science has been a handy tool to debunk one or two myths that may have entered common folklore across the centuries. the flat earth society was likely one of the first casualties, though it will likely come as no great surprise that there are still adherents of this postulation. in fact, while checking up on this, i managed to find more than one society, but the lack of a decent anorak in the hall cupboard prevented me from checking whether they both inhabit the same flat earth. having said that, if you happen to zoom out far enough in google maps, you may just start to quiz whether it may be lens or atmospheric distortion perceived from the international space station that gives us the impression that the earth is the oblate spheroid we have been reliably informed that it is. i'd be intrigued to know how the societies deal with the published fact from last week, that the earth has tilted minutely on its axis due to the ferocity of the recent chilean earthquake.
however, doubtless mark beaumont would be interested to know that he didn't cirumnavigate anything other than a large monopoly board in record time, bringing me neatly onto a scientifically debunked myth that could conceivably affect the sartorial powers of the average, and not so average cyclist. if your mother is/was anything like my mine, you will have had it enforced since your early days on the planet, that you should always wear a cap or hat in cold weather because the majority of our body heat is lost through our heads. in the winter that we've just experienced, and in some cases are still experiencing, this doesn't sound too contentious, and in the absence of an appropriately formed focus group, seems perfectly believable. except it is, apparently, completely untrue.
the misinformation arrived, if memory serves, via the american army who measured body temperature loss in soldiers inhabiting the cooler sections of our flat earth. what seems not to have been taken into account was that the unfortunate subjects balancing twixt earth and a ruddy great fall, were wearing cold weather apparel everywhere except on their heads. thus, the only part of their bodies from which unmitigated heat loss assumed large and measurable proportions, was the head. this is somewhat akin to switching the lights on really quickly to try and see what the dark looks like.
of course, this does not deny that heat loss can be experienced via the bonce, simply that it is not the principal source of evaporated heat. therefore, my wearing of wooly winter caps with ear warmers under my helmet is still a very good idea. but as the seasons roll merrily along, and we merge thankfully from the delineation of winter into spring, and surely we must be there now that kuurne-brussels-kuurne has taken place, it may well be time to wean oneself away from the wooly hat and onto, well surprisingly enough, another wool hat. i have a vast collection of cycling caps, to which i will continue to add because i am of the opinion that one can never have too many, and i was recently sent this ventoux tweed cap by richard from cycling art in canada, who has joined forces with carolle at galstudio in vancouver to hand produce these rather fine items for those of us who care enough to approach the bespoke things in life.
such is the comfort and style applied by those responsible, i had intended to send you en masse to the very website that would allow you to acquire one for yourselves, but i discover that this particular style is sold out. however, we're nothing if not individuals here, and a few clicks with the mouse or trackpad will bring you to even more headgear of a cycling nature from which to make your individual choice. cost, for a handmade item such as this, is a very reasonable $27 american dollars, with postage at a maximum $5. delivery from canada took around a week, so if you plan to participate in april's tweed run in london, now would be a very good time to flex that plastic. if you buy as a gift, perhaps one of richard's rather fine printed cards would be a nice way to accompany it.
i am reliably informed that even as you read, canadian minions are hard at work handbuilding more ventoux caps. just be patient.
posted sunday 7 march 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
we are, if nothing else, a contradictory bunch of folks; obsessed with bicycles and riding them too, softer on the planet than our motorised counterparts, yet without a scooby when it comes to understanding adjectives. there have been a number of television programmes broadcast in the uk with titles similar to the neighbours from hell and holidays from hell, both intent on describing either the folks next door who make life a misery, or those package holidays that didn't quite work out as expected. the general point of both those listed, and others of similar ilk, is one of despondency, irritation, financial dismay and a warning not to go there. since many box office movies with the word hell in the title are often adjoined by a censor's certificate restricting viewing to those who ought to know better, but are likely to get a scare anyway (i don't remember any disney movies with 'hell' in the title), along with fire and brimstone from the pulpit each sunday, hell does not sound like the sort of place that most of the sane population would be interested in visiting.
