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tic epic l/s jersey

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dromarti ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

the mighty dave t's words of the week

the mighty dave t

"as befits a rider of my standing, i had my own personal mechanic this week, with a spare bike."

©2016 the mighty dave t, is a prendas sponsored rider and le patron of the thoroughly decent fellows. the mighty dave t recommends purple harry products and n+1 cycle t-shirts


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endura cycle clothing ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

co-operation

echelon

at the risk of stating the glaringly obvious, there are distinct advantages to be gained from a smidgeon of co-operation between members of the peloton. i use the latter word here to describe a motley bunch of velocipedinists driven south at an ever increasing pace purely on the mistaken notion that you can smell coffee from more than a few kilometres distant from debbie's. i'm sure many of you can identify with that particular scenario. and additionally it would not surprise me one whit to learn that more than just a few velo clubs across the world have one amongst their number with a propensity to launch themselves off the front in an almost always futile bid to be first on the leather couch.

it is the classic principal on which greyhound racing is based. as long as there's a moving target, someone is duty bound to slip into the big ring and give it enough wellie to catch that distant rear wheel. it has always struck me as odd that a group of several disparate individuals will happily ride alongside each other virtually all morning, stopping every now and again to allow backmarkers to once again make contact, but as soon as there is the portent of a mythical finish line somewhere in the distance, that camaraderie is thrown to the wind and it becomes every man (or woman) for him/herself.

however, we probably all well know that the spurious effort of closing a sizeable if not insurmountable gap into a headwind can prove more testing than originally thought. i can't be the only one who has reached the point of exhaustion all the while thinking that it seemed like a good idea at the time. a lone rider faces the same iniquities as the achtervolger or inseguittori, tempered only by the knowledge that they may well have been doing so for a greater length of time, thus testing the limits of their stamina.

however, such disparity can often be lessened should at least two of those in the peloton decide to co-operate in the pursuance of the hare. while one would not wish to brag, the perennial winds that afflict islay have long ago taught us the art of the echelon; there is not a rider amongst our number that is not at least familiar with the principles. the majority of hebridean cyclists are born with the ability to manage an individual echelon should there be no-one else with which to ride.

however, since currently we are all at differing stages of in our pursuit of the riding ideal, some of the nuances are yet to be honed to a fine point. thus, on occasion the man at the front, intent on shielding his compatriots from a westerly wind, will ride too close to the road's edge to allow a favourable degree of shelter. but, in mitigation, we are nothing if not quick learners and a gent on the sunday ride who had made this fundamental error while riding to the start, had impressively modified his road behaviour when it came tme to ride down one of our number who mistakenly thought he'd garnered a sufficient advantage to be first across the bruichladdich finish line.

to manage just such an imperious chase, i must admit we are not in the habit of peeling off the minute one of us hits the front. ours is a more moderated attack formation, allowing the front man to hold that position for several minutes, before the thin lad at the back, moves up to assume the strike position. though several of our number, while rooting for the junction of chasers and chasee, were content to meander more soporifically down the length of uiskentuie strand, three individuals with scarcely the sense they were born with (my hand is firmly in the up position here), rode bit and bit till one pulled out after a last burst at the front and the remaining two slid past the usurper to take a well-judged victory.

you would scarcely think that there could be so much unscripted co-operative action from within one velo club, but such are the joys of the sunday ride, that it is not at all difficult to pity the couch potatoes and the lethargic who will probably never know what it means to be lead-out man just in time for a soya cappuccino and perchance a small slice of lemon drizzle cake.

the future's bright, the future's an echelon.

monday 16 january 2017

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yonder journal ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

aptitude

whyte wessex

i was recently listening to an interview with one of my favourite drummers, a chap by the name of jay bellerose, who i'm sure i have mentioned before. for those unacquainted with his palmares, he has drummed on albums by hugh laurie, robert plant and alison krauss, the late allen toussaint and joe henry to name but a few. however, he was relating a story from his early years at berklee college during which, on returning to his locker, he discovered that someone had nicked his nice, shiny five-piece tama drumset.

while somewhat distraught at this state of affairs, he figured that he simply needed drums and cymbals of any hue and cry to continue making music, a situation suitably remedied by a friend of his lending him a rather beat-up old set that he had no further need of. unlike many a contemporary drummer, bellerose has no cymbal or drum endorsement, preferring to play upon a range of vintage drumsets including an all-wood slingerland rolling bomber set from the war years when metal was rationed and even the tension nut boxes were fashioned from rosewood.

