i'm not too sure just how many folks read this stuff over its usual two week cycle (pun intended) but i must yet again apologise for the paucity of new material over the last month or so. as is often the case, this has been due to far more work (which, after all, helps keep me in colnagos) than i had expected over the period. when time has appeared that would allow the typing of another post, i have revelled i the opportunity to fall asleep in front of the telly or read the comic, or watch the giro on eurosport during may.
as could probably be expected, the post was rooting for yaroslav popovych during the giro after his excellent form in 2003 and third overall. however, it seems that he may have fallen foul of the law of cause and effect this year - if you improve your time trialling, you lose the edge in the mountains, though sergei honchar may have disproved that theory by coming in second overall. however, highlight of the race, apart from the speed at which cunego could pedal uphill, was the speed at which popovych could pedal down. the penultimate stage involved quite a lengthy downhill section and yaroslav was chucking his specially lightened c-50 round every hairpin bend heading towards the finish. from the helicopter shots it was particularly hair-raising but wildly entertaining.
anyway, that sort of concludes the reason as to the lack of a post during the month of may, but this is mid june and further excuses are required.
well, starting end may and continuing into the first week of june, islay played host to the islay festival of malt and music, otherwise known as the islay whisky festival. this, of course, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with cycling, well not unless you are my two friends from colorado who have now managed to two successive festivals by bike. can't think of a better way to see the island. anyway, the connection between whisky and cycling doesn't quite end there, however tenuous.
while i shall refrain from mentioning names, because i have to protect my sources, but one of the marketing people behind black bottle and bunnahabhain whisky happens to be a very fine cyclist, as indeed, does her boyfriend. so on friday of the festival, said marketing person was over at bunnahabhain distillery (sounds similar to 'wanna have one') for the day and the subsequent two days and was astute enough to have her boyfriend arrive with the two bikes.
it has to be said that this was after persistent pestering from yours truly, so on the following sunday, my directeur sportif and i accompanied the two of them for an excellent cycle around the principality, when the black bottle woman showed that she closely resembles yaroslav in the downhill stakes. this was the nearest thing to a peloton that we have had on islay for many a long year, considering that the speeds were well over 30k for much of the ride. suitably converted, they are both to be expected back for more miles in the near future.
and the second connection with single malt lies at the other end of the island, or at least it does allegedly. at last year's islay half marathon, a contingent from glenmorangie (owners of ardbeg distillery) arrived to take part wearing rather spiffing ardbeg cycle jerseys made by endura sport. one of the participants and i then started a campaign aimed at glenmorangie's marketing department to make said jerseys generally available to the cycling public.
it's taken quite some time, mainly because winter was not seen as the best time of year to promote outdoor cycling apparel through the old kiln cafe at ardbeg. however, having spoken to the head of glenmorangie's marketing department at the recently mentioned islay festival of malt and music, i was assured that the jerseys are currently in production and should be available within a recognisable period of time. so be aware that when (or if) these jerseys arrive in the old kiln, the directeur sportif and i will be the first to pedal islay's roads dressed in ardbeg regalia and we will be promoting these items like crazy on these very pages because the jerseys are an absolute cycling necessity, whether you drink the stuff or not (and i don't, not any of it).
so, tenuous or not, on islay there's probably a connection between whisky and pretty much everything. heck, we even had beach rugby on saturday sponsored by bowmore distillery. men with strange shaped balls playing on sand.
this website got its name because scotland's graeme obree built his championship winning 'old faithful' using bits from a defunct washing machine.
on a slightly different note, my regular reader will have noted the addition of a 'colnago c40' rollover to the left. this contains a reprint of a recent article featured in cycle sport magazine, which they were very kind to let me present here (because i'm a colnago geek) there are also links to cycling weekly reviews of the colnago c50 and colnago dream b-stay. i have also found an excellent review of the colnago c40hp here
i have been asked to add the following link to the post by wheelygoodcause. they're a cycling club dedicated to arranging epic rides for charity and do not charge charities for the pleasure. They ride because they want to. here's the link.
Remember, you can still read the review of 'the dancing chain' the utterly excellent book on the history of the derailleur bicycle by clicking here
any of the books reviewed on the washing machine post can probably be purchased from amazon.co.uk or amazon.com
as always, if you have any comments on this nonsense, please feel free to e-mail and thanks for reading.
this column almost never appears in the dead tree version of the ileach but appears, regular as clockwork on this website every two weeks. (ok so i lied) sometimes there are bits added in between times, but it all adds to the excitement.
on a completely unrelated topic, ie nothing to do with bicycles, every aspect of the washing machine post was created on apple macintosh powerbook g4, and imac computers, using adobe golive cs and adobe photoshop cs. needless to say it is also best viewed on an apple macintosh computer.