cyclists, ever the naive bunch of pedallists, would appear to look upon anything regarding hades as an entreaty to fill in an entry form or settle down in front of the telly with frites and mayo readily to hand. the hell of the north, a sunday in hell and numerous other descriptive euphemisms are directed at paris roubaix; those of us unable to travel or ride such an ungainly pile of bricks have thus built our own edifices. the hell of the ashdown has not long passed, rapha are intent on celebrating paris roubaix sunday on 11th april with their very own hell of the north ride through the wilds, lanes, bridleways and dirt roads of hertfordshire, and now the virus has spread across the atlantic. the latest to suffer from this hellish affliction is the hell of hunterdon (april 3rd), featuring a challenging course with 18 sections of pave (ok, so it's dirt and gravel, but who's quibbling?) through the nether regions of hunterdon county new jersey.
and as if the word 'hell' were not dissuasion enough, later that very same month (april 25th) comes bucks county, philadelphia's paeon to the ronde van vlaanderen, entitled the fools' classic. i can think of few other activities where participants would clamour to sign on for an event which, by definition, classifies them as lacking the very sense with which they were born. this too will eschew as much of the metalled highway as is seemly in civilised society, and is described as 'a 72 mile belgian themed ride over roads less traveled'; a beautiful way to describe purgatory, as indeed is the word 'hardscrabble'.
the hell of hunterdon entry closes on the 28th march, while all fools should have their registration in by april 18th. of course, i cannot exclude myself from such misanthropy, as i fully intend to partake in rapha's 'hell of the north ride' come april 11th. there are easily enough crap road surfaces around here to enable at least tentative exploration of hell, but any and all words of encouragement from other intending participants would be most welcome while riding through the devil's back garden.
the prudent man looketh well to his going; the fool believeth everything.
posted saturday 6 march 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
thewashingmachinepost bike shed is not the most comfortable of places to be, given that it is made of handcrafted wood (who am i kidding?), and has various bits either rotted away, or missing entirely. however, given the considerable amount of wind and precipitation that comes our way, often joined at the hip, and the fact that it is now twenty years old, discomfort is likely a rather minor complaint. the discomfort refers not necessarily to that which would be encountered if i had to spend a night out in the cold, but to the preponderance of oily, greasy and just plain old dirty bits of chain, brakes, tyres, tools, lubes, greases, sprays and other assortments which have accumulated over those twenty years. it is wise to survey the interior and hatch a plan of strategy if intending to enter and look for some doohicky that went out of compatibility some fifteen years ago, but which might just fit the hole left by a snapped alloy dooflab.
competent and confident bicycle mechanics would wear either a remarkably clean shop apron, or for the more wary, a pair of suitably emblazoned overalls. something with campagnolo or cinelli on the back would seem ideal. not wishing to answer to the competence description, i have made it my sole object in life to wear black if there is any chance that i might need to indulge in some bike fettling at any point. this has the desired practical effect of rendering chain oil all but invisible during that brush with a 53 ring, and in normal daily activity i can assume the role of designer chappie without so much as a raised eyebrow; they always wear black.
so it follows, even if by tortuous logic, that black is also a particularly apt colour for cycle wear, since entering and leaving the bike shed savours the same problems whether for mechanical reasons or getting out on the bike reasons, a colour solution that seems to invade a large proportion of the winter apparel on offer anyway. a fine coincidence, but one much open to malignment by commuting cyclists and drivers alike, and a complaint not entirely without merit. i'm not convinced by the cyclists' colour theory, because if carried to its logical conclusion, shouldn't the same criteria apply to motor vehicles too? london taxi cabs are black, and spend a good deal of time moving about after sunset, but i can't say i remember anyone suggesting they might like to adopt the more vibrant hue of their new york counterparts.
however, irrespective how you view the situation, it cannot be denied that as much illumination on a bicycle after dark as possible is a desirable situation. reflective strips in as many locations as you can think of, flashing rear lights, flashing front lights, and possibly even a bonfire on the rear rack. in this light (pun intended), claqs from two'n'fro are a welcome innovation. made from a highly reflective plastic material and shaped like (very big) chain links, each circle contains a closed magnet that, when folded in half either over the hem of a jacket, or better still over the top of a rear pocket will demonstrate to car headlights that something is directly in their path. in this case, that something is me. the magnets make it easy to place them wherever you want: one in front, one at the rear, both at the rear; whatever your reflective heart desires.
