gone with the wind

scottish cycling magazine

there is in existence, as many of you north of the border will be aware, a free cycling magazine, now into its fifth edition, rather oddly entitled scottish cycling. i say oddly, because that is also the name of scotland's national cycling organisation with which this particular publication, other than its subject matter, has no apparent connection. however, since i'd imagine neither are either samsung or apple, i doubt it will ever come to litigation. though i make mention of its apparent free-ness, it can be personally be subscribed to in print for pretty much the cost of postage, or you may find yourself in a cycle-related establishment offering a pile of these magazines for your reading pleasure while scoffing cake and coffee or simply to take with you for the journey.

and, since this is the modern world, it's also available digitally to read on whichever device takes your fancy.

happily the publishers send several copies to debbie's in bruichladdich, for i have a memory and sense of particular time that mitigates against my remembering when each subsequent issue becomes available. i have a free digital subscription, but i can also continue where i left off while supping a babyccino on the other side of the loch. this latter geographical location is pertinent in two distinct ways; firstly for that i have just paid lip service to and secondly as it concerns the thrust of editor cameron mcneish's editorial in the latest issue.

before, however, we become embroiled in that discussion, it seems only fair to commend scottish cycling for not only publicising many a commended cycle route in one or other part of scotland, but also for the quality of its written content. it is an unfortunate confluence of circumstance that often pairs free with poor, something scottish cycling has managed to avoid. if you're a scot domiciled elsewhere, i'm sure it would be simplicity itelf to acquire a free digital subscription. likewise if you have no scottish connection whatsoever, but find a sense of intrigue with the thought of riding here at sometime in your future.

however, to return to mr mcneish's bone of contention for this season. it is one that has probably received more than its fair share of exposure in these very black and yellow pixels on more than one recent occasion, but thankfully, a subject on which i feel more than qualified to expound.

the wind.

i recall a conversation with a young german lady several years ago. having arrived on a windy islay to collect her bicycle which i had assembled on her behalf, she queried as to whether i went out riding on windy days. i replied to the effect that, were i to wait for a day on which there was no appreciable wind, i'd be looking for an alternative activity altogether. a rough estimate, based on cursory examination of xc weather's daily predictions would place the average windspeed for islay over the course of a year at somewhere between 25 - 30mph. that is probably a conservative estimate. common lore would have it that the ferries will likely not sail if the wind is above 38 mph, depending, of course, on wind direction. personally, i'm a bit reticent to venture out on the bicycle if the wind threatens an average of 40mph or above.

riding into a headwind is simply grunt work if you need to get somewhere, there really is no alternative other than to knuckle down and pedal for all you're worth. the danger is from the crosswinds, particularly if, as is mostly the case over here, they are gusting. deep rimmed wheels are not a good idea between october and april and still dubious during the remaining months.

however, much like everything in life, riding in strong to galeforce and even stormforce winds is something you get used to. at least, assuming you wish to continue riding a bicycle. cameron mcneish is keen to mention what in professional terms would be regarded as the echelon.

"If you're riding in a group then it really helps to share the load. The bigger the group the easier it is. Take turns at battling the wind, in the knowledge that someone will take over from you in a few minutes time and share the load."

that presumes that there is someone else with whom to share the load. other than the sunday ride, we all mostly ride alone when work or leisure time permits. this must be one of the few places on earth where the art of the one-man echelon has been perfected. however, though the gist of the editorial effectively points out that, much like unwanted rain there really isn't that much we can do about it, mcneish stops short of advising that the best form of defense is a cogent offense. though not a plan of attack that lends itself to immediacy, after a few years of battling headwinds and crosswinds, embracing them at source will completely alter your mindset and sense of joy in so doing.