there are few of us in the percussive milieu who would have taken such a pragmatic and philosophical view of a similar situation. i have two very nice american drumsets with attendant quality cymbals and i'm enough of a snob to have offered to lend a set of those cymbals to the high school students sitting their drumming higher grade prelim, because to me, those on the school kit have much in common with dustbin lids.

whyte wessex

and i tend to think that, as cyclists, we'd be inclined to demonstrate a similar attitude should our pride and joy go missing in action. it is hard to countenance any practical similarity between the latest in carbon fibre and something fished out the nearest skip (dumpster). were we to be talking of the competitive realm, i would readily understand any major consternation, but in truth, where the simplicity of a bike ride is concerned, pretty much anything that works will do. this can, i believe, be easily demonstrated during a period of review concerning, at the time, the state of the art in carbon fibre bicycle design.

on riding towards debbie's after an enjoyable sunday bike ride, i found myself in the company of another cyclist riding an ageing steel road bike with friction-shift downtube levers and a mere six gears. try as i might as we reached the end of uiskentuie strand, i could but watch him disappear into the distance. granted, as always, it often has more to do with the rider than the bike, but it was a pertinent lesson that you don't always need the very latest to be fast or to enjoy the ride.

but we are here discussing the vicissitudes of the realm of the roadie, rather than the more pragmatic environment of the commuting cyclist. the latter more likely has little need for out and out speed and while it's largely true that any bicycle will get you to and from work, there are certain features that can enhance the experience given that the five days a week are frequently permeated by less than clement weather. that is particularly noticeable during the current months. therefore a bicycle that offers an appropriate level of manoeuverability, decent cargo capacity, fixings for mudguards/fenders and either the ability to be folded and carried inside or sufficiently drab in appearance not to attract the attention of would-be thieves, seems the most desirable of specifications.

whyte wessex

drop bars or flat bars are often a matter of personal preference, but it seems not too pernickety to hope that the riding position allows for the best visibility in the midst of ever-increasing traffic, allied to a decent amount of comfort. there is little worse in the week to finish a hard day at the office only to suffer like a peloton refugee on the homeward journey.

assuming we're all generally agreed on the above, you can imagine the consternation being voiced at road.cc's commuting bike of the year award going to a £2,150 whyte wessex road bike, replete with disc brakes. while neither the price nor the choice of brakes exactly disqualifies it from the potential attention of the commuting fraternity, it is distinctly categorised by whyte themselves under the road bike heading and not within that of their fast urban/commuter series. in fact, if i may quote from whyte's website "The all new Wessex is conceived to be the ideal British road bike." however, the dissatisfaction with road.cc's choice seems to revolve around the fact that they only rate bicycles reviewed during the previous year and given that the website is specifically geared (sorry) towards the roadie fraternity it ought to be of little surprise that the bulk of their reviews concern bendy bars and skinny wheels.

perhaps they'd have been better to have eschewed the category altogether; it could be seen as the equivalent of singletrack magazine featuring a road bike of the year when all that chipps and co. test all year are mountain bikes.

whyte wessex

but ultimately, a bicycle is a bicycle is a bicycle. not all cyclists are favoured with a bikeshed stuffed to the rafters with a varied choice of veocipede; many have only the wherewithal or storage space for a single machine and if your preference is to blast the highways and byways each weekend, maybe a brompton is not your ideal option, no matter its aptitude for the daily commute. and in truth, simply because the fine fellows at road.cc have decided upon the wessex as their ideal commuter doesn't mean that everyone is thus compelled to follow suit.

i'm inclined to adopt the mantra of portland's ira ryan: 'work hard, ride home'. choice of bicycle is optional.

whyte essex road bike

sunday 15 january 2017

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prendas ciclismo ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

january sales

cyclevision magazine

i was, almost by tradition, an avid consumer of bicycle magazines, predominantly in order to keep myself informed as to the whys and wherefores of the cycling world, whether from the world of touring, offroad, racing, commuting etc. however, as the years have rolled past, this consumption has minimised, partly through the disappearance of certain publications and partly due to the realisation that i might be conceivably spending rather a substantial portion of the non-existent washingmachinepost budget. i recall buying my copy of cycling weekly every week for many a decade, only ceasing when, in my opinion, the quality dropped below a (personally) acceptable level.

however, one of the principal reasons for my apparently odd reduction in cycling-related reading material is that of literary insecurity. similarly to perusing youtube of an evening in order to better acquaint myself with the expected standard of drumming these days, it only serves to underline my percussive shortcomings. i feel the same way about cycling blogs etc.; everyone else seems to write more fluidly and lucidly than do i.

