behalf, or is it still a case of telephone or the caledonian sleeper to edinburgh for a scottish fitting?

"The bikes we sell through Bespoke will all be made-to-measure. They have a great reputation on the fit side of things and fitting/sizing duties will be carried out by them in one of their fitting studios. Data is then sent through to us to convert into a frame design.
"It's early days right now but we'll see how things pan out. It does feel good though, when someone calls us up asking if they can see any bikes down south and we can send them to a really nice shop to look over the bikes in the hands of knowledgable staff. It's also nice for us to be shown alongside brands like Moots, Indy Fab, Parlee etc...

for those of us inured to the concept of grey sky thinking, it's still well worth the trip to livingston not only to see the bikes in the flesh but to ask all the awkward questions you've saved up for months. for those of you a lot further south, living in softie land, i'd seriously encourage a visit to yor nearest bespoke branch to see the finest that scotland has to offer.

shand cycles | bespoke cycling

thursday 11 june 2015

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on the other hand...

the road to craighouse

shortly after moving to islay and based entirely on my supposed athletic prowess as a cyclist of note (actually, at the time, i was the only cyclist), i was asked to undertake a half-marathon as part of a four person team. this, it turned out, was an annual new year's day event, designed to raise charitable funds, leaving from the former car park at bowmore distillery and wending across thirteen-something miles. or at least individually a quarter of that distance.

i should point out that, twenty eight years later, i still do not possess the fortitude to run the length of myself; i can ride my bike all day, but running is simply a chariot of fire too far.

however, though the rules state that a bike ride shall never be preceded by a swim, nor followed by a run, there are intrinsic differences between the muscle groups used in pedalling a bicycle and those employed to run somewhere fast. it appears i own none of the latter, knowledge i was in possession of at the time of being asked all those years ago. but i said 'yes' nonetheless.

as i recall, the weather was less than clement, though on january 1 in the hebrides that in itself is hardly surprising. having drawn the short straw to run the final three or so miles, i'd figured that the brief final jaunt down bowmore main street would be my salvation. not so; running downhill is enormously harder than simply trundling along on the flat, albeit a smidgeon slower than my proposers had banked on for success.

fortunately this all took place too long ago on an island that did not share its delights with as many visitors as it does today. and being the first of january, there were few witnesses as to my stuttering progress on two legs. i did rather feel i had sullied the very reputation of those whose principal hobby was to practise this art on a regular basis, entering each year for not only the ardbeg islay half marathon, but one or two on the mainland into the bargain.

the road to craighouse

i have, very infrequently, met one or two of these practitioners during their brief moments of cross-training, riding bicycles in preference to a few miles on trainered foot. on those cases, they look awkward on the bike, almost always in the wrong gear (and i don't just mean clothing) and struggling as much to keep pace as would i if running alongside them under other circumstances. since i quite blatantly can't run worth a jersey pocket, i make certain never to do so. it is not even something i'd consider as a means to an end.

however, during this afternoon in the office, three schoolboys from the local secondary school dropped by to have a word with the newspaper's editor. in order to raise funds for macmillan nurses, a total of five of them, plus two teachers will be attempting to cycle the eight miles (mostly uphill) from the ferry ramp at feolin on jura, to the village of craighouse, and then they're going to ride back to the ferry. those of you who may have undertaken the same route will know that it is scarcely the easy option. there are many roads on islay offering the same distance, but with considerably less effort and ascending involved.

however, i'm thoroughly of the persuasion that any sponsored event should be hard enough to convince prospective sponsors that serious effort is about to ensue. but i must point out that i have never seen any of the three in the office this afternoon even standing close to a bicycle, let alone riding one. it is plain that, in this case at least, the bicycles are being used simply as a means to an end, more than likely to be immediately discarded forever on reaching the ferry for the return to islay. should we be concerned? that's a hard question to answer.

i am cheered that they have opted to ride bicycles in the first place, but i can't help thinking that doing so trivialises the act of cycling. though there's more than an evens chance that they'll find the ride anything but trivial, i'd be very surprised indeed if it provides a velocipedinal epiphany, and that we'll find them clamouring to join the sunday morning ride. i had considered offering to join them on their trip, but figured that might simply add insult to injury. but i've not ruled it out.

despite the above, i have reasons to be optimistic for cycling's future. in fact, 54.526 of them.

top photo courtesy warren sanders

wednesday 10 june 2015

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this is cambridge panache cap

this is cambridge panache

i'd like to think that i ride with at least a modicum of style. that's the way it appears from behind the rudy projects, through the rain and while blasted by those perennial winds. any views of the professionals during the early season spring classics will plainly depict that so doing is probably a hard act to pull off. though there's not a chance i can sit up insouciantly in the saddle while divesting myself of unnecessary waterproofs, allowing the bicycle to steer itself. that, i must admit, strikes me as a pragmatic demonstration of panache, at least compared to my unco-ordinated scrabblings at the roadside, trying vainly to roll up a jacket and pop it in a rear pocket.

this is cambridge panache

i figure my own personal shortcomings revolve around the mistaken apprehension that all these things come naturally to anyone who swings a leg over a top tube. you may recall my incompetency at mounting and dismounting my 'cross bike, something else i thought was a mere bagatelle to be accomplished with ease.

summer, or at least the prospect of it, brings a certain lessening of the onerous requirement to dress in so many layers. in an ideal world, or an ideal part of it, sunday mornings would be greeted with pavement splitting sunshine and a total lack of any cloud cover. thus, the intrepid cyclist would have few requirements other than bibshorts and jersey, topped off with an appropriate casquette and perchance, a helmet. even as i write such words, unexpected waves of nostalgia flood over my person, for it seems so long ago that any of the foregoing had any basis in fact.

this is cambridge panache

to ride just hard enough to allow one's compatriots a modicum of shelter down the length of uiskentuie strand. to speed gracefully up the hill at storakaig, then wait patiently at the top for others to catch up. to lead out a trio of speeding cyclists as we approach the new welcome to bruichladdich sign, peeling off as the 30mph signs heave into view. those, in a domestic sense at least, constitute the elements of panache. admittedly, viewed from the roadside it may look less panachey, but i think, in tandem with beauty, it is an element of cycling that lies in the eye of the beholder.

this is cambridge panache

the achievement of this facet of velocipedinal activity is not one to be accepted lightly. it is an aspect that deserves celebration. but in keeping with its spirit, this ought surely to be hailed in a clandestine or subtle manner. a jersey proclaiming a superior level of inherent panache would be, to put it mildly, overkill, but a casquette, especially if partially concealed under a helmet would seem the ideal means of proclamation.

so it's probably a decent coincidence that the fine folks at this is cambridge have seen fit to apply their own interpretations to one of their superior creations. according to tic's daphne kaufhold "Historically a panache was a plume of feathers placed on a head-dress. During Mediaeval times, knights would wear a plume in their helmets to enable recognition during battle. King Henry IV of France was famed for wearing a white plume in his helmet and for his war cry: "Ralliez-vous mon panache blanc!" (follow my white plume!)

this is cambridge panache

aside from the blatant stupidity of exclaiming the latter phrase in either french or english to a following peloton, in an islay headwind, nobody would hear me anyway. so it remains a simple case of wearing this excellent cap with its pink feather on one side and the word confortare (latin for courage) while supping froth or admiring the crema. though i opted for the pink version in tribute to the recently completed giro, it's also available in three other colours (blue, green and orange) to suit your taste in panache.

it is the way of the humble domestique.

this is cambridge panache caps are available in four sizes at a cost of £24.50

this is cambridge

tuesday 09 june 2015

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