time for a cup of tea

many years ago, around this time of year (well, exactly at this time of year in fact) my services as a drummist were engaged along with two of my musical compatriots, to perform our musical outpourings in an hall in saltcoats, ayrshire - coincidentally the same town in which graeme obree now resides - for the hogmanay benefits of the local chapter of alcoholics anonymous. this was a particularly well-remunerated appointment in the light of it being particularly difficult to employ a group of musicians willing to forgo the evils of alcohol on such an auspicious occasion.

you may well think it a simple matter for those possessed of drums, guitar and bass to smuggle in whichever tipple took their fancy and secretly imbibe in the shadow of the amplifiers or bass drum, but such was not considered worth the risk. though i myself have never been one to consume alcoholic beverages even in those distant days, the two gents with whom i formed a trio of apparent entertainers were partial to the occasional pint or even a dram. however, since many a reformed alcoholic need little by way of encouragement to fall off the wagon, we were under strict instructions not to bring such items along with us. i do recall our accoutrements being checked on one occasion.

however, though well-paid, the amount of effort expended on behalf of all three was relatively minimal. we would commence around 11pm, play up until the bells brought in the new year, then break fro around half an hour while all wished each other all the very best for the forthcoming twelve months, and toasted their good health predominantly with a decent cup of tea.

it seems a particular trait of both those consumed by the demon drink, as well as those making serious efforts to renounce its influence, that they find themselves possessed by the need to sing at the least presented opportunity. thus, on our return to the stage, there was an almost endless queue of persons (mostly male) ready and willing to offer their finest frank sinatra impersonations. though sinatra himself had an astounding grasp of musical timing, few of those on that hall stage in saltcoats held similar abilities, rendering my percussive adjuncts rather null and void.

easy money, as they say.

when all had demonstrated their relative (in)competence, we were left with barely an hour left to perform before packing up and hading homeward. thus, for at least five years in succession, i brought in the new year with a cup of tea, while many others would spend their subsequent waking hours trying desperately to rmember where they had been, with whom, and what might have been said or sung during that period. i would figure there are many souls from yesteryear more than grateful that twitter and facebook had yet to be invented.

my last few years at hogmanay have been similarly spent behind a drumset, though those surrounding me had most definitely not forsworn the demon drink. this year, however, promises to be quieter for me at least, likely welcoming 2013 in the comfort of my own sitting room, followed by the watching of jools's hootenanny, if such a programme is still broadcast at this time of year. and i will once again, do so with a slice of mrs washingmachinepost's excellent christams cake in one hand, and a cup of green tea in the other.

or perhaps i should correct myself by pointing out that my green tea will at least half-fill a mug of truly epic proportions and pedigree.

lest you misunderstand, let me point out that my reference to epic is not meant to imply that the said mug is somewhat on the colossal side. on the contrary, it is of excellent proportion and balance, ideal for cossetting sufficient green tea to aid the digestion of that outstanding christmas cake. however, the external markings belie such minimal description: 'D902 - Col du Galibier. Altitude 2642m'. the tea may extend to only a few well-measured mouthfuls, but that is just this side of colossal. and were that not impressively sufficient, on turning the yellow lipped mug around, displayed across its gleaming white china exterior is a profile of the northern approach to the galibier by way of the 1566m summit of the col du telegraphe, descending briefly via valloire before going up an awfully long, steep way to that 2642m peak, very close to the top of the mug.

though i have described a specific tea mug (or coffee mug, if you're partial to the offerings from a well-known chain of coffee houses), it is, in fact, one of a set of four, all similarly described, but pertaining to alternative iconic climbs of the tour de france: the ventoux, alpe d'huez and the col du tourmalet. it does seem particularly apt that these comprise a set, for few are those nowadays who bring the new year in comprised solely of their own company. it makes perfect sense that all, whether aware of the importance of the mug decor held in their warm grasp, should be appropriately provided for in the herbal tea stakes.