the argument over cyclists in black will continue for many a year yet; meantime here's the ideal way to enhance your current lighting provision and keep yourself safe.
two'n'fro claqs are available in pairs from always riding: £5.10 for yellow and white, but mysteriously £9.71 for pink or red. highly durable and highly visible.
posted friday 5 march 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
it's a bit of a cliche, oft times seen in films or humorous television programmes, that washing the car on a summer sunday afternoon is a truly middle class occupation, performed regularly out of a sense of duty rather than having anything to do with the car being dirty. should evidence be required to prove the veracity of my contention, how often do you see this being done during the winter months? with the amount of crud on the roads at present, certainly locally consisting not only of grit distributed on the road surface when entirely unnecessary, but also the more animalistic variety engendered by life in an agricultural community, every day would be a good time for the bucket of soapy water and a sponge. but no, this is not an activity that has advertised itself by regularity in recent months.
i take as my lead on the subject my next door neighbour, who i used to think of as rather obsessed in this way, with a hose and tap installed in the front garden almost exclusively for the purpose of keeping the car shiny. now don't get me wrong, i am entirely in favour of maximising one's investments by maintaining them as far as any maintenance skill exists; and if washing and polishing the car is as far as that extends, then so be it. and in any case, it would be exceedingly hypocritical of me to point the finger, given that these past few months have seen the cielo receive more degreaser, bike spray and soap and water, than my neighbour's car has received in the past year. it may be that my weekend travels take me to places that hoard muck and grit with the sole intention of coating passing cyclists, or that, proportionally more crud is acquired by bicycle frames than auto body panels. if someone cares to do the research...
the advantage that car drivers have over us superior beings, is that when encountering the aforesaid muck and awe, their clothing is likely to remain as immaculate as it was upon leaving home; not so the hapless cyclist. which rather brings us neatly round to the question that has almost as much importance as the perennial campag or shimano debate (why is it that so few drag sram into this question?): mudguards or no mudguards? after watching kuurne-brussels-kuurne last weekend, run off in apalling weather conditions, those with sporting aspirations would be correct to point out that our heroes and sufferers had not one mudguard between them. not even a crud roadracer. granted, in the prevailing cold, wet and wind, mudguards would have achieved about as much as a chocolate fireguard, but it is also worth noting that there are people paid to deal with hypothermic cyclists during and at the end of such events. so unless you have a mavic car in close attendance during winter ventures, the comparison is hardly valid.
of course, many a formula one race bike has clearances that would hamper a sheet of toilet roll, let alone something resembling a mudguard, and i don't doubt that a mid-race wheel change would be less than snappy, all for the sake of a smidgeon more rain cover. so no, the pros do not, nor are likely to, opt for a pair of mudguards. we, however, would be lucky to receive a smile from dave brailsford, let a lone a pro contract. the most we'll ever get from sky is the offer of a free hd box (with £60 installation fee), so the defence is rather weak, if arguing against is in your manifesto. i am a great believer in a clean and shiny bicycle; strangely, because i am overweeningly untidy in almost every other aspect of my life, and i also prefer to keep my stylish cycling apparel in the same condition as the shiny bike. the only solution i can come up with that will help me maintain both in the face of adversity is a pair of mudguards.
now i know we have trodden this path before, and even had a competition to give away a pair of pete tompkins' stealth guards for true race bikes. but where the steed du jour has adequate clearance, along with the necessary threaded bits with which to affix proper guards, then the choice is opened up. and despite a hard-won reputation for designer scruff, it is important to some of us (me) to have the same degree of style apertaining to the bicycle as that paid to on-the-bike dress sense. thus i opted to fit something just a little more smooth and decorous to the shiny black cielo.
full wood fenders
i know that those of us in britainshire refer to them as mudguards, but fenders seems to fit the context far better than the anglicised connotation, so i will stick with the proper name and give the impression that i am a man of the world. these magnificent items are retailed by river city bicycles in portland, oregon, beautifully made from quaity wood with stainless steel fittings. there are even bridge components available should your bicycle have limited clearance under the forks or calipers. in the case of the cielo, the shimano calipers are 57mm drop, and the inclusion of mudguard/fender threaded eyes on the forks and rear dropouts rather hints that fitting of such might not be too much trouble.
