rapha reflective quarter zip knit

rapha reflective quarter zip knit merino jersey

in 2004, rapha released their first merino jersey (the classic) upon a market almost wholly inflitrated with often garish polyester. i confess that my sunday garb, at that time, had been a landbouwkrediet colnago jersey, which, as that of a pro-continental team, was festooned with sponsor's logos and most certainly not the sort of garmentage worn to blend in with a crowd, while partaking of a double-espresso and a sliver of carrot-cake. arguably, rapha's classic jersey changed all that.

of course, there is a certain degree of artistic license involved in such a statement, one that depends on relativity (not the einstein kind) and a wholesale suspension of belief. that early rapha jersey still featured a front zip, three rear pockets and a contrasting hoop on the left sleeve. in comparison to my landbouwkrediet jersey, its subtlety was impressive, but i seriously doubt that anyone, for even a miniute or so, was fooled by our faux civilian personas. mind you, it could have been the clickety-clack shoes that gave the game away.

rapha reflective quarter zip knit merino jersey

the early releases from imperial works were predominantly in similar vein, but distinctly geared towards the racing fraternity. however, it wasn't too long before this originality was followed by what was originally referred to as the fixie or fixed range, so called to identify with the courier fraternity or the hipsters who rode fixed gear as a fashion statement. it's what we'd now recognise as the city riding range, one that has grown along with rapha's classic, pro-team, brevet and core ranges. and one of the more recent additions to the city riding selection is the reflective quarter zip knit merino jersey. up here we'd call it a jumper, though this example is a tad too luxurious (and expensive), to drop on the grass as one half of makeshift football goals.

around this time two years ago, rapha brought to our attention, their shadow jersey, a highly waterproof pro-team jersey almost precisely geared towards the spring classics and scotland. but i surely need not point out that this is january, a month not renowned for its high temperatures and warm, sunny days. who in their right mind would commence selling a short sleeve jersey, however waterproof it might be, in january?

rapha reflective quarter zip knit merino jersey

the merino jumper, if i might return to that specific subject, has what marketers would likely refer to as a unique selling point; a highly reflective thread knitted into the the top and bottom of both torso and sleeves. while in daylight this appears to be simply a finely hooped pattern in a quality shade of grey, after dark it is in fact a superb means of advertising your existence to either following or oncoming traffic. but while it is a beautiful jumper and cosily warm, it's hardly the jumper to wear on a january evening while out on the bike. it's not waterproof, it's not windproof and though it's nice and warm when fettling the bicycle in the bikeshed, i've a notion that hypothermia might still get the better of you were you to ride home from work, after dark at this time of year.

so have rapha taken leave of their senses with first a short-sleeve january jersey and now a reflective jersey that makes little sense out in the dark at this time of year?

rapha reflective quarter zip knit merino jersey

that would be an unassailable argument were rapha solely concerned with the uk or even the european market. but while many of us brits were struggling manfully and womanfully through freezing and precipitative weather, to accumulate the necessary festive kilometres, the chaps and chapesses in the southern hemisphere along with their cousins on america's west coast, were probably sweltering their little asses off. when it get's dark in sydney or seoul, this jumper would be just ginger peachy.

however, leaving aside any whys and wherefores, never mind the much promoted connected fabrics recently discussed, this might well be the current state of the pragmatic art. it's a merino jersey that need not necessarily go anywhere near a bicycle; it would be every bit at home advertising even a pedestrian existence on the way home from an evening engagement. in fact, though i can't think why you'd want to spend this kind of money (£250) simply to slouch about the house or inhabit the coffee shop downstairs in the sauchiehall branch of waterstones (which offers a remarkably tasty date crumble slice, now that you come to mention it), it wouldn't even hint at appearing out of place in either situation.

rapha reflective quarter zip knit merino jersey

when the weather warms up a smidgeon (around mid-august, i'm led to believe), i'd be more than inclined to pair it with a shadow lapel jacket for that smart-but-casual look and a soupcon of waterproofing. but to offset the engendered warmth of pedalling, even after dark, i'd let it reflect in its own personal glory. roll back the outer black cuffs and discover a bright pink that outdoes any bright pink you care to mention.

so, while i shan't be wearing my monogrammed short-sleeve classic jersey to the office anytime soon, i've spent the last week slouching in my ergonomic chair in front of a large-screen imac, luxuriating in the joy that arrives with quality knitted merino. and every now and again, depending on how the light caught it, i could make my work colleagues blink.