all four are dwarfed by the immensity of their subject matter, being a mere 9cm tall, but a generous 8cm in diameter. that could translate into a substantial quantity of hot beverage. though by the time you read this it will be only a matter of hours before 2012 becomes 2013, no matter the time zone in which you reside, but i think there little wrong with being adequately if rather previously organised for the same process on 31st december 2013. thus, your new year's resolution is to contact richard at urban hunter at the earliest opporchancity and send £32.95 in his direction. his part of the bargain is to respond with the previously detailed collection of tour de france mugs.

have a happy new year, and grateful thanks for reading and avoiding my being accused of talking to myself.

urban hunter

monday 31st december 2012


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sugar and plums and all things nice

specialized christmas

it seems like only yesterday we were discussing traditions within the realm of cycling, features that become added to the panoply of historicality pertaining to the cycling milieu and for the edification of our antecedents on two wheels. these rather obviously include the boxing day ten (an example of which we did actually run on islay a few years ago; i only mention this because i won), the sunday morning ride, the wednesday chaingang and the previously mentioned mince pie ride. to these can be added several annual sportives that have inveigled their way into the minds of the great unwashed incorporating, to be quite parochial for a moment, the ride of the falling rain..

we could endlessly debate whether this pays tribute to the longevity of the sport and the high regarded in which we all hold velocipedinal ephemera, or whether we may be stuck in the kind of public rut that makes us the subject of pointing fingers by the civilian population. the answer to this conundrum likely depends greatly on which side of the saddle rivet you stand.

in the small days of immediately post college and girlfriends i once knew, on the occasion of having need of babysitting along with said girlfriend, i had need to take the mother of the offspring in our charge to the clubhouse at prestwick old course in order that she might join her golfing husband on an afternoon outing. at the point of parking the car, the golf widow asked that i nip into the clubhouse and inform the man of the house that his spouse was out waiting in the car park.

since i was then to drive the car back to their abode, i queried why it was i that had need of entering the clubhouse rather than her, at which point she informed that women women were not allowed. i think that sort of behaviour is now outlawed under the sex discrimination act, but that the time i believe it was considered one of golf's great traditions. that and pringle sweaters matched by hideous tartan trousers.

at this time last year i was remiss. a more contemporary cycling tradition that has remained steafast in its obscurity, still exists in perfect isolation on a web page near you. there's every possibility that its progenitors have forgotten its existence, so concerned are they currently, regarding the integrity and featherweightlessness of their carbon fibre. i failed to remind you of its existence last year, and as this is christmas eve, i was determined to be less negligent this time round. it is a tradition that ought to be venerated on an annual basis, so here's hoping i remember again in 2013.

a happy christmas to you all. enjoy.

monday 24th december 2012


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tis the season to be jolly

mince pie ride

cycling has a sense of tradition like no other sport or activity, some of which could be truthfully described as generic, while others are a tad more regional in their adherence. one of the regional affectations made itself known yesterday in the shape of torrential rain driven by particularly strong winds. after a week sat in a very comfortable chair in front of a large screen imac, the chances of my defering to a sluice of traditional rain were minimal at best, though any extra-curricular riding was severely inhibited at the thought of becoming precipitatively overwhelmed, waterproof clothing or no waterproof clothing.

so i simply saddled up (a western term, though possibly a different west)

today, however, was home to a tradition that i think belongs not only to the most southern of the inner hebrides. the mince pie ride. there was always going to be somewhat of a depleted peloton, specifically due to the placement of 2012's christmas day. as far as possible, we try to hold the mince pie ride on the sunday closest to december 25th which, if memory serves correctly, was around seven days prior to christ's birthday last year. this meant that lord carlos, who heads south for the winter (well, christmas) was able to join in. this year, however, today was the appointed date, due to having insufficient time to have parliament offer a disposition to hold it seven days ago.

disappointingly therefore, lord carlos had already left for his festive season, minimising the pelotonic response to the mince pie ride. then one of those other traditions hit home, hard this morning. well to be more precise the tradition made itself known during the night while mrs washingmachinepost and i were sound asleep in our bed.