the chainstay bridge on the cielo contained an allen bolt for the very purpose of fixing the forward leaf of the rear fender, though the thickness of the wood prevented use of that particular item, so i used the washer and bolt that arrived with the fenders. a plastic coated clip was also provided to affix to any non-drilled chainstay bridges. in terms of those carbon formula one bikes, you might need some degree of ingenuity that i'm glad i didn't have to come up with, since few of the models i've seen know what a chainstay bridge is, let alone have a bolt drilling. what i had thought might prove a bit of a challenge failed to worry the fit at all; the sram front gear mech clamp is offset to the rear of the seat-tube, and i was ready with hacksaw to remove a small sliver of wood to enable the curve to retain its trajectory towards the bolt. in practice, this turned out to be a groundless fear.
however, the clamp did restrict some adjustment when it came to tyre clearance, and this is where you would be so glad of a pair of standard, old skool, road dropouts, meaning the wheel can be pulled all the way back to clear the underside of the fender. if you're on the more common vertical dropouts, a course in woodcraft might come in handy. contoured washers at the wooden end of the stays pinch the latter towards the bracket fitted to the fender; loosening the bolt a few turns allows for height adjustment above the tyre.
while my fears regarding rear fender fitment had not been fully realised, fitting the front proved more problematical than i had anticipated. you'd think that this would be the easier of the two. both problems referred to the brakes but in slightly different ways. firstly, there is a washer between the fork crown and the serated nut that holds the calipers together. leaving this in place meant that the caliper bolt that fits through the rear of the fork, didn't reach the threads, and the alternative titanium bolt i had to hand, was too long to tighten all the way. therefore this washer had to be removed in favour of the top mounting bracket of the front fender. of course, nothing could be that simple, because without the washer, the bracket which is slotted to allow height adjustment was now pinned against the lower part of the headset crown race, preventing the caliper from being slotted back into its rightful position. the only option here was to file down the top of the bracket until it would allow correct assembly.
some bicycles look fine without mudguards/fenders, and i would place the cielo in this category; but some bikes look ruddy amazing when such have been fitted, and the cielo is now a signed up member of this category too. i had asked mark ontiveros of river city bicycles, to send whichever full wood fenders he thought i might appreciate, so the ones you can see in the photographs are in zebra wood. and while i would previously have thought that improvement to such a fine bicycle would have been a hard sell, it now looks quite magnificent. it didn't rain today, so their effectiveness in precipitation has yet to be discovered, but knowing portland's propensity for rain to be akin to our own, i forever look forward to wet, but clean rainjackets and softshells.
and just so's you'll know, i'll be smug with it.
full wood fenders are available in surfer (two tone) at $200 (£133) per set, and wenge, zebrawood, cherry, walnut, purple heart and mahogany for $150 (£100) per set. the price does not include postage, and if you're on this side of the atlantic, you will likely have to pay a modest amount of vat, courtesy customs and excise. for those without adequate frame clearance, you can purchase reacharound brackets.
posted thursday 4 march 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
it surely must happen to someone else, because it can't be just me that is this unlucky. if i have a gig on a saturday evening, after helping mrs washingmachinepost carry mountains of shopping from the co-op back to washingmachinepost cottage, where it is re-arranged in various cupboards, freezers and fridges, it's time to think about ransacking the cycle wardrobe for the most stylish apparel i have. by the time all this is found (should i wear those bib tights with that jersey, and if so, will that jacket look ok? you can laugh; welcome to my world of dithering) and put on, the cielo released from the bikeshed, tyres pumped, water bottle filled and the toy cupboard half-wrecked in the pursuit of a carbo munchy bar, more time has passed than is justifiable. still, now i'm ready for a bike ride.
if you wonder what this has to do with having a gig of a saturday eve, there is an unfortunate necessity to setup my minimal drum kit at around 15:30, which doesn't leave quite as much time for the ritual pain and suffering as would be normally pertinent. but this, to place all in context, is islay, and while you will be so tired of hearing me say so, it gets windy over here; i'm not wearing this as a badge of honour, simply stating a fact of cycling life. it will surprise you not at all that the open road that leads between home and debbie's (don't tell me you wouldn't do the same) leaves one rather exposed to the elements, in this case, a headwind. character building before cappuccino and chocolate cake.