rapha's reflective quarter zip knit merino jumper is available in small, medium, large and xl at a retail price of £250. how you decide to wear it is entirely up to you.

rapha reflective quarter zip knit

monday 8 january 2018

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is this the end of pain and suffering as we know it?

rapha + zwift

i have, upstairs amongst my substantial collection of cycling books, a hardback book entitled 'kings of pain: masters and convicts of the road' by philippe brunel. the copy i own was translated from the original french by ruth sharman and published by rapha in july 2014 to coincide with the company's tenth birthday celebrations. it is the book that rapha ceo and i discussed many years previously when he told me it was that of which he gave a copy to photographer ben ingham when first they began their partnership. this resulted in the superb monochrome photography that arguably defined the ideal of pain and suffering we've all come to know and love.

rapha + zwift

until experiencing those ingham images, embodying the potential hardship that would be our proxy between a sunday morning reality and that we imagined others saw in our constant battle with adversity, cycle clothing was just cycle clothing. cleverly, imperial works sold us not simply cycling apparel, but a way of life; an atmosphere, if you will, that bridged the gap between rank amateurs such as ourselves and the true kings of pain in brunel's book. those include fausto coppi, eddy merckx, gino bartali, raymond poulidor along with many others.

rapha + zwift

in his introduction to the book, mr mottram proclaimed "I have always loved road racing for one reason above all others - the exploits of the riders themselves." rapha's principal reason for being, despite the suspicions of many detractors that the whole affair is simply a clever, yet vacuous marketing exercise, has always been to promote the joys of road racing to a wider public. it would be hard to argue that they have not succeeded in this mission, including their original sponsorship of the rapha condor team, a partnership with team sky and the continued expansion of their cycle clubs across the world.

rapha + zwift

according to a recent e-mail, almost 20,000 individuals participated in last year's festive 500 a number that may err slightly on the conservative side, for not everyone partaking of festive kilometres felt the need to sign up for the pleasure, including yours truly. however, that same e-mail contained a more disappointing revelation, to wit: "Start the year right with the Rapha Cycling Club on Zwift. members around the world will come together to ride on the world's biggest indoor cycling app, with a series of training sessions that will have you riding stronger than ever into the new season." whatever happened to pain and suffering? in the uk, there are currently only three rapha cycle clubs; two in central london and one in manchester, none of which suffer from weather that might be likened to that of the spring classics. and, in the grand scheme of things, not very much like that featuring on scotland's west coast.

rapha + zwift

other cycle clubs reside in hong kong, melbourne, singapore, tokyo, los angeles and san francisco, all a long way away from roubaix or the hebrides. my point would be that none of the above are the sort of locations we'd normally identify with pain and suffering, though i daresay they have their moments. in which case, why the heck would you want to lock your bicycle into an indoor trainer and pretend to ride with virtual others displayed on a large screen television at front and centre? what on earth is wrong with experiencing real pain and suffering in the rain, hail and wind that probably few members of the above rapha clubs would be likely to see in any case?

i truly hope this is a minor aberration in the rapha firmament and in the 91 days between now and this year's paris-roubaix, simon mottram will dig out his copy of kings of pain and realise the error of his ways. next thing you know, they'll stop selling waterproofs.

rapha + zwift

sunday 7 january 2018

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the roads conundrum


john donne's oft quoted phrase 'no man is an island', seems an apt epithet for what follows. i am sufficiently well enough informed to be aware that the siutation about to be under discussion is one easily as applicable to others as it is to the velo club peloton, but there are pertinent differences which will hopefully be made plain in the course of these literary meanderings.

to briefly recap purely for information's sake, just under two decades ago, the european union, from which we are incompetently attempting to separate, decreed that all industrial units would be hitherto banned from dispensing outflow into the surrounding seas. pertinent to islay, the scottish environmental protection agency (sepa) categorised single malt whisky distilleries as industrial units and thus banned the organic pot ale emptied via pipelines into the surrounding waters. you need only hold discussions with one or two of the older lobster fishermen in these parts to learn that the biggest and best crabs and lobsters could frequently be caught at the end of these pipes.