those who pay even passing attention to the world of the sportive market cannot fail to have noted the predilection of the majority of organisers to include pretty much every hill they can find in the vicinity, despite manifest evidence that the average cyclist cannot climb for tuppence. islay, conversely, is pretty flat; the bumpy bits are all round the edges. what prevents that becoming somewhat tedious over the course of twenty-six years is the unpredictability of the galeforce winds. a bit like areas of holland and belgium, those are our hills, something to be savoured and appreciated rather than despised and cursed.

in his last paragraph, mr mcneish begins "Finally, if it is really windy then you might be best to stay indoors and get on the turbo trainer - but does the wind ever get that bad?" i'm not sure if this is a rhetorical question or not, but i'd be inclined to answer in the negative. despite the bettering this island receives mostly all year round, i can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times i've been prevented from getting out on the bike due to the wind. granted there have been one or two occasions when riding bordered or passed the point of stupidity, but there's no way i'd resort ot a turbo trainer even if i owned such a device.

and, yes, it is badass.

scottish cycling magazine

monday 5 may 2014

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watching the girls go by

women's ambassadors tour of california

"never forget, it's all entertainment." robert millar.

according to my daughter who, unlike mrs washingmachinepost and i, has sky tv, there is a satellite channel that shows nothing but peppa pig cartoons all day, every day. though there seems to have been an impressive number of these short animations produced, it seems more than likely that repetition will be the name of the game for a substantial portion of the day, week, month etc, etc. how adult of me it would be to poo poo such childlike entertainment, but in point of fact, peppa pig is almost as entertaining for grown-ups as it is for kids.

women's ambassadors tour of california

just like those so-called easter eggs that renegade computer programmers insert into even heavyweight software, the writers of peppa have seen fit to incorporate a surprising amount of adult humour into the scripts, making it less onerous to sit with a gaggle of kids to watch four episodes back to back on a weekday morning. however, an entire week of doing so might just extend beyond the pale.

which is perhaps what is/was in danger of happening with the seemingly interminable number of videos emanating from the rapha website. historically, the first round of the north american rapha continental, originated to ride the roads less travelled, were accompanied by a style of writing that was most certainly not the norm on cycling websites. not only was the quality of an impressive degree, but it inhabited a realm that was entirely foreign to pelotonic sensibilities. and it was flipping brilliant. that these written words accompanied imagery that could only previously have been viewed in compendiums (compendia?) from the world's major photographic agencies (magnum, getty et al) no doubt raised cycling's profile amongst the cognoscenti.

women's ambassadors tour of california

as the annual pilgrimage across those less travelled highways proceeded, rapha took advantage of improving technologies, offering moving pictures alongside words and still images. however, a bit like once scarcely believable space-age technology entering the daily lexicon, there was always the danger that those words, pictures and movies would become commonplace, almost to the extent of becoming unremarkable.

even taking a group of impressive, non-professional bike riders and setting them off in the direction of wherever, was bound to pall in the long run.

women's ambassadors tour of california

but what of the womenfolk? they have notably been included in the rapha gentlemen's races across the pond, and our very own gem atkinson has been an interloper in the uk version of the continental. it's precisely how it ought to be in these days of equality. at last, women's road racing and cyclocross have begun to attempt parity with the male dominated end of the sport. but if the competitive end of the female velocipedinal world is to pop into the contemporary mindset, there surely has to be more human representation to foster inspiration?

and that's where the somewhat clumsily named rapha women's ambassadors enter the frame. quite literally.

women's ambassadors tour of california

my reservations over this initiative are entirely superficial; their original meeting in california was noted as the calling, somewhat pretentious to my way of thinking and the jury is still out on the ambassadors apellation. however, the concept is particularly sound and looks like it may not only revive the revelation attached to the rapha continental, but beautifully presage the women's 100 on 20 july.

a group of seven girls set out recently to ride the route of this year's tour of california, 1,125km from the state capital of sacramento in the north all the way to just shy of los angeles, thankfully all captured on film. at the risk of over-egging the pudding, what an excellent concept of a brilliant film it is. as, to be fair, are the words and pictures that accompany it. even if you've found yourselves thinking of chores that need to be done when the announcement e-mail arrives in your inbox, take my word for it, if you've not already watched this one, do so now.

and be impressed.