one doesn't like to be anti-social, so it ill behoves me to slurp and munch in olympic fashion without conversing cordially to others partaking of similar repast. having previously mentioned the need to return for a snare drum, the trade-off between a cake stop, drumming and at least a modicum of a workout, means that returning directly would be a humiliating affair. more kilometres are required. but it's still islay, and in the brief hour or so i have spent in idle gossip with froth above my top lip, the wind has decided that a change of vector is required. thus, overflowing with character from the outward cycle, even more is forced upon me by this change in wind direction. i have a headwind home. the follow on, of course, is that i will appear behind cymbals and drum appearing windswept and interesting.
however, a changing wind is part and parcel of cycling life, as is the slight alteration of direction from perren street. the clothing from old kentish town has been pervading our psyche and wardrobe since july 1994, or at least if you were a hard as nails bloke with an elevated sense of style. if you were of the female persuasion, you could sing for your supper; if the blokes' stuff fitted, that was your only option. come the recent release of rapha's spring/summer range, for the coming days of sharply ending tans, arrived the long overdue announcement that the female form would be at least partially catered for by way of jerseys, shorts and stowaways (a multi-national has to start somewhere).
and the winds of change continue towards the end of this month of spring classics when, at 5pm on thursday 25th march, rapha will hold its very first women's ride. meeting at regent's park's garden cafe on the inner circle, you can not only take part in a spin round the park, but have the option to try out some of the clothing during and after the ride. nowhere does my information tell me that blokes can't join in too, but i'd be careful which jersey you ask for. if you'd like to try out some clothing, please e-mail laura in advance with your uk dress size to make sure they have enough of the appropriate clothing to hand.
in true cycling style, and obviously eager to duplicate my saturday pastime, at 5:30pm after the ride, there will be an opportunity to indulge in coffee, wine and cakes. this won't be a calorie problem if you've just taken part in the pedalling. i have no idea how many female ladies of the opposite sex read the post, but assuming at least one or two of you do, please pass the word along.
the wind is changing again
posted wednesday 3 march 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
comfort and joy cannot be overstated. no matter what level your abilities on the bicycle, how fast you can climb a hill, or how excellent your handling skills on the abattoirenberg pave, doing so in comfort can but underline the joy. comfort as a concept is, understandably, a subjective notion; my level of comfort or joy could well be another's purgatory. in fact that is a more than likely scenario. the joy, at least part of it, comes mid ride by stopping at deb's for a soya cappuccino and a piece of gratuitous chocolate cake (it constitutes one of my 'five a day'. doesn't it?), and because the weather is cold and clear, there's no real need to take the straight line home (it's not really a straight line home, but a bit of artistic licence never hurt anyone). the comfort part comes from how well dressed i am.
this has nothing to do with sartorial elegance, for the items of apparel to which i refer cannot be seen by the naked eye. if i'm brutally honest, they can't be seen by folks with spectacles or radio telescopes either, but that's probably too much information.
the merino baselayer.
in my days of naivety and belief that getting what you paid for had never been a valid epithet in the world of cycle clothing, i had at least the savvy not to wear a cotton t-shirt under the jersey. this had been the advice of a cycling colleague who really should have known better, but breathable hydrostatic polymer undershirts were the modern day technology. you won't need me to tell you that neither comfort and joy were present apres ride. merino, however, is a whole different ball of wool.
jeremy moon founded icebreaker in 1994, a company devoted to merino wool products, mostly destined for the active outdoor market such as climbing up and down bits of rock, kayaking across unwarranted stretches of open water. while bog standard merino has benefited from a bit of technological assistance since 1994, the song remains the same: it cools in the heat, and warms in the cool. and unlike an htc or radioshack team jersey, icebreaker baselayers can be happily and comfortably worn in a place of work without attracting untoward attention in both the visual or olfactory sense. i know, because i have done so pretty much everyday throughout this coldest winter we've had for thirty years. in fact i believe the record for wearing an icebreaker top in active use, without it ever seeing soap powder or clearing a busy room, is around thirty days.
so wearing an icebreaker gt200 merino baselayer under a merino cycle jersey seems as automatic as changing down before the road goes upwards. yes it gets wet when you sweat; it's only on star trek that that doesn't happen, but because of the wool's properties this is all but unnoticeable to the wearer.