so, if that so-called waste could no longer be disposed of harmlessly in the sea, what was a hapless malt whisky distillery to do? bizarrely enough, the solution was to dump it collectively into the sea, via a large tank situated adjacent to caol ila distillery. this allows the appropriate authorities, presumably overseen by sepa, to pump the pot ale into the fast moving waters of the sound of islay, the short stretch of water separating islay from jura. this probably makes it colonsay's problem, rather than islay's

but to get that pot ale from each distillery to caol ila in the north of the island, it has to be carried by large forty-foot tankers over many a single-track road, none of which were ever designed to cope with such traffic. this to say nothing of the trailers that deliver grain to the distileries, nor of the trucks that remove the draff (spent grain) for use as cattle feed. islay's high road, joining the village of port ellen with that of bridgend, was designed and built by thomas telford in the late 19th century, which history tells us, was copiously bereft of heavy articulated trucks. since several of these roads, including both the high road and the low road are at least partially constructed over former peat bogs, such heavy traffic, not surprisingly, plays havoc with the road surfaces.

aside from rain, frost and traffic engendered potholes, the roads' underpinning allows for varying degrees of subsidence. standing in a passing place as one of the pot ale tankers passes, is often akin to standing on a water bed; you can usually feel the bow wave as the truck motors past.

if you combine all of the above with the notable fact that argyll and bute's roads' budget has decreased by almost 50% in the last few years, you surely reach an untenable situation, where increased heavy traffic is causing untold surface damage, yet the roads department no longer has equitable resources to manage this state of affairs. i may have mentioned that islay's eight malt whisky distilleries are in the process of being joined by a further two, one at ardnahoe, on the road to bunnahabhain and the other being port ellen distillery which is set once more to rise from the ashes of closure and demolition.

one other, kilchoman, is in the process of expansion.

such a concentration of single malt whisky distilleries over such a relatively small area is manna from heaven for the world's whisky aficionados, who arrive in droves pretty much all year round, in cars, mini-buses and the ubiquitous motorhomes, all of which add to the strain placed on islay's road surfaces. taking into consideration the substantial revenue flowing into the government's coffers from sales of islay's principal product, it would be neat and highly beneficial if the island were able to recoup at least a percentage of that revenue to spend on repairing the roads, to cope with not only the freight and tanker traffic mentioned above, but most, if not all, of the tourist traffic brought about by the attraction of ten distilleries.

that, however, currently seems like a distant pipe-dream. islay received 1.6 metres of rainfall last year, precipitation which shows few signs of letting up. during my festve 500 kilometres, there were stretches of road that offered the intrepid cyclist the equivalent of white water rafting. by the end of the week there were many more potholes than evidenced at the start. speaking to one of the island's bus drivers, he told me that he had seen hand-sized holes expand into people-sized craters in a matter of days.

this disintegration affects motorists more than it does cyclists. it's a darned sight simpler for a 28mm tyre to avoid craters in the road than it is for four wheels whose width is only marginally less than that of the road itself. riding 500 kilometres in less than a single week is almost bound to result in sore legs, especially for those who rarely undertake such a distance in such a minimal period of time. but what it also generated were painful arms and shoulders. i named myself the james bond of the bicycle world: shaken, but not stirred.

as my adulation of victor meldrew would advise, i like to complain and islay's roads are something of an easy target for my displeasure and that of my fellow pelotonese. in 2016, i rode the festive 500 on a cyclocross bike, replete with 'cross tyres. the time taken might have been greater than my recent successful attempt, but i can assure you, it was a great deal more comfortable. if islay's roads do not improve in the foreseeable future, it seems eminently possible that we may all have to switch to cyclocross bikes, in order that we might continue our regular perambulations.

and there's every possibility that you might be next.

saturday 6 january 2018

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pryde and joy

neil pryde bura

several years past, a cycle distributor of note kindly allowed me to keep a review bicycle for several weeks longer than i would normally deem necessary to produce an initial review. for me at least, this was an exploratory moment, for i was keen to learn whether one's appreciation of a bicycle altered in any way when offered the opportunity to effectively make it the regular bicycle du jour. would i notice any hitherto hidden features that a mere three or four weeks had kept hidden? as it transpired, which will come as little surprise to most of you, there is a definite benefit to the extended review. however, the nature of the bicycle industry and it's one that applies not only to bicycles, is one of constant change; thus there's a better than evens chance that by the time any subsequent review is published, everything else will have moved on.

neil pryde bura

which is precisely what happened. by the time i had filled many black and yellow pixels with my considered thoughts, the manufacturer had replaced that particular model, rendering my words somewhat unnecessary, if not totally redundant. however, from my own point of view, the exercise was more than worthwhile and i was grateful to the distributor for the opportunity.