yes, the hebridean gale force wind shuffled the leaves, and as i awoke this morning, it was rattling the windows; definitely not the sounds one wishes to hear when mince pies are at stake. thankfully, islay traditions are not always set in stone; we have a substantial amount of leeway built-in. thus, a swift phone call to the directeur sportif put the departure time back by an half hour to allow for the wind-speed to drop. (please bear in mind that, when i say "for the wind speed to drop", i am speaking relatively, for the only saving grace about the slog down uiskentuie strand was the thought of what it may well have been like around thirty minutes earlier).

it transpired at the point of departure that the two others we had hoped would join us for at least a brief reconnoitre of the principality, were nowhere to be seen, so just like the old days (a tradition in itself), the mighty dave t and i cycled the electrician's route (short circuit) along the eastern edge of loch gorm. not only did it blow the cobwebs away, it opened one or two internal pipes that neither of us have used for many a long day. gale force winds are something of a travesty as the windy season commences (a season with no recognisably regular start date), but as the days and weeks progress, it becomes an occupational hazard that develops the very stoicism required for the spring classics.

thankfully, at the end of today's minimal pelotonic slog, there were mince pies, copious quantities thereof due to a reduced number of riders, accompanied by a stunningly appropriate amount of chocolate dusted froth. and having peeked at the forecast for most of this week, probably ideal preparation for the rapha festive 500 starting tomorrow.

it's traditional.

mince pie ride

sunday 23nd december 2012


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sail, steam and stuff like that

sauchiehall street, glasgow

there can surely be a less rewarding experience than being locked in glasgow's sauchiehall street on a friday afternoon at the beginning of december, unless, of course, the same fate were to befall you on a saturday afternoon in december. It will become progressively  worse as the advent calendar has more of its windows opened, but that, quite frankly, is of little comfort in the present (pun unintended).

mrs washingmachinepost and i are staying in an hotel at one end of the main thoroughfare, just a few metres lower than that at which felix baumgartner leapt out of his red bull sponsored capsule. the view from the bedroom's sole window allows an aerial view of the miasma below, if anything, increasing the impending anxiety of having to become one of its number. though mrs twmp has an agenda and a definable sequence of shops to visit, i am, to all intents and purposes, a free agent. all dressed up and nowhere to go.

perhaps i have been less than precise, for i do have one notional task to undertake, one that has its roots in christmas cheer, the end result of which seems a tad doubtful. in my days at flight catering several decades ago, the walkers shortbread sales representative was always kind enough to inquire as to the composition of my so-called christmas box, and aside from the unbelievably predictable, i always asked for black bun (sometimes known as scotch bun). for the uninitiated, this comprises a seriously concentrated sandwich of dried fruit between two layers of short pastry; a true scottish delicacy, seemingly kept in reserve for the festive season.

those days are long gone, and so, it seems, is black bun. a quick reconnoitre of the walkers website shows no sign of any such product, and though others offer similar fare, due to its astounding solidity in the face of christmas nibbling, the cost of having a serving of black bun sent to the croft often exceeds the cost of the foodstuff in the first place. therefore, finding myself with time to kill amongst the yuletide throng, i have been tasked with tracking down my prey. i realise that within a few minutes of this narrative reaching the internets, some well-intentioned scotsperson will e-mail the address of an appropriate purveyor, the existence of which i was blissfully unaware, but will be of little use when back amongst civilisation.

sauchiehall street, glasgow

you may correctly infer from the foregoing that i am unable to find that which my christmas stomach desires. in fact, the very st. vincent street establishment i felt sure would hold an entire shelf full, seems to no longer exist. disappointment writ large.

however, as i mentioned, time is not exactly of the essence; the direct route is not of great import, so i meander a little, mostly in waterstone's (i intend to keep the apostrophe even if they don't) and wh smith. for those unused to glasgow city centre, it may be prudent to point out at this juncture, that sauchiehall street is predominantly given over to the pedestrian of the species, though as is often the case in such situations, this is a space to be shared with compact and bijou paramedic ambulances, glasgow city council's technical services and the dreaded bicycle.

