travelling light

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coming up very soon on my horizon is a period of cycling-related travel, the very nightmare that more often than not predicates any enjoyment that might subsequently be a central and very necessitous part of the expedition. for surely you would not disagree that, if cycling pleasure in foreign parts is to be partaken of, ostensibly without a care in the world, then the proof of the pudding is in the preparation. or words to that effect.

the sensible time to start laying aside appropriate clothing and other accoutrements would likely be now, leaving more than plenty of time to consider which items in my extensive wardrobe would best fit under the helmet sat on top. shoes, of course are a definite as are the pedals that conjoin with the sole mounted cleats. it's supposed to be warm abroad, but then it was supposed to be warmer here, so should i take long-sleeve baselayers and jerseys, or might it be sufficient simply to lay carefully folded short sleeve jerseys and shorts? or maybe armwarmers? and will i need only one cap or might it be more sartorially adept to have one for each day's riding and a spare to wear while relaxing over a real fruit smoothie of an evening?

see what i mean? already the act of cycling has been completely sidelined, and logistics have surreptitiously filled their place. it's really not supposed to be like that.

in this case, and unlike my recent mammoth expedition to bristol, air travel is involved, a mode of travel that brings with it its own considerable baggage. for though it is almost simplicity itself to arrive at glasgow's buchanan bus station a mere fifteen minutes prior to departure, folded ticket in hand, airlines don't work that way. airport security demands that passengers enter the terminal at stupid o'clock in order to leave at an early hour of the morning. if i'm departing at 7:30am, there's every likelihood i'd be invited to check-in around two hours prior, meaning the need to get up and about at least an hour and a half before that.

and all this to check whether i and my fellow passengers harbour thoughts of either carrying items of which the authorities disapprove, or diverting the aircraft from its intended route. why are these not concerns applicable to train or bus travel? and why, yet again, has the pleasurable act of cycling been sidelined by more pressing considerations. let's face it, all this isn't heading in quite the pelotonic direction you and i had both hoped.

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we've all either participated in, or considered a sportive or two across the season, either in the uk or abroad. for two distinct reasons, it is right and proper that we consider the bicycle, whether our own or that supplied on the start-line. or perhaps, rather than a sportive, the focus has been laid upon a training camp, either to see us through a competitive season ahead, or the ability to seem effortless when riding one of the aforementioned sportives.

if we find ourselves in polite company, the appearance of both individual and bicycle is surely not above consideration? the former has been pretty much considered during the bestowing of apparel in the kit bag with which we opened our discussion. the bicycle is slightly more of a problem; of course, we could be lucky and have a mechanic ready and waiting for the daily aftermath, but this is the real world, and the likelihood is that we'll have to make our own arrangements. for pragmatic reasons it's a good idea to keep kit and velocipede as near immaculate as possible, but add in the soupcon of polite company, and one has to be seen to keep up appearances.

but if you recall an earlier thread in this discourse, i mentioned airport security, a subsection of human beings that prefers to exclude any container of liquids that might exceed 100ml. for why, i do not know, but as the saying goes, them's the rules. and in observance of such rules we ought surely to be extremely grateful to the chaps at purple harry who now offer a travel pack of black and purple bicycle pampering that will not only easily fit amongst those short/long-sleeve jerseys (delete as applicable), but satisfy both the caa and the faa at the same time.

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to be more specific, the travel pack consists of 100ml bottles of bike cleaner & degreaser, maintenance spray, polish & frame protector and a 50ml sanitiser spray for gloves, shoes and helmet. since none of these are pressurised, not only are they ozone friendly, they don't fall foul of airline regulations. all these products have been previously reviewed on the post, so there's no need to revisit their impressive purple properties, but suffice it to say these will keep the whole kit and caboodle in impressive nick until it's time to come back home and wonder how you could possibly have forgotten to take (enter your own answer here)

i appreciate that this does little to ameliorate the endless choices and failed recollections as i consider what and what not to pack for my days in the saddle in the sun, but at least the bike will be shiny.

that's exactly how hippo technology works.

travel packs can be made using differing combinations of the above, with prices ranging from £9.99 to £14.99.

purple harry

tuesday 16th april 2013