and once again, i have been so favoured, though in this case, necessity may be seen as the mother of invention. currently sat within easy reach inside thewashingmachinepost bike shed, is the carbon neil pryde bura previously mentioned favourably on these pages. though the bicycle should have returned to its scottish east coast home before christmas festivities had begun, a week's holiday followed by two busy weeks of work meant that i had had no time to replace the wheelsmith pavé wheelset and restore the frame to its pristine state prior to popping it back in the box.

neil pryde bura

neil pryde bicycles graciously decided to leave the bura with me until the beginning of this year, in part, i should imagine, to avoid having it sat in the back of a carrier's truck over the holiday period. with another bicycle currently under review and used for my 500 festive kilometres, all my other bike rides have been undertaken on the excellent bura. it still features those pavé wheels, predominantly because they are more favourably disposed towards my ageing bones than the factory-fitted fulcrums. when all's said and done, it's still a stiff frame. however, those wheels are shod with the original clement lgg strada tyres, which, considering the craters through which they have been frequently ridden, have proved more than equal to such adversity despite their now unfashionable 25mm width.

thundering regularly through mud, crap and persistent rain, truthfully put it neither up nor down.

neil pryde bura

the bura i find to be one of those hidden secrets sitting in plain view of all. prior to the review period, i confess neil pryde would not have been amongst my top choices, were i to have been considering a new bicycle for christmas. i tend to think that would apply to more than just me. we would, however, have been seriously in error not to have made the bura one of our first ports of call. aside from its most attractive price, one that undercuts similarly shimano ultegra specced machines by up to £1,000, it is very far from the poor velocipedinist's choice. but while price is always a limiting factor for most of us, it would be a seriously misinformed individual who did not also consider just what they would be getting for their money.

neil pryde bura

in this case, the bura is a carbon-framed bicycle that ticks the majority of boxes, from its contemporary frame design to its impressive handling, both up and down hill. replacing the original arione saddle with a brooks weatherproof cambium c17 and the aforementioned wheelset, if nothing else, proved that the frame is ripe for economical upgrading should you so desire.

but ultimately, apart from those keen to satisfy their strava obsession or indoor zwift adherents, i'm firmly of the opinion that the principal reason the majority of us ride our bikes is for fun, pure and simple. that's a feature that the neil pryde bura owns in spades, providing a carefree, level nine or ten on the chuckability scale, combined with a well-founded choice of componentry. as far as i'm concerned, given free reign, the only thing i'd do differently, would be to paint it red, just like the 105 equipped model.

just because.

thanks to Stephen Gildea for his patience and assistance

neil pryde bura

friday 5 january 2018

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all good things...

helen wyman xypex-verge sport

being quite content with a situation or, conversey, being in a rut, can reasonably be seen as two sides of the same coin. i have occasionally been envious of friends, mostly in london, who, after a few years in one occupation, decide that the time is right for a change. i sometimes wish i had their fortitude and openness to change. i've been writing the post for over 21 years and felt no great desire to change tack and write about mountain bikes or model railways; nor have i pressured myself to seek alternative employment just for the sake of change. it may be one of life's certainties, but the desire to embrace it has not become one of my life's priorities.

helen wyman xypex-verge sport

not everyone, however, has the luxury of making their own changes. sometimes unexpected changes land from a great height.

this is something that professional sports people probably accept as a part of life. some can carve quite a comfortable living from their chosen vocation, but ultimately, the annual salary is supported by sponsorship; not necessarily the ideal situation, but one that is an endemic component of sport and subsequently professional cycling of any genre. therefore, when the sponsor(s) decide that they have achieved all they set out to achieve, through a particular investment or contract, the athlete has little option but to accept it as part of their chosen career. that, however, does not make it any easier to accept.

helen wyman xypex-verge sport

british cyclocross rider, helen wyman found that out at the end of 2017, when title sponsor kona bikes decided to end their association after eight successful years.

