are you sitting comfortably?

carbon saddle rails

eddy was renowned for it. you only have to watch one of those glorious black and white cycling documentaries from the seventies to witness it. on training rides and even in the neutralised sections of the big races, eddy would pull an allen key from one of his back pockets and fiddle with the seatpost height. you'd tend to figure that for someone bearing the nickname cannibal, a few millimetres discrepancy really wouldn't have made a lot of difference to the final result. yet the evidence is incontrovertible; there's eddy with an allen key and that seatpost being raised or lowered an almost infinitesimal amount.

but i now have evidence, though of a far less ignorable factor, that eddy might not simply have been exhibiting a less than comprehensible level of obsessive compulsive disorder.

several years ago i was fortunate to have experienced the services of phil and jules at macklin street's cyclefit, exploring the finer points of my bicycle measurements in order that i might pedal with greater efficiency and comfort. the idea had been that i would write an article about this fitting session, so i returned home armed with a sheaf of papers detailing each and every computation.

brooks badge

many of the numbers were remarkably close to those already experienced on my own bicycles apart from one rather salient point. the saddle height. according to cyclefit, the optimum number should have been 72cm, when in fact all my bicycles were set to 75cm. surely some mistake?

however, there was really little point to my having received a bikefit in the first place if i then chose to ignore the evidence, so down to 72cm it was. i need scarcely inform you that the difference was quite astonishing to the point of wondering how on earth i hadn't seriously injured myself from all those years of sitting way too high.

but as with everything, there is always the opportunity for error. i have recently been very kindly sent a new saddle from brooks that i intend to review fully during this year's festive 500. a bit like wearing a new pair of shoes for a ten mile sponsored walk, it seemed prudent to give this saddle a spin before approaching such a signifanct number of festive kilometres, something that i carried out on saturday of this past weekend. due to the weather being slightly inclement on friday pm, i removed the seatpost from the ridley and swapped saddles while sat at the kitchen table.

brooks rivet

i cannot deny it; i have been a tad minimal in my recent weekend kilometreage, so undertaking an 80km ride in galeforce winds on a new saddle was perhaps not quite the genius idea it didn't seem at the time anyway. however, more to the point, by the time i wended my (exceedingly) weary way home, the opening paragraphs of my impending saddle review were not looking all that favourable. to be blunt, my butt hurt bigtime.

in mitigation, by the time i got home, both arms and shoulders were also a smidgeon on the uncomfortable side, not a factor i'd come across on the ridley during previous rides. so prior to popping the bike in the shed, i checked the saddle height once again to discover i had obviously misread my measuring tape by approximately one centimetre. that, in a nutshell, rather accounted for my uncomfortable posterior.

so if any of you are also undertaking the festive 500, perhaps on a new saddle received for christmas, be sure not to follow my lead and check that you can properly read the marks on a measuring tape.

and i can now sit with a more amenable disposition, thank you for asking.

brooks saddles

monday 21 december 2015

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a matter of choice

crank brothers quattro cleat adaptor

i am extremely fortunate in emulating imelda marcos' habit of owning more than just a couple of pairs of shoes. on the right-hand-side of the hall cupboard is a stack of shoe boxes containing a veritable panoply of cycling shoes from several of the world's finest purveyors of such footwear. and were that not sufficient for the (very) average velocipedinist, there are a few other boxes stashed at the side of the fridge/freezer in the kitchen, much to the fervent annoyance of mrs washingmachinepost.

the complication thereof is ownership of more than a single style of pedal, necessitating a concomitant variety of cleats to fit. though it ill behoves me to admit, i have on more than one occasion chosen the footwear du jour only to realise that the bicycle i had intended to carry me eventually to a bout of froth supping, bore pedals that did not match the cleats on the shoes. if ever i felt so silly...

as if choosing appropriate and matching apparel for the sunday ride were not task enough, making sure i have all my ducks in a row regarding the footwear has added a layer of concern i would far rather do without. and then, of course, there's the style of cleat that each type of shoe is configured to wear.

i am currently enjoying the company of a ridley x-ride 20 cyclocross bicycle for each and every ride; on road and offroad. in honour of its latter purpose, it has a pair of crank brothers candy #7 pedals fitted both for 'cross activities and on a longer term review. it makes sense, therefore, that my choice of footwear has been all but selected for me; anything with a three-bolt fixing is currently persona non grata, leaving an admittedly fine selection of offroad compatible shoes.

crank brothers quattro cleat adaptor

but does it really have to be that way?

