application would appear to be the key. had i perhaps put in a tad more sustained application at art college, i could have become world famous, and rather than reading words by me, you'd be reading about me. admittedly that is a slightly far-fetched scenario, but i think it suitably illustrates my point. doubtless you'd expect me to continue the fairy-tale by applying a similar set of criteria to my cycling career (such as it is), but we both know that was never going to happen. heck, i even spent a few hours in the passenger seat of the rapha car at last year's british championships, and not once did john herety broach the subject of a potential contract for 2014.
maybe if he'd applied a touch more pressure, i'd have capitulated.
i'm finding the same is true of my technical machinations as applied to the colnago i have for the festive 500. though the weather on christmas eve was quite brutal, but drier than i'd expected, the following days have been a lot kinder. however, if the local roads engineer finds the aerosol tarmac repairs on the loch gorm road to be satisfactory, we're all in a lot more trouble than i thought. it seems that an unkempt road surface spread liberally with gravel is what passes for quality control these days. couple that with the agricultural nature of the isle, and that eleven-speed chain is perhaps getting more than it bargained for.
therefore, no matter the physical condition i find myself in after a shower and some food, i have deigned it an unavoidable necessity to throughly clean the drive train before applying a drop of lube to each link. it is my single concession to ocd; i hate to set out with a dirty chain, even if road conditions will not leave it thus for very long. once again, 'tis but a simple matter of application.
that last sentence might very well be an appropriate slogan for body glide, an american company that offers chamois balm and other friction reducing balms in colourfully constituted applicators. from the onset, these seem like a rather effective solution to a set of problems that most would consider already solved, and disappointingly, you'd probably be right.
taking the orange coloured chamois glide balm as the initial example, twisting the bezel at the base pushes the stick of balm upwards, ready and willing to be applied to your nether regions. as experienced cyclists, we're all well acquinted with this process, though more usually it involves fingers and a tub of cream. the idea of an applicator seems quite sensible, that is until you try using it. for starters, the balm has need of being fairly solid in constitution in order not to fall to pieces at point of application. however, its solidity is not only a smidgeon on the uncomfortable side, but a distinctly less than pragmatic and oftimes uncomfortable means of accomplishing the necessary.
of course, it's eminently possible to reverse the process and apply the chamois balm to the chamois pad itself. this does work better than the alternative, but rather makes the applicator a solution looking for a problem. as far as i'm concerned, there was nothing wrong with cream.
and for similar, yet slightly different reasons, the other two products under review - foot glide balm blister resister and the original anti-chafing balm - seem also to miss the target. if i might take the blister resister first, few of us know in advance where we're likely to get a blister. if we did, a band-aid could be pre-applied prior to riding. however, after riding 80km in heavy rain wearing new shoes with a saddle a few millimetres too high, my left ankle developed a blister which subsequently wore through to the hurty bit. applying the blister resister was a somewhat painful experience, given the balm's aforementioned solidity.
the balm itself does appear to achieve the claims made by body glide; after two days' worth of painful application, it did ease the pain, but it seems less than virtuous that a product designed to alleviate pain, should cause some more in the process. i confess i have yet to find any necessity of use for the original balm. the instructions would have me believe that this product ought to be applied in areas likely to suffer from chafing (other than those already discussed), and i've no doubt that it may be highly efficacious if used prior to need. but yet again, i've no real knowledge of where this is likely to be.
unless of course, i'm doing this all wrong?
bodyglide chamois balm sells for £11.99; the original balm retails from £6.99 - £11.99 depending on size, as does the blister resister.
saturday 27 december 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................