this latter epithet may seem a little out of place in a website that portends to encompass all things cycling. should i not be seen to defend the rights and reputation of those choosing the velocipede as their principal means of transport around glasgow's bustling metropolis? is it not prudent that i turn a blind eye towards those simple indiscretions by cyclists intent on getting in and getting back out as soon as practicable?

actually, no.

admirable though a honed sense of manoeuvrability may be amongst the pelotonese, i fear that those who are the subject of my perhaps misdirected ire, are not of this ilk. far be it from me to be the judge of a man or woman's two-wheeled transport; the cheaper form of mountain bike will fulfil the purpose easily as well as any other. however, that being the case, i still think it ill behoves anyone to ride a machine that has plainly not been the object of their full attention. even oiling a chain ought not to be too onerous a chore.

sauchiehall street, glasgow

dereliction of duty in this department aside however, the closeness with which several of these 'cyclists' narrowly missed pedestrians, whose vision is irredeemably focused on their mobile phones, borders on the unsavoury. perhaps those narrow gaps are finely judged. perhaps they all carry out those manoeuvres day after day and are well used to the dance. but i somehow doubt it. in fact, on one or two occasions, i'm not altogether sure they have even noticed the pedestrians just narrowly missed. christmas shopping in any city offers up a focus that seems to exclude proximitous others, and i could pretty much guarantee that none of those i observe are looking out for errant 'cyclists'.

you will notice that i have chosen to place the word 'cyclists' inside inverted commas, with, i think, good reason. in the sense that we would perhaps refer to ourselves in similar manner, it is unlikely any of those riding round sauchiehall street are guilty of doing the same. yet, based on previous experience you just know that, had there been an inadvertant collision between feet and wheels, the finger would point at the latter. we'd all be tarred with the same brush, even though the likelihood of our beloved, featherweight and shiny carbon inhabiting a pedestrianised area of the city on a friday afternoon in december is as likely as finding lance's seven jerseys on e-bay this side of december 25th.

all cyclists run red lights, all taxi drivers open their doors in the path of oncoming cyclists, and all bus drivers will unceremoniously cut up any commuting cyclists who dare to get to the bus stop first. and pedestrians live in fear of the unseen pedalist. and the media will report each in whichever manner sells the most product, based on the mood of the times.

it's all codswallop, but apparently it is the natural order of things.

saturday 22nd december 2012


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full windsor mudguards

full windsor mudguard

it's a pretty excellent idea, when you come to think of it; a waterproof jacket that can be either neatly folded or simply scrunched into a ball and stuffed in a back pocket. then, when out and about on the highways and byways dressed in your rapha condor jlt replica team clothing, or, perchance, a pair of vulpine trousers and a matching merino polo shirt, when precipitation reigns (see what i did there?), tis but a matter of minutes to instantaneous protection.

it was not always like this, however. in the good old days of yore, those we might possibly describe as halcyon, waterproof jackets were rarely composed of foldable fabrics, and most certainly not of a thickness that would allow for stuffing in a jersey rear pocket. though i'd be the first to admit that one of those berghaus duvets worn in the antarctic would offer far more climactic protection than a rainjacket little thicker than the average sheet of toilet paper, in truth, a reasonably fit and active cyclist is hardly in need of such isolation from the elements.

it's a factor that has revolutionised (none too strong a word i'll wager) my own day to day cycling, particularly in the summer months, when it's just as likely to rain in the hebrides, but perhaps more intermittently. the choice used to be between wearing a waterproof jacket from the outset, and possibly emulating a mobile sauna, or remaining free, relaxed with the possibility of becoming drenched in the process. aside from that, were it not for the stowaway jacket, why on earth would i need three rear pockets?