mavic recently and very kindly sent me a pair of ksyrium thermo boots, the review of which regular readers may have recently read. though mavic do offer similar shoes configured for spd type pedals, the word ksyrium probably gives the game away that those reviewed like to be shod with three-bolt road cleats. but in this winter climate, mild though it may be, i rather fancied wearing them not only now, but on several occasions over the forthcoming festive 500.

switching pedals is fraught with complications and the undoubted danger that a bit of cross-threading might occur when done in haste. obviously, at least one of the brothers crank must have seen this sort of situation coming and taken remedial action by inventing the quattro cleat. this consists of a pair of regular crank brothers cleats, suitable for affixing your feet to pretty much any type of crank brothers pedal you care to mention, attached to a very thin plastic adaptor. originally designed to fit the quattro pedal, this features three slots into which the supplied bolts can be fitted, attaching it to any road shoe that happens to be in your hall cupboard or next to the fridge/freezer.

in order to better emulate the raised surround that is featured on the majority of offroad shoes, there is a removable u-shaped fitting that prevents the cleat from being walked upon. however, because the adaptor has to sit flush to the sole of the shoe and the attached u-shaped fitting obscures the lower two bolt slots, rather than the more regular allen bolts, phillips type cross-head screws are used which may subsequently prove to be the adaptor's achilles heel.

crank brothers quattro cleat adaptor

i cannot be the only one who has opted to remove a set of cleats after several months usage only to discover they've all but made themselves a permanent part of the shoe. the more usual 4mm allen key fitting usually provides sufficient leverage to cure this situation, but i have considerably less faith in flat, cross-headed screws. only time and a modicum of care and attention will tell.

meantime, these are the proverbial bees' cleats, offering easy clipping in/clipping out such that you'd never notice any difference from regular offroad shoes. they're even easier to walk in than when road-cleated, minimising any verisimilitude to a duck. well worth every penny of the £20 recommended retail price. and if you and i don't tell mavic, they'll never know.

crank brothers | mavic ksyrium pro thermo shoe

sunday 20 december 2015

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festive forecasting

christmas eve weather

as regular readers will be aware, mrs washingmachinepost and i recently spent a week of rest and recreation to ready ourselves not only for the forthcoming festivities, but for the new year that will assuredly follow. though i wish not to make martyrs of us both, for we chose to live here on the outer edge, but heading anywhere in scotland or englandshire is rarely as simple a procedure as is possibly the case for the landlubbers amongst you.

our holiday was due to commence on a monday which would normally entail leaving by ferry on the sunday, with an overnight stay in glasgow. however, a few years ago, the forecast for the sunday looked decidedly ragged, so mrs washingmachinepost and i elected to leave on the saturday, swallowing the price of an extra night in the city in favour of ensuring the more pressing engagement of actually going on holiday.

this year's vacation was taken a week later than usual, leading us further into the iniquitous weather systems that infiltrate the island as december hoves into view. this included the outskirts of britain's newly named storms. as with the majority of you, we're rather keen on reaching our holiday destination, not least because the bulk of it had already been paid for, but yet again, the weather threatened to stick a multi-tool in the works. having had the ferries on amber alert for most of the preceding week, extending into our original date of departure, we once more chose to leave early, this time on the 7am ferry on friday, incurring two nights in a city centre hotel.

quite frankly, this is not a new problem. anyone who resides on any of scotland's west coast islands will suffer from exactly the same set of circumstances, often those living further north being slightly worse off. we have noted that the ferries seem less keen to sail in weather that several years past would scarcely have given cause for concern. calmac put that down to the perception that today's travellers (from the mainland) are less likely to accept the rough stuff that has been part of island life for more winters than i care to recall.

leading up to our departure, the website must have seen its hourly traffic statistics go through the roof as we continually checked and re-checked to convince ourselves that we would indeed be able to sail to kennacraig and still reach our ultimate destination by monday. and i cannot deny that the very same happened one week later as mrs washingmachinepost now concerned herself as to whether we'd be able to get home or not. however, all worked out for the best and we all lived happily ever after.

but regular visits to xcweather have not been curtailed. aside from checking whether i can expect rain on a saturday when i have waterproofs to review, there is the not insignificant prospect of rapha's festive 500 to consider.