"It all came as a bit of a surprise. Having been told my Kona deal wouldn't be renewed left me in a really difficult position as (I was informed) mid-summer, right in between the two seasons, months after the end of the cx season when contracts are available and months before the next season."

helen wyman xypex-verge sport

i confess to being less of an action person and more of a wait-and-see sort of chap, the type of fellow who frequently hopes that by ignoring any particular situation for long enough, will allow it to sort itself out without any user interaction. i believe the technical term is 'burying one's head in the sand'. i can't pretend that it's a strategy that always works; in fact more often than not, user interaction is ultimately required, much later than it should have been implemented.

thankfully, helen wyman operates with an entirely different mindset. "Waiting around wasn't something i was happy to do, so I set Stef on the case to get a group of individual sponsors to allow me to continue. It's been frustrating, a distraction and to say the least stressful." helen wyman xypex-verge sport in that respect, the wymans have been very successful, announcing new sponsorship deals as the new year began. for the foreseeable future, helen will race under the banner of xypex-verge sport; the former manufactures a crystalline concentrate for waterproofing concrete, while verge sport will be well known to followers of the richard sachs cyclocross team as purveyors of quality cycle clothing. additional sponsorship will come from from kindhuman bicycles (a hitherto unknown brand for me), grimpeur brothers coffee, london cycle café, look mum no hands!, charm city, feedback sports, challenge tyres, and motorbike racer, bradley smith, whose race number 38 will feature prominently on the verge clothing, while helen's helmet will feature replica colours.

helen wyman xypex-verge sport

according to helen "KindHuman bicycles have been a leader in establishing the Xypex - Verge Sport program and have kept the project focused simply by their name. Being a kind human, on and off the bike and making and sustaining a program where everyone involved, from fans, partners and other riders, are treated as kind humans, is the goal."

helen has, however, goals other than simply providing quality representation for her sponsors by way of sporting success. "I'm excited by the progress the sport has made over the past few years and encouraged by the avenues for change already in place. I believe that the best place for me to influence the sport is from within. My immediate goals remain unchanged; to be the best I can be. I'm exceedingly grateful for the opportunities offered to me, and never take them for granted.
"Off the bike, I'm keen to develop riders and products to make cyclocross a more inviting place for sponsors, riders and families. Over the years I've been involved with cyclocross, it has become less accessible to some, with financial barriers playing a part and a perceived lower prestige, with a lack of Olympic status. I want to make sure this myth is busted."

helen wyman xypex-verge sport

it is most gratifying to see one of the sport's top riders and more approachable personalities provided with the professional support they deserve, to continue in the milieu which has provided them with success and us with the entertainment we desire. however, to be somewhat blunt at a time of celebration, that's the cyclocross season taken care of, but what does a professional rider do for the rest of the year?

in this particular case, it's the helen wyman cycling centre where helen opens the doors to her racing and training regime. based in france, the centre exists to help any of us achieve our own goals by way of training camps and cycle tours, augmented with worldwide training days and clinics. "For many seasons, I've run cyclocross training days around the world, working with groups of up to 40 riders. Passing on the knowledge I've gained over the years is a great way to help others in cycling."

if any of us were seeking the meaning of the phrase 'happy new year', this is probably it. | all images by kristof ramon

helen wyman xypex-verge sport

thursday 4 january 2018

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withdrawal symptoms

ritchey at saligo

graeme raeburn, the man wholly responsible for many of us attempting 500 kilometres each festive season, apparently undertook his initial 1,000 kilometres as a verisimilitude of what he thought the professionals rode during the holiday period. as it transpires and as graeme himself discovered, the professionals often ride considerably shorter distances at that particular time of year. yes, there's training to be done for the upcoming season, but starting more slowly seems to be the sensible option when you have official team kit to wear during the process.

however, it's a salient fact of velocipedinal life that, in order to become a successful bike racer, you'd really need to love riding your bike; i don't mean just like, but definitely love. whether that's a state of affairs that infects our own meagre attempts to ride those 500 festive kilometres is open to question. it's quite possible to confuse love of the bike with that of misplaced obstinacy. let's face it, getting ready to go out riding as soon as it's light enough so to do, even in the face of galeforce winds and persistent rain (or snow or hail) would rarely be considered as normal behaviour.

but is that because of an obsession with riding my bicycle, or because, having declared my intent to ride the prescribed distance, i have no wish to lose face by remaining in bed till gone mid morning?

well, new evidence has recently come to light that has me believing that it may well be the former. as previously mentioned, having completed predominantly 100 kilometre daily rides, leaving me a mere 35km to cover on friday 29 december, i almost inadvertently added another 45 kilometres on saturday, purely by heading down to debbie's for my weekly double-egg roll and a supping of froth. a successful festive 500 campaign has, however, a smidgeon of collateral damage; to wit, mrs washingmachinepost was left at home with grandchildren to look after, cooking to do and the occasional trip to the averagemarket.