full windsor mudguard

thankfully there are those closeted in technological cupboards eternally endeavouring to smooth the road ahead to an nth degree greater than that which we have already attained. if a resident of scotland, and in particular the precipitous west coast, it ill behoves you to spend more than just a few scottish kilometres aboard the velocipede minus a set of mudguards. (for those across the pond, i'm willing to modify the word just this once: fenders). i have drastically over-used the quote attributed to michael hutchinson, but due to its appositeness, i will overuse it once again; 'mudguards on a road bike are unfashionable in the same way that a brown stripe up the back of your jersey isn't' (oe something like that); an epithet with which it is hard to argue.

thus, the cielo has its fullwood fenders, the colnago master its crud roadracers and the hakkalugi one of those crud whale-tails and a crudguard to protect as much of me as possible while pretending to be jeremy powers (though in truth, the latter activity brings a not unexpected amount of collateral damage as an occupational hazard, one that mostly avoids any vestiges of mudguards as a matter of fact). the only vehicle bereft of protection (so to speak) is the art decor colnago c40.

the latter, in which case, seemed rife for festooning with the mudguard equivalent of the stowaway jacket.

full windsor mudguard

seemingly springing from nowhere, full windsor is the brainchild of mark windsor, a designer from new zealand who spends more time in the saddle designing, than behind a drawing board, or its contemporary equivalent, the computer. his full windsor mudguard is a marvellous idea, well conceived and implemented, and one that works very efficiently considering its rudimentary flavour. made from recyclable plastic, the guard comes in two variations, one of which offers a more permanent solution than the other.

option one features poppered tabs with which to affix the guard to the rear wheel (currently there is no front wheel option), while option two combines punched holes with zip ties. i had originally intended to fit one of the two windsors sent to the carbon hakkalugi, but it appears that both options are designed to fit only bicycles with standard seat stays; the ibis features a wishbone and was thus excluded from the testing procedure.

the only bicycle i had available for fitment was the pre b-stay colnago c40, and though those seat-stays offer a rather narrow gap through which to pass the seat-tube brace, fitment was reasonably simple. the back of the packaging has diagrams to aid attachment.

full windsor mudguard

basically the guard is folded in half when it arrives, but the various counterfolds and edging help with rigidity when affixed to the bicycle. the poppered version could hardly be described as svelte when fixed in place, but since i believe its nature is that of a temporary solution for those training days when the need for a strikingly lean, mean unfettered machine is less pressing than at least minimal rain protection, this is surely of secondary consideration?

the zip-tie version, when the ends are snipped off, is certainly the better looking of the two, though functionally identical. i would be better disposed towards this version had it been supplied with re-usable zip-ties, allowing for removal in the field, so to speak. currently those zip-ties turn it into as permanent a solution as the roadracers from pete tomkins, very much at odds with its poppered stablemate.

it's a very lightweight solution, one that had a bit of a tendency to flap about in an islay wind, though there's no doubting its improvement over having no rear guard whatsoever. in this case, i'd be inclined to opt for the popper version, even allowing for its less than smooth airflow, simply because it is relatively easily removed. in practice, it did keep the majority of road spray from my winter jacket, though i have doubts as to how efficacious this would prove when the wind gets closer to its more usual gale-force.

full windsor mudguard

in my opinion, this is the sort of accessory that would prove something of a boon in the summer months, but for those domiciled north of the border, or locations that experience similar weather, at this time of year i'd be inclined to opt for a set of proper mudguards.

full windsor mudguards can be had in one of three flavours: the quickfix (poppers) £14.99, foldnfix (zip-ties) £13.49 and a candyskull decorated version at £19.99. the first two options can be purchased in black, red, white blue or yellow.

full windsor

friday 21st december 2012


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prendas primaloft wool socks

prendas primaloft socks

next time you find yourself anywhere near a pipe band competition, take a look at the feet of those performing. well, not exactly their feet, but perhaps the tops of their socks. you'll find there are substantial variations in the type of sock worn for such so-called music making, variations that may occur even within the one band. for though it is expected that each member will be clad in similar jackets, shirts, ties and kilt tartan, there's just an outside possibility that this sartorial diktat has not extended to both socks and shoes.