mind you, having made it to the post's 20th birthday in the early months of last year, i presume i must have been doing something right.

anyhoo, there's really no argument over the fact that so-called traditional media in many cases is in decline. whether this decline is terminal depends greatly on your point of view and whether you have a vested interest in digital. but even the latter appears not to be immune from the vicissitudes of modernity. while many looked to the ipad editions of their publications to lead the digital charge, in point of fact, this has failed to make the great inroads into modern-day publishing originally forecast. many either discontinued this particular avenue or simply offered it as an accompaniment to their print editions.

i fear a lot of money may have been spent on the emperor's new clothes.

earlier this past week the pro-scottish independence website bella caledonia announced that it may well have to close due to a severe lack of funding. maybe digital isn't as future proof as was once thought. earlier this year, cycling weekly's monthly sister publication, cycle sport ceased publication, despite british cycling announcing an incredible growth in membership to over 125,000; you'd figure there would be sufficient takers within those numbers to offer viability to all three of britain's sporting cycle magazines (the other two being procycling and cyclist).

yet still the dissolution continues with the recent announcement of the end of velovision magazine. founded in 2001 by peter eland, velovision was purchased in 2015 by howard yeomans, who unfortunately was unable to achieve profitability and thus called time on the presses. according to the magazine's website, the contents dealt with "all innovations and a devotion to the use of bikes" but mostly eschewing the sporting milieu. oddly, i'd have expected the latter to have brought it a far wider audience than those mentioned above.

and only a few days after citing immediate media's ownership of bikeradar, cyclingnews, 220 triathlon and bikely, it appears they have been subsumed into the fold of german publisher hubert burda media. and it's not just their digital outlets that have gone east; the printed pages of mountain biking uk, home of jo burt's mint sauce cartoon, procycling, what mountain bike, cycling plus and urban cyclist have shared their lufthansa flight.

please do not misunderstand me; i am not attempting to place myself in such esteemed company; a minnow in an increasingly large corporate pond would be about right. and nowadays there's nothing particularly unusual about one company being acquired by another. but though the early part of this century saw a veritable explosion of titles in both print and digital along with more cycling blogs than you could shake a stick at and despite cycling being arguably more popular than ever, it's a shame that the sport/activity's accompanying literature seems unable to follow suit.

saturday 14 january 2017

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artificial intelligence

power meter

i'm proud to relate that the decision to create a car-free washingmachinepost household was entirely mine. granted, mrs washingmachinepost does not have a driver's licence and works from home, so the vehicle that we did own was, not to put too fine a point on it, of little practical use to her. the office in which i ply my daily trade (so to speak) is a mere five minutes walk from the croft, so on a daily and almost weekly basis, i had little need of a motor vehicle either.

where it did come into its own was usually on saturday mornings when we would both drive a matter of a few hundred metres to bowmore main street in order to stock up the cupboards, fridge and freezer with the weekly shop. i cannot deny that, on occasion (usually a sunday afternoon) we'd pop over to the ancestral home of velo club d'ardbeg for a coffee and a panini, but it would be foolish to pretend that the latter was anything like a justifiable reason to pay car tax, insurance, mot, servicing costs and petrol.

so, when the car finally failed an mot, accompanied by prospective remedial costs of several hundred pounds, i made the decision to leave the car at the garage and cycle home. though it's something of a cliché, i've really never looked back since.

however, in so doing, i have not lost sight of the fact that this was not a decision that entailed my attempting to cadge a lift from the currently motorised at each and every apparently necessitous opportunity. this extends to the transportation of a small but oddly heavy drumset. it has always been a conundrum how items consisting mostly of empty space manage to weigh so much. i'm fortunate that the majority of my percussive engagements take place in an islay hostelry within easy walking distance of the croft and, with the aid of a small trolley, shifting the aforesaid drumset is a relatively innocuous procedure.

but there are occasions when that trolley has its limitations and there is need of renting a motor vehicle. to my mind this is a necessary evil and one that i am keen to avoid as often as possible. sadly, having spent six or more car-free years means that i have missed out on what i'm sure the motor industry most likely refers to as 'technological developments'. little lights that appear on the dashboard telling me to change gear, despite my still trying to fathom the complexity of the heating controls to demist the windscreen rather than my socks. a fifth or sixth gear when my last car had only four; when do i change up, or even down?