"Goals are bad when they overcome the spirit. There's no reward for finishing and hating it."
chris distefano.

rapha women: tour of california

women's ambassadors tour of california

sunday 4 may 2014

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risk management?

cycle leaders

last friday i qualified as a cycle leader. not entirely on purpose; the need for just such a person on islay is slim to put it mildly. the fact that there are now four of us qualified to take care of a non-existent requirement would be something of a worry, were it not for the fact that none of us had need of forking out for the fee. under the auspices of the whisky island sustainability project, based at the local leisure centre we were treated to the benefit of their well-funded largesse. the remit of the project is to improve the use of sustainable transport means on the island. basically put, getting folks out of their cars and onto both feet or a saddle.

to be horribly blunt, it's a scenario that's never going to happen, at least not in my lifetime. however, even though i've spent the last twenty years trying to encourage the very same situation without the benefit of any funding whatsoever, it would seem childish to point this out and refuse to co-operate in someone else's dream. so, along with three others and an excellent tutor from cycling scotland i experienced the theoretical pursuits behind leading wannabe cyclists around risk-assessed routes on islay.

now, i have ridden pretty much every road on islay several times over across twenty-six years in the course of enjoying velocipedinality for both its own sake and reviewing bicycles and all the bits that go with them. never once, in the course of so doing, have i ever felt the need to halt at a junction and ruminate over whether the road i am about to traverse has been risk-assessed in advance. and perhaps more to the point, how would i find out? has the roads manager already done this for people like me, keeping the very information i need neatly filed on a shelf in his office?

probably not.

during the course of the course, our tutor agreed that the most pertinent method of carrying out a risk assessment was on a dynamic basis. in other words, as the front rider it would be up to yours truly to keep my wits about me, always alert for any obstacle or travesty that might negatively impact upon the safety of those riding behind me. but in the likelihood of misunderstanding the intent behind the phrase risk assessment, isn't that what we all do when we go out on a bicycle in the first place? though personally, i have substantial experience of riding my bicycle in both rural and urban settings, are the people behind the uk's health and safety initiatives seriously doubting that anyone attempting a bicycle ride for the first time does so oblivious to the dangers of stray pedestrians and motorised traffic?

in similar fashion to what i believe is now known as bikeability, but formerly as the cycling proficiency test, the existence of even one cycle leader in a community has no real clout. if you fail your bikeability as a kid, you can still go out riding your bike. similarly, if you fancy riding from bowmore to bridgend, not only is there no need to give me a call and ask if i'm free for twenty minutes, but none whatsoever to phone argyll and bute roads department to enquire if the route has been risk-assessed.

do not misunderstand me, i do not wish to undermine the existence of either the course or other cycle leaders, for i have no doubt that there are regions and locations where the availability of qualified cycle leaders is a great boon to those wishing to approach riding for pleasure, commuting or both. and the course itself was fairly wide ranging in not only its theoretical purposes but also in the practical manoeuvres. it's the risk-assessed bit that gives me grief, for though there are obvious advantages to being accompanied by an experienced cyclist, i figure the risk on the road is everyone's problem. and considering the the liquidity of motorised traffic, can any route truly said to be risk assessed?

bike racks

however, believe it or not, what i really set out to bring to your attention was the ineffectiveness of the bike racks bolted to the leisure centre front wall. the gap to hold the front tyre is too wide to have any meaningful grasp, and the paving on which the front of the bicycles sit slopes downward away from the wall. which explains why, on exiting after some less than appetising cheese sandwiches for lunch (why always on white bread?), two of the bicycles were playing dead on the ground.

i wonder if anyone risk-assessed that?