in my early days of not knowing what on earth i was doing with a snare drum, we were issued with hand-knitted gnarly long socks which, when the top was turned over, gave the impression that spindly legs were now the trunks of american redwoods. i have no reason to suppose this was designed to provide a certain level of braveheart persona amongst band members, but at the time, i'd like to think that it probably did.

latterly, before i saw sense and returned to the civilian fold, team issue was comprised of some wimpish form of white acrylic, which not only instilled a gnawing sense of discomfort over the course of a day's playing, but looked particularly tacky into the bargain. how i yearned for gnarly braveheart. my other reason for preferring gnarly was having been issued with a pair of highly impractical and thoroughly fiddly leather shoes that were just a smidgeon on the large side. such was the thickness of those hand-knitted socks, that the shoes fitted rather better than could reasonably be hoped.

with white acrylics i could almost take two steps before the shoes marched.

prendas primaloft socks

however, though it may be less of adjudged concern nowadays, at the top of each sock, held in place by thick elastic were a pair of flashes. two lengths of (in my case) green material with a 'v' shaped dart removed from each on the lower side. these were fastened under the turned over top of the sock and were intended, i believe, to decoratively keep each sock at the height at which it had been set when heading out the door that very morning. it may be less of a surprise to know that they were not always efficacious in this duty.

pipe bands are essentially descended from military roots, and in the early days of islay pipe band, there were one or two amongst its number who had played in the pipes and drums of the argyll and sutherland highlanders. one of the traits of the military is often being meticulous regarding aspects of dress, purely, i should think, from the point of discipline. the elderly gentleman, now sadly passed away, who was our original bass drummer, maintained that these flashes ought to be perpendicular to an imaginary line running from the hip-bone to the ankle bone. he would, without exception, take a wander round the feet and legs of the drum corp at each competition, ensuring that this stringent aspect was met, for, he said, we would lose marks if they were seen to be in any way awry.

the veracity of this personal stricture was always in doubt, for not only were we regularly beaten by bands whose flashes were nowhere near this imaginary line, but we begain to notice that said line did not always appear to be in the same place at each competition. it is worth bearing in mind, however, that this particular gent also once informed us that the wind was once so strong in leodamus bay, port ellen, that it had blown several fish out of the water and onto the beach.

prendas primaloft socks

as if cycling was not hard enough already, it too has thrown up its own quandary as to the wearing of the median between shoe and foot; the humble sock. in the case of the pelotonese, such footwear is expected to offer at least a modicum of comfort, allied to more spartan decor than afforded by thickly knitted wool pipe band socks. they should, however, offer a particularly high co-efficient of efficiency in the face of adversity, something promised and ultimately delivered by the primaloft wool socks from prendas ciclismo. yet in the process of doing so, they elicited a noisome degree of confusion.

cycling is awash with rules, both written and unwritten, and while the velo club have not, until now, been sticklers for adhering to any notional direction in this manner, you just never know who you might meet on uiskentuie strand. i am confident in my abilities on the bicycle; they may not be up to much, but they're mine and i'm proud of them. however. given the propensity for howling winds visited upon a verisimilitude of belgian roads, it would suprise me not to come across a quick-step or lotto bellisol training camp on a sunday morning before church. imagine the horror and embarrassment to be experienced, cheerfully waving to tomke, when all the while one had commiitted a serious wardrobe faux pas.

for these excellent socks, described by andy at prendas as " a half-way house really for when the full-on winter socks made of thermolite are too warm." are quite tall in the ankle. not 'big tex' tall, but neither are they small enough to be concealed within one's athletic, cleated footwear. given that we are on the edges of winter, when one has discarded one's bib-threequarters for the luxury and safety of full-length tights, socks that fully cover the ankle are to be welcomed with open toes. however, the pervading question has to be, should one wear them outside the leg of one's tights, or should they be concealed underneath?