my first attempted drive in years almost failed at the first hurdle when, after filling every available space with drums and cymbals, the car simply wouldn't start. all the lights were coming on, everything seemed to be in working order, but there was nary a sparkle from the engine. a quick phone call to the rental office elicited the hitherto unknown information that the clutch pedal had need of being depressed, while turning the ignition key. who ever would have figured that one out?

believe me, though the rental cars served their purpose most admirably, i doubt there was a single driving moment when i could honestly have claimed to be enjoying myself. especially when unable to find the switch for the rear screen wiper. the tangible relief on climbing aboard my bicycle upon returning the car was udoubtedly the high point of the week. that and being paid to play my drums in the first place.

it therefore offers me a smidgeon of disappointment that the bicycle industry occasionally seems hell-bent on following their motoring counterparts. as one who still views the advent of the electronic groupset as a solution looking for a problem, the news that a chinese cycle company is offering bicycles featuring an integrated power meter and touch-screen computer has not made 2017 one that i cannot wait to unfold. i well understand that there is a velocipedinal strata that has undoubted need of such technology; those imbued with the athletically sporting gene, keen to overtake their peers by any legitimate means possible.

with them, i have no quibble.

however as one who has had the pleasure (?) of reviewing power meters in the past, my worry is that such technology dribbles downwards, eventually resulting in a full page advert in the weekend colour supplements for a a similar machine, constructed from plain gauge steel and selling for £49.99. though my review periods were mostly to ascertain whether the meters on test were simple and accurate to use, at the end of each ride, i still had a substantial quantity of data with which i had no idea what to do. and let's face it, unless you're a qualified coach or a well-informed professional rider, those power readings are simply a set of inscrutable numbers.

it would be naive of me to pretend that the chinese bicycles previously mentioned are anything other than tools designed for those in the know, but how many years is it since formula one cars had six gears operated by little flip levers on the steering wheel and how many standard saloon cars now feature something similar? i mean, who really needs six (or more) gears on a car?

mind you, come to that, how many of us really need eleven sprockets on the back wheel?

friday 13 january 2017

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green oil ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

how to get cross

balint hamvas

after moaning without result about the total lack of live coverage of britain's national cyclocross championships, i felt compelled to watch the us nationals being broadcast later that same day on 'youtube' via cyclingnews.com or cyclocross world. congratulations to stephen hyde on a finely judged win, despite a late puncture and apparently a bust derailleur hanger. due to immediate circumstances, i'd to watch the coverage with the sound switched off - i didn't have the chance even to wear earphones - and it has to be said that between the nature of the course, a substantial covering of snow and some very odd camera choices, it was very hard to follow what was going on.

just for future information, should anyone from british cycling have heeded my moaning, it would be a very good idea to follow the uci's lead by displaying on-screen, at least the top ten placings across the line on each lap, unlike the usac coverage (just saying).

disappointingly and probably more so for him than for us, last year's champion, jeremy powers, finished well down the field in 24th place.

cyclephotos

the new champion, a former student at the jeremy powers backed 'apprentice' scheme and current training partner of powers was, according to a recent interview, unaware of the beatles, probably the sign of a deprived childhood of a kid who's music idol is elvis presley. presumably, assuming he has read a copy of balint hamvas' 2015/16 cyclephotos annual, he has now googled the beatles and is possessor of a more rounded musical knowledge.

the (almost) 30 year-old moved from florida to oregon to further his 'cross career, the latter us state far more imbued with the cyclocross gene than its much warmer and sunnier east-coast cousin. his presence in several of this season's european races has presumably brought him the skills and experience that allowed him to escape to victory after being caught up, as was powers, in a first lap bottleneck at the connecticut nationals this past weekend. as he says in the nicholas lemke interview...

"These (European) guys are the real deal and I have nothing but massive respect for them and the sport. I have no illusions of becoming a world champion and I don't go to the races thinking that's my next step."

cyclephotos

of course, you'll already know all this, if last year you were a kickstarter subscriber to balint's photo album. unlike previous years, when the photographer financed the project himself and subsequently offered it for sale via his website, the current superb and arguably compulsory edition was only available to those who pledged in advance. aside from one or two hiccups along the production way, including balint's laptop being stolen, this method of production seems to have proved most satisfactory for photographer and adoring public alike.

so much so, in fact, that the gent has decided to follow a similar pattern for his 2016/17 photo album. i need scarcely mention that my pledge is already in place; cyclocross simply would not be the same without this annual (not rhetoric; fact) and in case the knowledge of this opportunity has passed you by, i feel it my duty to point it out.

