only just the other day, i regaled you with some thoughts on global warming, though i hasten to add that in the manner of accepting no blame for anything (a bit like a consultant), the thoughts expressed were those of the individual contributors and not necessarily those of thewashingmachinepost editorial staff (me). i would, however, be extremely glad if someone could explain to me why it is that the phenomenon is referred to as global warming when i can see little evidence of the temperatures that such would profess to indicate.
at the tail end of every second week, my days are involved with newspaper production; ensuring that proofed pages are available in timely fashion for the publication's printer. not always the smooth operation you would think it ought to be. thus, irrespective of the weather beyond the editorial office window, i am indoors for the enduring duration. thursday and friday on islay were particularly uncharacteristic, though just bizarrely enough of a variation on the preceding days to be the sort of thing it is famed for. afternoon temperatures were in the low twenties centigrade, not a cloud appeared in the sky, and the wind was all but completely absent.
that latter fact alone is surely worthy of celebration.
sadly, i only experienced this for a few minutes, having nipped down the street to collect my newspaper and a granola bar for lunch. none of my bicycles came even close to being sunned upon in the calm stillness. still, optimism convinced me that such would likely continue through my personal days (more commonly known as the weekend). the thought of being able to improve on my non-existent tanline, legs encased in a brand new pair of bibshorts, seemed all but guaranteed. weather such as experienced on thursday and friday could surely not vanish without trace?
the more observant amongst you cannot have failed to notice the flaw in my argument; the west coast of scotland hardly comes under the jurisdiction of predictable and like snow off a drystane wall, localised global warming evaporated overnight.
saturday was mercifully free from precipitation, but the wind had returned, and the temperature was now in single figures. sunday continued the trend, with the mercury dipping to around six degrees, and the wind gaining a smidgeon of strength. i'm not one for checking weather forecasts; working on the basis that we're going to get what we're going to get, i rarely bother. however, i had conjured a sneak peek a few days earlier and sunday showed overcast in the morning with one or two drips of rain, before the sun came out to play shortly after lunchtime. weather is fickle. sunday morning was cold and eventually quite wet, and, as raymond briggs was wont to say, that north wind doth blow.
perhaps the notion of wearing and testing two items from the dhb spring/summer collection was a false hope. surely if we are immersed in the vagaries of global warming, road testing ought to be getting warmer? it is of worthy debate as to whether the lower limbs are mildly tanned, weatherbeaten, or rusty. in any event, always willing to suffer for my art, i donned bibshorts and socks, both trimmed in a rather unflattering shade of blue and prepared to pedal for valour.
the grippers at the bottom of each leg seem just a tad too thick for their own good. though they gave no cause for concern in use, the double thickness, stitching and gloop prevents them lying flat across my chris hoy thighs (would you like the phone number of my optician?). the fit is pretty good overall, and the red cytech pad is sylph-like enough to prevent the feeling that one is walking to the bike shed wearing a pampers super-fit nappy (diaper). the mesh back is, in my opinion, not quite wide enough for the purpose; it pulls the bib straps slightly too close to the neck on each side. this, of course, has a beneficial corollary as i have at least two pairs of bibshorts or tights on which the straps have a tendency to drop off the shoulder while in use. maybe i'm just a moaning git.
the socks are obviously licensed from larry, as they pull at least half way up my shin, surely a very strange feature for summer socks? in order to maintain a certain decorum, i rolled the tops downwards, ensuring that the dhb logo was still visible and legible.
back to the weather. fortunately, legs seem incapable of experiencing much in the way of lowered temperatures, at least not after a few kilometres of frantic pedalling. a headwind will do that. i still maintain that the best compliment i can pay to a pair of socks is that i never noticed them, ensconced as they were in a pair of dhb carbon soled shoes. the shorts almost managed the same; in use i barely noticed they were there, though a lack of aghast expressions from passers-by was enough to convince that they were indeed, still in place, covering my modesty and impressively muscled thighs. the primary blue flashes on each leg thread their way around the back, expanding into a larger slab of blue just below the mesh bib.
unlike shorts from the how much? end of the world, the dhb aerons are not quite like a second skin, but to an extent, that's one of those features for which you perhaps expect to pay a substantial premium. professionals and excitable amateurs are probably besotted by the latter, but those of us with a less competitive disposition (and with an average speed to match) are unlikely to find a slightly heavier grade of lycra to be too much of an imposition. in their favour, this is likely to enhance their longevity i would tender.
it may be entirely co-incidental, but the word aeron is more readily associated with herman miller's infintely adjustable chair, beloved of recording studios and editing suites the world over. in any case, the implied comfort factor is not entirely without merit.
these are modern times; adobe have thoughtfully provided a control panel for kuler in both photoshop and indesign. so why dhb found it desirable to enhance both socks and shorts with a rather unimaginative, cycling weekly shade of blue, i do not know. there is some consolation that much of it is all but obscured while riding. on the contrary, however, the dhb logos on right leg and butt cheek add a frisson of professionalism. as wiggle's house brand, dhb has long inhabited the lower spectrum of pricing. the current economic climate notwithstanding, this continues to be the case, but with the benefit of hindsight, the quality of the product has improved substantially, making these particular dhb items competitive with similar further up the credit card scale.
time will, of course tell whether they wear comparably and retain their shape as the months roll by, but on present evidence i can see little that would place those hurdles in their way. colour aside, and bearing the length of the socks in mind, both these dhb summer products are well worth your hard-earned.
even in the face of persistent global freezing.
dhb aeron shorts are available with white, grey, blue and red colour contrasting colour panels, in sizes from xs to xxl. cost if £59.99. the coolmax summer socks can be had in black, white, blue and red, in sizes ranging from 3 - 12 at a cost of £6.99 a pair.
posted sunday 6 june 2011