if we ameliorate 500 kilometres over the space of eight days, that equates to 62.5km per day. but that is entirely dependent on actually being able to get out on the bike each of those eight days. currently, christmas eve is looking a bit marginal. i'm inclined to head out around 9am with the hope of returning around lunchtime, either to the croft or debbie's in bruichladdich. however, as things stand at the time of writing, the average windspeed at 9am on thursday 24 december is forecast to be 36mph, gusting to 47. personally, i'm less than inclined to head out in anything in excess of an average 38mph; though a headwind at that speed is simply (slow) gruntwork, a crosswind of that strength is likely to put me in the ditch.

in order that i gain at least a few brownie points on christmas morning (or at least lose as few as possible), i had hoped to build a bit of a buffer on christmas eve, thus lessening the pressure prior to present opening. quite frankly, that's looking a bit doubtful. however, xcweather has a reputation of turning on on a brake washer and i could just as easily find myself on a calm, windless day blinking into the winter sunshine (i should be so lucky).

island life definitely adds a certain frisson to velocipedinal activity at this time of year.

xc weather

christmas eve weather

saturday 19 december 2015

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rapha canyon/sram clothing

more years ago than is comfortable, in the day's when debbie's was debbie's and not, as it is now, aileens, we (meaning i) designed a cycle jersey. the long tradition on islay of continuing to refer to local businesses by their apellation from an almost forgotten past means that aileen's is still debbie's even though it's really bruichladdich mini-market. by way of example, the recently opened sea salt restaurant in port ellen is housed in the building formerly known as the davaar café. i can guarantee that there will still be many who continue to call it the davaar for a good number of years to come. similarly, bowmore's cottage restaurant started life as the galley, a term by which it is still often referred.

rapha canyon/sram clothing

and purely to fulfil steve jobs' contention that statements ought to contain three examples, jimmy campbell's shop at bridgend, recently taken over on mr campbell's retirement, will probably still be known as jimmy's several decades hence, even though it's now run my mr and mrs birse.

but, meantime, back to that jersey, an example of which some of you may already own. the original retro-based design of maroon, cream and black is now in need of an update, not because of any design failure, but one of the advertisers referred to by way of a printed web address on back and sleeves, is no longer resident on the isle. gentle persuasion to have aileen agree to order a re-run has come to naught over the past few years; there's no disagreement, purely, it seems, a lack of willpower.

rapha canyon/sram clothing

much like being in a rock band, designing a cycle jersey is every bit as confounding as coming up with a suitable name for one's musical endeavours. there is nothing worse than appearing on stage in a local village hall, espousing the cutting edge of rock'n'roll at an ear-splitting volume with an altogether less than impressive name. and heaven forfend that the name on the bass drum appear on a cd cover offering national embarrassment.

designing a cycle jersey is fraught with similar difficulties. a bit like writing a tune but being convinced you've heard it somewhere before, there's always the scary thought that you'll open a cycle clothing catalogue and see a verisimilitude of the exact image just sent for dye sublimation that very morning. in truth, the amateur such as myself tends to lean heavily on the conservative side of design. it's nice to produce something with a smidgeon of originality, but not anything so original that there is a constant round of sniggering at the back of the peloton.

rapha canyon/sram clothing

commerciality, however, offers a whole 'nuther clean slate on which to work which is, not to put too fine a point on it, precisely what rapha's ultan coyle did for the canyon/sram women's kit for 2016. revealed today for the first time, ultan's inspiration for this rather striking design was "the warning tape you see used on building sites and along the street; specifically when there are multiple layers wrapped around scaffolding poles or broken lamp posts to highlight potential dangers. I liked the idea of wrapping the body in the tape to suggest an athletic threat or danger to add attitude and which would come in handy when racing, so the tape formed the basis for the print which we then we re-coloured, or electrocuted it, to make it more striking."

rapha canyon/sram clothing

with reference to the last few years when rapha have been responsible for providing clothing for team sky, there's little doubt that the chaps and chapesses at imperial works rarely do things by half. thus the women's canyon/sram team will receive "a wide variety of clothing for all weather conditions, from deep winter items to jerseys made of the lightest material available for hot weather and time trials.The team will also be provided with casual wear based on Rapha's main City range, featuring team branding."

wassily kandinski is most often credited with having been the first artist in history to produce completely abstract art, imagery that ostensiby made no reference to concrete or identifiable objects. the apparently randomly abstract nature of the canyon/sram kit does, however, have a certain degree of underlying pragmatism according to rapha's chief marketing officer, sarah clark. "We wanted to have the practical features stand out in the peloton to help the ladies find each other at crucial moments."

now i would never have thought of that.