for those who have yet to experience the luxury of enjoying page after page of 'cross imagery that will frequently have you wondering where on earth balint was standing when pressing the shutter, i'd seriously advise pledging at least sufficient dosh to ensure that one of these arrives through your letterbox in late summer.

cyclephotos kickstarter campaign

thursday 12 january 2017

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chalet col des aravis ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

except when it isn't

"many of the rules in the code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. you may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving."

passing places

thus runs the introduction to the highway code, the book of commandments that pertains predominantly to the motoring public, but which contains a section relevant to those of us on bicycles (59-82). rules of the road that may constitute a legal requirement are identifiable by use of the words 'must/must not', though it should be said that many of the code's contents are advisory. for instance, rule 59 states that cyclists ought to wear a helmet conforming to current regulations, but you and i both know that helmet wearing is, as yet, not a legal requirement in the uk.

the same rule goes on to elucidate the code's subjective preferences as regards appropriate clothing. yet move on one rule to 60 and the code points out that it is a legal requirement to have both front and rear lights affixed to the bicycle after the hours of darkness. without wishing to beat about the bush, anyone who ignores that part is an idiot. oddly enough the same rule insists on front and rear reflectors as being mandatory if the bicycle was manufactured after october 1985. i can think of many who, whether aware of this diktat or not, are guilty of ignoring it (self included).

however, what happens to the credibility of the highway code if it appears to be wrong? though the following is not specifically aimed at the pedal cyclist, i figure there are grounds for at least a quizzical expression on one's face.

i am currently in the throes of designing a leaflet on behalf of islay community council to impress upon visiting camper van and motorhome drivers, the potential iniquities of perambulating islay's single-track roads. those of you who have visited the highlands and islands of scotland will likely be familiar with the concept of the passing place, a brief extension of the road width to allow two vehicles to pass each other on narrow roads.

the most obvious application of the average passing place is to cope with two vehicles passing in opposite directions. it is customary for the vehicle first reaching the passing place to move in and allow the other(s) to pass relatively unhindered. once past, this temporarily stationary vehicle can rejoin the roadway and continue upon its merry way. it is also perfectly permissible to stop adjacent to a passing place and allow the oncoming vehicle to use it, though this is less than practical if the oncoming vehicle is a 40-foot articulated truck.

so far, so good, but here's where the house of cards starts to fall apart. according to the highway code, should you find yourself meandering joyfully along a singletrack road, followed by a vehicle obviously keen to get on with life at a more alacritous pace, you may use a passing place to allow them to pass. should the passing place be situated on your left, you should pull in, but if that selfsame passing place happens to be on your right, you should come to an adjacent halt, allowing the following vehicle to use the passing place to overtake.

though this at first may seem a rather tautological description, in practice it doesn't quite work like that. the most obvious error concerns any vehicle coming to a halt adjacent to a right-hand passing place. have they done so to allow you to pass, or is there an oncling vehicle they are attempting to allow passage in the opposite direction, one that you are unable to see becasue you're sat behind? rather obviously, if this is the case, you'd risk an accident if you pulled in to overtake. in practice, based on personal observation and a brief survey of local driving habits, any driver wishing to allow a speedier vehicle to pass on a singletrack road is far more likely to pull into the passing place themselves, no matter on which side it is situated, and allow a following vehicle to continue on the road.

granted, the foregoing is one of the advisory parts of the highway code. there is no legal requirement whatsoever to pull over and allow a tractor hauling silage reach the farm gate in timeous fashion. i have collated many individual reports over the years of locals having been stuck behind dawdling visitors for the full ten-mile length of the high road. and i am also the very repository for stories from moaning motorists who sat fuming for many a long, slow mile behind cyclists who paid scant attention to their existence.

ultimately, there's no real point to my diatribe, other than to prove that the highway code frequently cited in court during cases concerning an untoward motor car/bicycle interface should not necessarily be thought of as the final word. yet despite the advisory note about wearing of a cycle helmet, it often amazes how frequently the non-wearing of one is cited as dereliction on the part of the cyclist. heaven forbid the price to be paid for having no reflective clothing when using a passing place.

wednesday 11 january 2017

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slow cycling

base building for cyclists

prior to gaining the opportunity to review all manner of bicycle-related items, i cut my teeth (metaphorically speaking) on books. on several occasions i had the great good fortune to receive pristine hardback copies of recently released publications and all i had to do was read them while making mental or scribbling notes on whatever came to hand. believe it or not, i still class book reviews as the hardest part of writing the post, but despite that, i still rather enjoy the whole process.