saturday 3 may 2014

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colnago cx-zero

colnago cx-zero

colnago is undoubtedly one of the most revered marques in the world of cycle sport. even riders hardened to the delights of the myriad of other frames on the market can often be heard lusting after a colnago. those of us with long-term colnago affiliation and at least a couple of them in the bike shed, though delighting in the offerings from cambiago, have often cause to query some of their methods. for instance, why are there some models in the catalogue the reasons behind which verge on the obscure? i'm not about to click through each and every model, intent on discussing the whys and wherefores, but in the case of the cx-zero, colnago seem to have pinpointed just where this one is going.

riders in the era of merckx and arguably those who preceded his greatness were given a single bicycle at the beginning of each season. well, in fact, they were given several, but each and every bicycle was pretty much the same, used for every purpose that a season's racing would bring. that, in short, is just how colnago would like us to approach the cx-zero. so, taking them at their word, and happy to have a colnago that reputedly knows its true purpose in life, does it do what it says on the (very large) box in which it arrived?

read the review

friday 2 may 2014

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endura roller kit bag

endura roller kit bag

i'm not in the habit of associating heavy rock with the art of cycling, but sometimes it seems so apposite that there really is no choice other than to capitulate. spinal tap are a ficticious group who formed the subject of a rockumentary by rob reiner entitled this is spinal tap. the most recnt reason for bringing them into the realms of velocipedinal discussion was guitarist nigel tufnel's assertion that the volume on his marshall amplifier, unlike the standard model, went up to eleven. not ten, but eleven.

with the introduction of eleven speed cassettes by campagnolo a few years back, that spinal tap amplifier suddenly found itself in the cycling limelight once more. however, there are a number of spinal tap antics that, though incredibly close to the practices of many a heavy metal or progressive rock band, lend themselves to comparison with daily life. in this case, it comes down to one of misapprehension of size.

endura roller kit bag

keen to bring life to a concept song entitled stonehenge, tufnel scrawled some drawings on the back of a knapkin that he hands to their road manager in order that these may be realised in 3d to form a stage backdrop. unfortunately, it appears that his drawings were appended by measurements in inches that ought to have been in feet. therefore as the dry ice clears from the stage, and singer david st. hubbins reveals his visage from 'neath a druid's hood, a miniature scale model of stonehenge descends from the lighting rig to the stage floor. not unnaturally, this caused serious consternation between the band and road crew, each blaming each other.

endura roller kit bag

this misapprehension of scale is something that featured in my receipt of endura's latest roller kit bag when one arrived on the doorstep of washingmachinepost croft last month.

i have spent many a london trip negotiating the concourse of euston station, deftly trying to avoid those tiny wheelie cases being trailed by many a would-be executive. oh how i wish they paid attention to just how far behind those little wheels are rolling; in most instances, those cases are scarecely larger than a musette, meaning that carrying instead of wheeling would hardly be an onerous task. endura's take on the matter is, however, several orders of magnitude greater than either spinal tap's stonehenge or those tiny wheels that inhabit euston station.

endura roller kit bag

prior to its arrival, i had seen only a few illustrations of the roller kit bag, all of which featured a plain white background, and thus without any sense of scale. it truly is a substantial piece of kit standing 75cm high; a few more if you add in the telescoping handle (total height with the handle fully extended is 1.1 metres). the back is made of particularly stern stuff, highly resistant to pretty much anything you care to mention (i was thinking of aircraft baggage handlers), featuring two full-length runners and a sizeable pair of wheels. even when stuffed with every item of endura kit i could find, it stands perfectly stable.

endura roller kit bag

of course, versatility in an item of luggage is a great boon. in this case (pardon the pun), the roller kit bag can be manhandled in ways other than via its telescopic handle and wheels. there's a padded endura logo'd handle on the top, another on the side, and two on what would be classed as the front when stood on its end. a sturdy double zipped closure occupies two thirds of the bag's circumference, allowing the bag to be sat on the floor or bed and opened in two halves.