friday 18 december 2015

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quoc pham hardcourt cycle shoes

quoc pham hardcourt shoes

it can only be a matter of arrogance on our part, that much of our footwear is about as practical as that worn by buzz lightyear. and in more than just an isolated case, they'd hardly look out of place in toy story four with the large variety of colours and finishes currently available. i offer this not by way of criticism, for i am firmly of the belief that if a garment or (in this case) footwear has been targeted with a specific task in mind, any apparent oddities or eccentricities merely add to the flavour. after all, you'd scarcely dive into the local swimming pool wearing a pair of levis.

and you wouldn't expect chris froome to race the tour wearing a t-shirt and a pair of swimming trunks.

however, that scarcely ameliorates the arrogant bit. admittedly, that might be something of an exaggeration, but in the good old days of eddy, road shoes were of black leather and merely featured nailed-on cleats to match a shiny pair of toe-clips. nowadays, however, with the latter being archaic reminders of yesteryear, the shoe companies have let loose with the paint tins, offering pretty much every shade of the rainbow.

quoc pham hardcourt shoes

to an extent, that may be perfectly acceptable in the pro peloton where we expect our heroes to be larger than life. and that includes their footwear. admit it, you'd hardly be likely to see peter sagan wearing black leather a la eddy merckx. unfortunately, and i consider it a consequence of the social media blight, those of us possessed of far less exemplary cycling abilities that those who do it for a living, have seemingly a great internal urge to replicate the professional milieu on the sunday ride. you know, the kilometres that don't really go anywhere, but invariably end up at a coffee stop just before lunch?

this ostentation is not merely confined to footwear bearing a triangular pattern of bolt holes on the sole. currently drying out neath the kitchen table are a pair of so-called offroad shoes that probably were once actually worn by buzz lightyear, such is their tribute to chrome and fluorescence. those may be perfectly acceptable on the cyclocross circuit and even on my itinerant visits to the undergrowth of bridgend woods, but they are not designed to blend in at the office or supermarket. (no disrespect intended to either the footwear or anyone's particular place of work).

quoc pham hardcourt shoes

thankfully, very much favouring pragmatism, the inimitable quoc pham has produced an incredibly sturdy pair of black hardcourt shoes, available in either a mid-height boot or regular shaped shoe. quoc showed me the prototypes of these several years ago at a cycle show, explaining that the upper polyester fabric has certain vorsprung durch technik affiliations that might attest to its resilient constitution. these are not expressly designed for offroad use, a factor perhaps witnessed by a waffle style sole similar to that beloved of vans shoes. in short, their gripability promised less than either sven or jeremy might demand.

however, just to lay that particular egg to rest, i shouldered the ridley and ran (all speeds are relative) up a steep grass and gravel infested slope, one which resembled a small river in places. i cannot deny that i'd expected to slip and slide on the wet grass, but was unable to lose frictional grip at any point. while the upper fabric bears a water resistant persona, two little vent holes on the instep rather put paid to that. i know, for i stepped in a deep puddle. however, they are most adept at sloughing off any wateer that may have to be cycled through.

quoc pham hardcourt shoes

the proposed advantage of such footwear is a return to civility when not being asked to clamp sole to a crank brothers candy pedal. in other words, is it possible to take a walk to the shops on a sunday afternoon for a box of large free-range eggs without drawing attention to oneself? the black canvas-style disguise keeps the secret well, but you have to silently voice concerns over the proximity of little metal cleats to a less than even pavement surface. by the time those eggs were in my everlasting cotton bag and on their way home, i had forgotten the nature of my black stylish footwear altogether. black speaks volumes.

and merely to add insult to injury, should such be possible, i completed my one mile morning pre-work constitutional similarly attired without so much as a squeak from the heels or sparks from the cleats. and the vertical scotchlite strip on the back of each seems the very antidote to 'sorry mate, i didn't see you' whether on or off the bike.

quoc pham hardcourt shoes

the collar of the shoe, along with the substantial tongue, are very comfortably padded. in fact, the hardcourts have been wearable joy since day one. apart from the occasional offroad excursion, i've worn these regularly on the bike, both for the style factor (not that anyone noticed) and a marvellous level of practicability. their versatility is belied by their dark appearance, one that my brief jostle up the gravel track managed to muddy but not dishevel.

these are more than ideal for any of those who might fancy a quick tumble through the ferns and machair en route to the road you really ought to have been taking to work in the first place. in the world of cycling footwear, these are outstanding, likely offering more days of useful wear than chris froome gets from his yellow sidis and promising to last longer than your cycling career.

