as billy connolly was fond of rhetorically querying, "the nights are fair drawin' in, are they no'?" which, for the benefit of those south of the border and across the pond, is generally taken to mean that winter is approaching. not everyone reacts to this salient fact in a similar manner. due to a less than impressive scottish summer, it has been humorous to watch visitors to the hebrides swanning about on bowmore main street in shorts and t-shirts when the ambient temperature quite plainly mitigates against such a relaxed mode of dress. but they're on holiday and one has to admire their stoicism.
though hardly a subtle ploy, it has been hard not to notice that the storage heater that sits precariously close to my computer workstation (that makes me sound so much more professional, don't you think?) has been once again pressed into operation. several of my female work colleagues seem far more affected by the office temperature than is yours truly or indeed, the editor. however, it should be pointed out that the latter gentleman is often predisposed to frequently wear his outdoor jacket indoors.
as cyclists, we tread a very narrow line of acceptability. i can't be the only one who inwardly sniggers at the tough guys who stand around in bus stops dressed in jeans and a t-shirt despite the weather edging nearer to gale-force and only marginally above freezing wind chill. i'm sure this is some form of misguided bravado and demonstration of machismo, but to me it just looks silly. those of us who continue, in the face of far better sense, to wear bibshorts in similar climatic circumstances as delineated above, might reasonably be expecetd to raise similar concealed mirth, but unlike the humble cotton t-shirt, we are blessed with garment technology that laughs in the face of adversity.
such as rapha's thermal bibshorts.
i was, it is only fair to say, of a similar mind to the rest of you. from just above the knee all the way to the top of my rapha long-socks, there is naked flesh scarily exposed to the cruel elements. what possible difference could some thermally backed lycra, in the shape of regular bibshorts possibly bring to the party?
quite a lot, as it turns out. it seems a tad redundant to spend too many text lines discussing the impeccable fit of these shorts, for unless i'm sadly mistaken, exacting fit is something that imperial works is renowned for. in my experience that is a given, while the pad is precisely the same as that featured in rapha's regular classic bibs. the thermal super-roubaix inner fabric that fits between you and the elements offers not only a soft, fleecy comfort that's hard to resist, it maintains an amenable temperature in which those sculpted thigh muscles might climb and sprint through much of what winter has in store.
with a slight nod to my recent review of the long-sleeve club jersey, i can't help noticing that rapha appear to have upped the ante just a smidgeon of late. excluding the impressive softness that is inherent in fleece-backed lycra, the fit and comfort of these bibs is impressive to the point of remarkability.
i cannot deny that even a hebridean autumn chill has not yet reached sub-zero proportions, but it would be naive to think that tenerife's tourist agency need be concerned over a threat to their package holiday business. couple this with the knowledge that several members of the velo club have been wearing not only full-length bibtights but winter ear-warmers over the past few weekends, and it's easy to see why the word 'heat' is currently only being used to describe the coffee at debbie's.
as the temperature continues to drop, i may consider accessorising with knee warmers, but that option is at least a month or so away.
rapha continue to offer a 30 day trial period for any of the garments that constitute their classic range; if at the end of that month you're really not satisfied, they can be sent back for a full refund. which rather beggars the question that queries not why you should order a pair of these, but more why you haven't done so already?
i know it makes sense.
rapha's thermal classic bibshorts retail at a cost of £170, are available in black only and in sizes ranging from xs to xxl.
monday 21 september 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................