the left half features a zipped and pocketed mesh cover opening onto a full length luggage bay. this is backed by a centrally zipped waterproof membrane and offers huge space in which to place jerseys, shorts, tights and softshell jackets. it is endged by three elasticated pockets. monogrammed to indicate space for socks, armwarmers, gloves, legwarmers, toiletries and any other of the smaller accoutrements that accompany the modern day velocipedinist on their extensive travels.

endura roller kit bag

the right half is not only divided into three distinct sections, it contains hidden treasures. the bottom zipped and waterproof section is designated for shoes and includes a drawstring waterproof bag in which to place less than pristine shoes. my dmt road shoes fitted so easily, i figure it might just be possible to ease in a second pair. the next section up features a small helmet logo, and into which an endura helmet slid with ease, leaving quite a lot of space for other bits and bobs. lying inside this section is an enormous waterproof drawstring bag in which damp and dirty apparel can be placed, keeping it well away from any other items of clothing. if completely full, it would be easy to place this bag inside the leftmost section, or indeed, scrunched into the top third of the right side which has yet another zipped mesh closure.

endura roller kit bag

the ingenuity does not, however, end there.

once you have satisfied yourself that this stonehenge of the luggage world is as full as it needs to be, 'tis but a simple matter of closing the two halves and closing the zip. but just to nip back to the aforementioned baggage handlers, in order that the two halves remain as intended, there are two adjustable elasticated straps placed at each end, clicking into cunningly concealed buckles on the lower half.

but it gets even better than that.

how often have you ended a ride in a wet car park or less than dessicated grass and had need fo removing cleated road shoes and race socks to change into something a tad more appropriate for wheeling the bicycle to your accommodation or packing into or onto the car? yes, me too. well, concealed inside a zipped panel on the side of the bag is a pull-out thin but sizeable waterproof mat, its use designated by two large red footprints on the top. brilliant.

endura roller kit bag

naturally enough, there's a windowed side panel into which your name address or brief description of your palmares to date can be inserted. adjacent to the telescoping handle on the top is yet another zipped pocket, ideal for bus, plane or train tickets, or indeed anything else to which you'll need easy access.

i had hoped to undertake at least one lengthy journey (by my standards) with the bag filled with all manner of cycling apparel, but the plans of a famous cycling journalist are liable to change at the last minute (so i'm told), so i resorted to wheeling the selfsame filled bag over a less than table flat road near the croft. aside from surviving a highly crinkled road surface, the balance was a particularly notable; this made it quite easy to trail along behind without being overburdened with the overall weight.

endura roller kit bag

endura's roller kit bag is a smidgeon too large for most of my extra-curricular cycling activities, but that, i would argue, is a far better problem to have, than trying to vainly squeeze way too much stuff into way too little space. try as i might, i couldn't think of any facet of cycle associated travel expectations that the clever folks at livingston seem to have missed, though i have no problem admitting that the bag includes several i'd never have thought of in the first place. once more, endura have the needs of the cyclist at heart in more than one way; not only will you acquire all of the above, but it can be yours for only £124.99

case closed.

endura roller kit bag

thursday 1 may 2014

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the changing of the guard

spring has sprung

it has been said that there is no such thing as bad weather, simply the wrong choice of clothing. though it may rob you of a small fortune, that's a statement that rings particularly true with regard to the modern world of cycle clothing. there are currently so many so-called technical fabrics, that it is quite possible to fend off the very worst that global warming can throw at the hapless velocipedinist without so much as a hair out of place (that last bit may be a slight exaggeration). though i have made my stance on waterproof trousers perfectly clear, there are such things as waterproof bib tights, particularly effective waterproof and thermal overshoes, waterproof socks, and a huge range of jackets that will do their darnedest to keep precipitation at bay while allowing hitherto unheard of breathability below.