quoc pham hardcourt mid shoes are available in sizes 41-47 in black only. they are supplied with sole inserts should you wish to wear them for extended periods without pedal cleats. cost is usually £159, but quoc pham is currently offering a £20 discount.

quoc pham hardcourt mid shoe

thursday 17 december 2015

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journey. ben ingham. rapha publishing hardback 270pp illus. £45

journey by ben ingham

when i was in third year at art college, there was a fellow in fourth year who based the majority of his work on the photographic image. given that it was (and still is) a college based on visual imagery of the painterly sort, it would have been all but impossible for him to reach diploma stage via simple photographs. as i recall he was ploughing a solo furrow by creating photo-realistic images in paint, using the photos as a basis for his work. it was remarkably unpopular with the teaching staff for some reason or other and the hapless fellow never made it past his diploma, while many of his peers moved onto post diploma coursework.

journey by ben ingham

staff disapproval notwithstanding, several of us in the lower orders, self included, figured he was having rather an easy time of it compared to our own hardworking selves. after all, we had need of purchasing canvas, stretchers, size and white emulsion, an endless series of oil paint tubes and brushes, occupying many a long day or even weeks to create the sort of masterpiece that would assure us of glowing approval from the teaching staff. he, on the other hand, merely had to stand in front of his subject matter and press the shutter. granted there may have been an hour or two in the darkroom if using black and white film, or a trip into town to hand in colour film for processing.

but how could you call that either work or creativity?

i am now thoroughly ashamed of this startling naiveté. aside from my daily work in photoshop where i have the double pleasure of contending with both superb and diabolical photography, i have been very fortunate to meet and become friends with some of the finest photographers on the planet. though i would never under any circumstances describe myself as a photographer, i figure i have a reasonable eye for a decent image. sadly, this has very little bearing on the imagery that accompanies much of the written work that appears in these very pixels.

as a one man band, so to speak, the only means by which i can photograph myself wearing most of the items under review, is to make use of the ten second timer on my trusty lumix compact digital camera. thus very few of the images have anything to do with any personal camera skills, other than perhaps a little judicious cropping in photoshop. however, since the mid noughties, i have made the effort to imbue my imagery with a tad more je ne sais quoi in keeping with the standards set in the world of velocipedinal photography of which the standard bearer has long been ben ingham.

journey by ben ingham

ben is the photographer with whom rapha are most closely associated, having virtually single-handedly created the archetypal monochrome imagery that we all know and love. it is therefore probably of little surprise that in order to appear au fait with such stylish imagery, on removing the lumix from its cover and switching it on, i would invoke the mantra 'what would ben ingham do?' in order to stay well away from the mainstream. if you've followed the fortunes of thewashingmachinepost over the years, you'll be aware that i have not once come close to that ideal.

thankfully, ben has not only remained an integral part of rapha's and cycling's new age, but flourished in the circumstances that he arguably created in the first place. i first learned of the proposed existence of this book in early 2014 when i asked ben if he'd be happy to discuss his rapha portfolio in the runup to rapha's tenth anniversary in july of that year. ben asked that i perhaps stall this until the publication of what has now been released as journey.

i find it very hard to put into words just how truly magnificent is this book of ingham's photography. the imagery is quite consistently stunning, displaying a level of composition that most of us could scarcely even consider, let alone aspire to. lest you think i am over-egging the pudding, it is a salient fact that many an image just works, even if we find it hard to pinpoint why. in retrospect, i can often explain why that is, but to achieve this in the twinkling of a fast shutter speed when the subject is anything but stationary requires an amalgam of visual skills. even the best of us get lucky once in a while, but it takes only a cursory glance through journey to note that ingham is not someone surviving on luck.

journey by ben ingham

"There are thousands of images that have been made over the ten years, and there could be volumes of books.
"This final edit is the last of at least twelve. It took around a year and and half to get there. I feel the book illustrates what we have seen and what can or could be seen on a bicycle Journey. And some of the inspiration, the places and people I've had the pleasure of working with can provide."

however, every bit as important as the images themselves is the reproduction quality. quality printing cannot improve poor or mediocre photography, but poor reproduction can destroy even the best. the bulk of journey contains black and white photography greatly enhanced by its having been printed as a series of duotones (two shades of ink) on heavy art paper. the fact that these are derived from black and white film rather than digital, means the visual luxury of film grain as opposed to pixels, creating a publication that is as timeless as it is modern.