prendas primaloft socks

in the interests of fairness and the possibility of meeting phillippe or tom on a sunday morning, i have worn them in both fashions. it seems that neither has any negative bearing on the comfort and joy imparted by these prendas logo'd socks, for in both instances, i was equally as fast (or slow) and i could attest to no inklings of chilly ankles. or toes, for that matter. i have thus come to the conclusion, that it is better to wear them outside the leg of one's tights; for surely quality, comfort and pride would dictate that 'tis better to show the professionals of just what we hebrideans are made and how we proudly wear that prendas ciclismo logo as an emblem of our status as the cognoscenti?

just as long as you remember that the uppermost point of that logo ought to lie along an imaginary line from the outer copper rivet on a brooks team pro saddle, to the outermost ankle bone.

made in italy, the prendas primaloft wool composite socks are available in sizes ranging from xs to xxl in black and white only at the ludicrously low price of £7.95

prendas primaloft socks

thursday 20th december 2012


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trakke bak

trakke mule bag

i'm very much in favour of so-called long term reviews, tests of gear spread over a longer portion of time than is usually the case, something that might just give an insight into the longevity or otherwise of the product in question. for the nature of our society, based as it is upon instant gratification, is perennially looking for other people's opinions on whatever it is they've set their minds on purchasing. the world is no different from you or me; i couldn't make a decision if my gearchange depended on it, and regularly lean heavily upon procrastination if i think it'll avoid having to come down on one side or the other.

so, in order to satisfy this perceived demand for immediate information, i, and many others, attempt to carry out whatever review procedures might be in place as quickly and thoroughly as possible. this has double the usual connotations, for the realities of modern-day manufacture bring into play the prospect of more limited productions runs; delay by any appreciable period, and it's possible that sizes will be in short supply, or the item may be out of stock altogether. i jest not.

trakke mule bag

the speedy review, however, no matter how thoroughly researched and carried out, will only attest to the quality of design and manufacture at point of purchase, and assuming the prospective customer is in line to acquire one or more, a little information as to its performance over a longer period of time would hardly go amiss.

in the case in question, the item is unlikely to ever be out of stock. it might be gradually improved, and there's always the possibility of an addition to the colour range, but being currently handmade in glasgow, the vagaries of shipping trajectories and the eta of the next maersk freighter from taiwan are unlikely to have any adverse effect on stock levels. i speak, of course, regarding the excellent waxed canvas bags made by glasgow's trakke.

i very recently gave favourable opinion regarding their mule messenger bag, an ideal piece of bicycle luggage that i have since frequently used to transport large posters in cardboard tubes and other cycling paraphernalia to and from the croft to debbie's coffee shop. additionally, it has been put into regular use as a motor car substitute in the now revived weekly freezer shop run due to its substantial carrying capacity.

fabricated from a very similar material to that employed by the chaps who make barbour jackets, there seems little chance of any visual degradation being other than welcome. worn waxed cotton/canvas is often regarded as tres gauche, and i do look forward to this happening to the trakke mule as time and frozen food rumble by. as trakke themselves make plain: "You will probably only buy one Trakke bag in your lifetime, so we design it to carry your life.  From the fabric and buckles right down to the pattern itself, we consider the durability of each component, and imagine how it will look in 20 years time."

trakke mule bag

the idea of recording its import in my daily cycling world continues to this day, both by way of reporting back to basecamp as well as continuing to inform those who are not entirely sold on the idea. yet. heading bagwards towards easter 2013, i may well feel disposed towards appraising you of my experiences.

but trakke are a relatively young company. they have been in existence for a great deal less time than the designed life of their products, and offering various levels of credible encouragement at this juncture most certainly would not go amiss. so here's that very opportunity.

the trakke mule bag has been nominated for the best active messenger bag on a website that entitles itself carryology (yes, i thought that rather clever too). it would definitely make the christmases and new years of those at trakke basecamp to win this category, particularly as they are up against some bag companies of considerably greater stature than themselves. i generally prefer to remain as nuetral as possible in such instances, confining my voting predilections to myself, but in this case, i think it only appropriate to make an exception and implore you to do the right thing if you have any experience of trakke products.

heck, they're hand-made in glasgow.

you can do so right here: carryology awards

trakke basecamp

tuesday 18th december 2012


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