spring has sprung

such garmentilada has been, since late october last year, front and foremost in the cycling wardrobe. (i believe it is worth my while pointing out that the word wardrobe is only used as a euphemism in this case; in truth, all my cycling clobber is encased in several plastic boxes, meaning several hours of rummaging on the eve prior to any sunday ride.) but the times, as bob dylan might once have made mention, are a changing. yesterday and today were marked by a surfeit of sun and an unaccustomed warmth, just the very features you look forward to when stuck in an office all day.

i swear i could hear the colnago calling me from the bikeshed.

spring has sprung

so it has now become necessary to re-arrange the pecking order of my sartorial offense, and that in itself brings unwanted baggage along with it. this is, as if you didn't know, the scottish inner hebrides, a collection of small islands that harbour nothing like a consistent stream of weather. thus, having been lulled into a false sense of security, the mind wanders towards bibshorts, summer weight mesh baselayers, short sleeve jerseys and a pair of track mitts with that neat little oval on the back. yet as sure as eggs is eggs, that blue sky will disappear behind a blanket of thick grey cloud and a rising wind; it is no accident that the velo club are still carrying waterproof jackets even in mid july.

however, banishing all thoughts of emulating victor meldrew, spring might actually have arrived with a vengeance, and i can close off the long-sleeve jerseys, softshell jackets and thermal bibtights until late august, when winter once more hoves into view. it's just a shame that our weather patterns rarely coincide with the launch patterns of the world's principal cycle clothing purveyors.

just remember, there's no such thing as bad weather.

wednesday 30 april 2014

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proviz nightrider high visibility cycling jacket and waterproof trousers

proviz nightrider jacket and trousers

i recently spent a day at our local leisure centre participating in a scottish cycling, cycle leader course ultimately qualifying myself and three others to take new or learner cyclists over risk assessed routes around the principality. whether there is a pressing need locally for such a service is something of a moot point, but criticising from a distance without willing to be included in the sustainable transport initiative of which this forms a part, seemed at best, something of a cop out. though i'm most certainly not the world's fastest cyclist, i am quite confident in my abilities; if someone else can benefit from everything i've learned up to this point, so much the better.

part of the discussion during the morning's theoretical part of the course concerned appropriate clothing for the activity of cycling, including just how brightly one ought to appear to other road users. i believe i'm correct in stating that recent research has all but proved so-called high visibility clothing to hold less of an advantage over regular and even dark colours than originally promised. this is not to say that appearing as a mobile christmas tree is not a good idea, just that, on a bright, shiny day, a black clad cyclist can stand out against his/her background every bit as much. it's what italian painters refer to as chiarascuro.

proviz nightrider jacket and trousers

however, there really is nothing that a superbly fluorescent jacket such as the proviz nightrider can do against the errant mind of the less than observant motorist. this is something that was made plain on my very wet morning ride the day after the cycle leader course. having taken the opportunity to test the waterproofing of both the nightrider jacket and trousers, as i approached the left turn to debbie's at bridgend, a volkswagen estate was signalling to turn out from the car park onto the same section of road. i watched the driver check both his mirrors and visibly turn to look behind at my very bright approach, then calmly pull out in front of me. the distance between us was close enough that i had need of applying the brakes to avoid running into the back of his car.

if nothing else, this underlines the fact that there may be more to contend with than simple visibility.

the fact that proviz have dubbed this jacket and trouser pairing 'nightrider', gives something of a clue as to their intended roles in life, but i cannot deny that i partake of very little riding after dark. it's something that may be just as pertinent to many cycle commuters, particularly now that we've reputedly entered british summertime. it doesn't get dark on islay until well past 9pm, so unless you're a shift worker, nightriding may not feature in the day's commute.

proviz nightrider trousers

however, though i may not subscribe to the necessity of wearing fluorescent yellow when riding my bicycle, any means of highlighting personal visibility should be welcomed with open arms. but perhaps more importantly, allying waterproofing with hi-viz seems like a very good idea, given the drab greyness that inhabits many a rainy day.