" I favour black and white purely because its a photographic medium I love. It has also been an unusual gift from Rapha to allow me to keep shooting with Kodak Tri X pan, to me the King of panchromatic films, when so many other companies will no longer consider the expense of shooting on film.
"I started as a young photographer discovering mainly by mistakes how to appreciate and see light by processing and printing my own pictures. Tri X has pretty much been the only film I've used, so the love runs deep."
"Digital is fantastic; immediate and a sophisticated way of collecting images. I am learning to love that too."

journey by ben ingham

"The reproduction of pictures has always been of great importance to me. As I said earlier, it has been many years and many thousands of pictures, along with countless hours alone in a dark room.
  "We printed the book at EBS in Verona. I would say they are one of the best duotone printers in the world, so I spent a lot of time being sure the files were up to standard. I wanted them to be the best they could be."

a photo may well be worth a thousand words, but combine the former with the latter and the whole is undoubtedly greater than the sum of its parts. thus the introduction to journey as penned by herbie sykes is not only as eccentrically brilliant as many of ben's images, but every bit as praiseworthy. in my humble opinion, the combination of sykes and ingham is one that may well take a long, long time to surpass."Herbie is my pal. I look forward to the opportunities to work with him. Most importantly he's a hell of a writer. Even if we do shout at each other quite often."

many of those associated with rapha over the opening ten years have also contributed words, quite rightly from simon 'maps' mottram, along with jeremy dunn, james fairbank, ben lieberson, phil deeker, tom southam and others.

it would be easy to classify journey as a coffee table book; it's in the right price range, weight and size, but in all honesty, it pretty much deserves a category all of its own. for those who may have enjoyed the oft-reproduced imagery of henri cartier bresson and other stars at magnum studios, and i count myself amongst that number, this will warm the cockles of your shutter speed. if it's cycling photography that you're after, you might be disappointed, for there are far fewer bicycles across those 270 pages than you might expect from a book with rapha printed on the spine. but that would be sort of to miss the point entirely.

quite frankly, this is beautiful.

journey by ben ingham

journey by ben ingham

wednesday 16 december 2015

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making the calculation

sean kelly mug

"i check the weather, i put on my gear, i go out and do my spin. then only when i'm back do i decide if it was too wet or not."

the northern part of ireland lies about twenty-four miles south of islay, a stretch of water that i crossed on thankfully remarkably calm waters in 2014 to watch the stage of the giro d'italia that rode along the country's coastline. according to those who know far more about such matters than do i, during the last ice age, islay and ireland were connected by an ice-shelf. though i was unaware that humans were struggling about these here parts in those snowier times, it seems that the antecedents of today's peloton made their initial presence some 2.3 million years ago as opposed to the last ice age beginning around 1.8 million years ago and lasting until about 11,700 years ago.

bearing that in mind, it doesn't seem to stretch credibility too much to think that inhabitants of ireland would have made their way north to islay and kintyre, or possibly vice versa. thus, the hardman reputation with which the irish have been saddled, either arrived from scotland (my preferred interpretation) or perhaps we gained it from those few miles south.

with the inauguration of this transport route, even after the ice had disappeared for good, it seems that the irish continued to ply the same distance, mostly for religious reasons rather than necessarily that of trade or visiting family for christmas. throughout islay, there are notional references to st columba; the high cross at kildalton is reckoned to have been carved by monks associated with st columba and the gaelic college on the outskirts of bowmore is known as islay's columba centre. of course, st columba is perhaps best known for his association with iona off the southwestern tip of the isle of mull.

sean kelly mug

so it is therefore perhaps remarkably unsurprising that sam humpheson, famed member of britain's rapha continental and london's look mum no hands! sent me a sean kelly tribute mug, bearing the legend "make the calculation, take the bonification", one of the great man's favoured quotes. alluding to my personification as one of islay's hardmen. it's a nomination i'm happy to accept, even if it is just a few stages from the truth. because not only has it brought me a superior mug from which i can sup my nightly hardman ribena light, but because it arrived with a set of sean kelly and look mum no hands! temporary tatoos to immeasurably enhance that hardman attitude.

sadly, because i may have tarried too long in gales and driving rain, you may be too late to acquire any of the latter. the first 50 orders for the mug (£10) will receive a set of tattoos, so if none arrive with your mug, i apologise. but just in case, i'd click the link below before matters get any worse.

sean kelly bonification mug

tuesday 15 december 2015

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