as you would perhaps expect, a substantial quantity of hardback books takes up a not inconsiderable space on the croft, even after passing some of them on to cyclists of my acquaint. the majority occupy a specific area set aside for the purpose, but i recently discovered several of my early subjects sat neatly in the bookcase on the landing at the top of the stairs. one of these is the velopress publication, a paperback as it happens, entitled 'base building for cyclists', by thomas chapple. those of you intent on siting a new garden shed or garage on your property should be made aware that the base building refers to base fitness and not a shuttered area of flattened concrete in the driveway.

as i recall, this book made the biggest impression upon me of any of the training manuals that have appeared in these black and yellow pixels over the years. sad to say, this had nothing whatsoever to do with the rather bland cover, but pretty much all to do with a small, specific portion of the contents. all too many such 'training manuals' spend paragraph after paragraph describing threshold levels, periodisation, metabolism, hydration and many other concepts that are pretty much guaranteed to take all the fun out of cycling. from here it's pretty much all downhill to cadence monitors and power meters from which there is no apparent escape. ultimately, this book was no different.

however, if i may quote from my original review of 2006...

"...too many cyclists go out hard all the time and never give their aerobic system a fighting chance. apparently the australian national team had their finest (training) hours at heart rates below 120. there are even charts showing how cyclists who go out hard, gradually deteriorate in effort and finish considerably more slowly, whereas us snails tend to stay at the same level from a to b."

you will forgive me if i perhaps misinterpreted mr chapple's intent, particularly if i raise my hand to being guilty of ignoring pretty much all of the other chapters in the book. however, as the owner of a polar heart-rate monitor at the time, i opted to train for my first attempt on the hot chillee london - paris ride in 2007 by spending the kilometres between new year and easter riding abysmally slowly and attempting to keep those heart-rate digits lower than 130bpm (i cannot remember why i settled on that particular number, but there it is...)

depending on your level of fitness, it can often be a darned sight harder to ride so slowly than it is to complete sprint intervals. 100 kilometres at around 16-18kph makes for a very long day and many an irate following motorist along single-track roads. however, despite being convinced that so doing would be less than efficacious in the long-term, when easter rolled into view and i could legitimately ignore the preset on my polar, the improvement in performance was particularly noticeable. those three days leading from london to paris (actually, in 2007 the endpoint was versailles) while not all plain sailing, were far less onerous than i'd expected them to be.

eiffel_tower

thus, with a reprise of my attempt to ride from this nation's capital to that of france scheduled for july this year, i figured it could do no harm to implement a similar training regime, the opening salvo of which began this past weekend.

you will be satisfied to learn that my progress was every bit as tardy as that of ten years ago and once again, there was more than one slightly pissed-off driver on the singletrack road encircling loch gorm. i'm sure they were ultimately happy to have been a part of honing my new year physique.

as time goes by, i may regale you with my progress; or lack therof. always assuming anyone's interested.

hot chillee londres-paris 2017

tuesday 10 january 2017

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specialized bicycles ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

rapha core ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

rouleur issue 67 ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

showers pass ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

wabi woolens ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

powered by hippo technology

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tell them we sent you

quick mention for those intending to visit islay's shores on a bike during the summer. velo club d'ardbeg recommended coffee/tea stops - in no particular order.

club headquarters at the old kiln cafe, ardbeg distillery. excellent food as well as designer coffees with froth. the single malt is apparently just ginger peachy. open monday to saturday from easter to september, seven days from june to september.

debbie's cafe

bruichladdich mini market (debbie's cafe), a few hundred yards from the distillery. highly commended designer coffees with outside tables. we like. open all year round with a cycling wall in the coffee corner.

welcometogreatcoffee.co.uk

port mòr bistro. now that the original debbie's is run by her mum, aileen, debbie has taken over the catering franchise at port charlotte's port mòr centre, where you can have some of deb's famously wonderful coffee as well as a wide range of foodtsuffs. highly recommended.

braehouse gallery, portnahaven. sited at the entrance to portnahaven village, the gallery also offers takeway coffees and a range of cakes. there's also quite a wide range of photos, islay souvenirs and other desirable odds and bits. though you can't sit in for coffee and cake, there is a table and chairs outside along with an adjacent bicycle rack for parking.

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as always, if you have any comments, please feel free to e-mail and thanks for reading.

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.......................................................................................................................................................................................................... thewashingmachinepost

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book reviews

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