the proviz nightrider jacket is proportioned well enough to allow wearing over sensible clothes appropriate for the working day (such as the recently reviewed rapha lapelled jacket). in windy conditions (i have little choice in the matter) there is undoubtedly going to be flappage, but that's probably of less concern to the commuting cyclist than it is to the speedster. aside from the proviz logo on the front and rear, there are a couple of solid reflective panels on the shoulders, the full length of the sleeves and both side panels. the cuffs bear a highly effective, adjustable velcro closure preventing any overheating or excessive cooling.

apart from a small internal pocket, the nightrider jacket offers a full-width, all encompassing rear pocket concealed under a flap. you've no idea how grateful i was to find that this pocket swallowed those nightrider waterproof trousers when the weather cleared on the return ride. on the rear centre, slap bang between the shoulders, there's a sizeable reflective triangle velcro'd to the jacket. this can apparently be replaced with a usb lighting system if you fancy dazzling those following drivers.

proviz nightrider jacket and trousers

i can't stand waterproof trousers. that in itself isn't pertinent to the review in question, but i thought it better to get it out in the open. the proviz nightriders, however, seem to have taken into account pretty much every eventuality that could befall a prospective wearer. the waist is kept in place by means of a drawstring and the sizing will easily accommodate all manner of regular trouserwear. the clever stuff, however is at the shoe end; though offering more than adequate length, each leg conceals a poppered drop-down flap to cover a pair of standard shoes, though you may have to watch that spinning chainring.

in order that the trousers might be put on or removed without divesting oneself of footwear, there is a zippered section covered by a velcro'd flap which works with perfected ease. additionally the outer edge of each leg sports a couple of velcro straps to pull the waterproof fabric into line, keeping it clear of the aforementioned spinning chainring. dressed thus in such commodious legwear, mrs washingmachinepost said i looked as if i was about to go motorcycling, underlining this thought with visible throttling motions. it's a look i cannot deny, though in order to allow for any frantic pedalling, a certain degree of bagginess is a necessity at the knees.

proviz nightrider jacket

granted, the sartorial elegance of the garment is modified when riding the bike, but it's definitely not an attractive look. however, in the case of commuting, substance does, i believe trump superficial style. in keeping with their nightrider status, the trousers sport a sizeable reflective nightrider logo on each leg, along with other reflective detailing. clad in both jacket and trousers, volkswagen drivers at bridgend notwithstanding, you'd be hard to miss.

both garments are labelled as waterproof and breathable, the very features my very wet saturday morning ride was designed to test. the jacket, even with its modest degree of flappage is a major boon in very wet conditions. the breathability was better than i'd hoped, while the waterpoofing was impeccable; not a dribble made it through. despite my protestations against waterproof trousers, the nightriders were more comfortable to ride in than their appearance had suggested. there were moments when standing up to ride a hill that they felt a mite restrictive (honestly) around the knee, but certainly nothing untoward.

though the jacket proved itself more than worthy of approbation, there was a certain boil-in-the-bag feeling about the trousers, verified by a pair of damp trousers below on removal. granted, a portion of my 70km ride was in dry and warming conditions; only a desire to find the tipping point of breathability led me to keep them in place for so long. in other circumstances, i'd have removed them a lot earlier. many items of apparel profess breathability, but few ever manage to equate to the breathing engendered by the active cyclist.

proviz nightrider trousers

if commuting were a part of my daily travail, i'd be more than happy to clothe myself in the nightrider jacket. as i have already espoused, waterproof trousers are not my bedfellows, though if that hypothetical commute took regular place at night in wet and windy weather, i'd be happy to swallow my prejudice and keep myself dry.

the proviz nightrider jacket is available in black, orange or yellow (reviewed) in sizes from small to xl at the remarkably equitable price of £59.99. the nightrider waterproof trousers, at a mere £39.99 can be purchased in black (reviewed) or yellow in sizes small to xl and 10, 12, 14, and 16.

tuesday 29 april 2014

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