modern times such as these dictate that no longer should the daily household chores be left solely at the feet (and hands) of one member of the household. however, returning from a hard day's cycle, dripping water all over the freshly cleaned kitchen floor and leaving one's accessorising (helmet, pump, garmin, lights) all across the kitchen table, will scarcely win a slew of brownie points. nor, indeed, will popping in the shower before falling asleep in front of the telly. after all, it's been a hard day.

in order, therefore, to restore some social credibility within thewashingmachinepost household, i refrained from taking the bicycle out the shed on new year's eve, even though i could hear it plaintively calling my name. one day could surely be apportioned to the rest component of an earnest training schedule?

it has been customary hereabouts to take part in a new year's day bike ride, a custom which, as far as i can recall, has been only cancelled once in its career due to oppressive winds. this year was more successful, though peppered with rain, hail and a temperature of one degree, if one colleague's gps was to be believed. the distance was less than onerous and the speed just this side of conservative, but to paraphrase the words of brian smith, we wanted to begin the year as we intend to continue. which, by means of the long way round, brings me to tuesday.

yet another forecast storm with a name should have been rattling the windows and loose garden furniture, but it appeared to have taken a more southerly route, offering the hebrides the benefit of only a strong breeze and periodic heavy showers. the plan had been to repeat saturday's ride to bruichladdich; nothing too strenuous, just enough to keep the wheels-a-turning, but for one reason or another, including that of procrastination, the bibtights seemed likely to never leave their drawer and the bike to remain in the bikeshed. yet, despite still formidable weather conditions, i still really, really missed riding my bike, so i bit the bullet and went out for a few miserly, but welcome kilometres.

you can almost feel the love.

wednesday 3 january 2018

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club mentality


until eurosport commenced broadcasting tour stages in their entirety, i really didn't quite comprehend the strategies involved in professional level cycling. though channel four were the first to bring regular stage by stage coverage in 1985, their half hour of comment and highlights, though more than welcome, scarcely offered an insight into the complexities a peloton of almost 200 riders could engender. i was always left in something of a quandary when robert millar was shown to have led over the first three climbs of the day, yet was nowhere to be seen come the finish line.

it's a sport that has frequently been described as chess on two wheels, with the directeurs sportifs sending riders off the front in the early kilometres, hopefully to give their star riders a bit of a leg up come the final climb. such master plans were, at one time, more the preserve of the team leader, a rider who not only had to look after his own fortunes, but keep well aware of all taking place alongside, in front of and behind. as has been discussed to the point of excess, much of that has now been delegated by way of race-radios and televisions in the team cars.

it is therefore less incumbent upon the chosen ones to have eyes in the back of their heads, now that a better informed someone else constantly has their backs. though live, race car type telemetry is currently available, you can perhaps see why it has yet to gain the upper hand; if the ds can see that the opposition's collective power output is sub-par in real-time, it's possible the sport would become more the subject of virtual certainty rather than beholden to the vicissitudes of chance.

though conducted at considerably lower speed than the professionals, along with probably every group of cyclists in the world, members of g.c. ristorante debbie's have long been in the habit of sprinting, at the end of the sunday ride, for the 30mph signs at the entrance to bruichladdich village. just at which point the speed starts to wind up depends on how far we've ridden prior to that point. it is, generally speaking, the only time at which caution is thrown to the wind and it's every man (or woman) for him/herself.

for surely the whole point of having a cycle club, even one as loosely amalgamated as ourselves, is that we can take care of each other? when one has a puncture or other mechanical malfeasance, everyone stops; if one of us is having an off-day, it's particularly helpful if at least one other drops back to provide support and company. after all, if you're on your own, several metres off the back and something goes wrong, how will those up front ever know, till they realise there's one less person to pay for the coffees?

on yesterday's new year's day bike ride, one of our minimised peloton was suffering from an undiagnosed ailment and opted to return home, encouraging the rest of us to simply carry on with the morning's ride. g.c. ristorante debbie's, though perhaps not constituted in the manner of those featured weekly in the comic, doesn't do things in that way. none of us were willing to have the poor chap ride home alone (great title for a movie), so we all did an about turn, caught him up and rode back en masse.

that's what a cycle club is all about.

tuesday 2 january 2018

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