charles 'chuck' yeager is widely considered to be the first pilot to travel faster than the speed of sound in 1947, having become a post war test pilot. while i have no wish to engender any disrespect for those who pilot 747s or even the saabs that take us from islay to glasgow, the notion of a being a test pilot has a frisson of excitement that the virgin atlantic scheduled flight to new york simply doesn't. many of us would be happy to bear the burden of being a test anything, if only for the degree of adventure and one upmanship it confers when it comes to bragging rights. heck, even beta testing software would accord certain accolades if the non-disclosure agreement didn't prevent telling all and sundry. and despite my many years of having the privilege of testing stuff before it's on sale, and reviewing books before they've been published, nobody has ever pointed in awe in bowmore main street and whispered in hushed tones 'test pilot'.that has now all changed (apart from the pointing in awe bit) because the gt200 baselayer that icebreaker sent me has the words test team printed on the left arm. such a crying shame that it's hidden under a jersey. now i've no idea whether these baselayers can be purchased like this, or whether they are reserved for those of us selflessly cycling at close to the speed of sound without a safety net. either way, aside from the coolness factor (the other cool, not the temperature one) a 200 weight is ideal for a scottish winter when worn under things (the number refers to the weight of a square metre of the merino mix in question). the icebreaker is a very close fit; if you have bumpy bits where bumpy bits should not be, then wear something over the top. but this close fit has its advantages when it comes to letting the merino do what it's best at, and this applies to wearing on or off the bike.
comfort and joy. i would know because it says test team on my sleeve.
i confess to being somewhat uninformed as to the retail price of the long-sleeve sprint baselayer, but i'm making an educated guess that it might be around £50, which is a more than fair price for the quality and benefits of bodyfit merino wool.
posted monday 1 march 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
malt whisky distilleries have an uncanny attraction all of their own. it need not even be the thought of the amber nectar itself; i have met many a person at the islands' distilleries who shares the same hydration habits as myself, a habit that has no place for malt whisky. but mostly they're fascinating places, with some incredible views out to sea (it's an historical thing), and a standardised process for mixing water and barley, that still has oodles of mystique even for those that have seen through the head office marketing spiel. and as i was wont to point out in a recent posting on the rapha blog, there's an inexplicable link between two wheels and a set of pedals and bottles of ten year old.
living on an island that has eight of the blighters, one of which is only a few footsteps from washingmachinepost cottage, while the same distillery's bonded warehouses are on view from my kitchen window every morning, i feel honour bound to assist those with an affinity for the dram. and, of course, a decent dram apparently goes well with fine food, and a decent bike ride. some of this, as a number of you will know, forms a part of the ride of the falling rain, but there's always room for more, and less at the same time. and a reason to celebrate doesn't exactly give cause for concern.
this year is the 10th anniversary of the ardbeg committee, a collection of ardbeg aficionados all around the world, that numbers in the upper tens of thousands (around 80,000 i believe). it is free to join, and one of the many benefits is the opportunity to acquire committee bottlings not available to anyone else, or simply on offer prior to the great unwashed getting their chance to buy. earlier this month, ardbeg rollercoaster went on sale; 25,000 committee members hit the website at exactly 9am and crashed the server for the day. i know, because i was having a cup of coffee with il presidenti, distillery manager mickey heads at that very time. endless boxes of whisky bottles were being carried down the stairs awaiting delivery to port ellen post office.
my cup of coffee was not simply morning refreshment; mr heads and i were discussing the finer details of a bike ride to celebrate the ten years of committee-ness, to take place on saturday june 19th. and becasue we think you would like to enjoy not only the cycling, but the ambience of ardbeg distillery both pre and apres. current plans are to start the day with breakfast at the old kiln cafe, enjoy a few ardbeg flavoured feedstops through the day, including a light lunch and coffee at debbie's in bruichladdich, before heading on back to the aroma of ardbeg. probably a shade under 100km (60 miles) at anything down to a leisurely pace.
when everyone is rested, cleaned up, and no longer walking about in jerseys with pockets at the back, we will yet again experience the hospitality of ardbeg's old kiln cafe for a three-course dinner in the evening. but, in the great tradition of steve jobs' keynote speeches, there's more.
after we have dined on a fine repast, and are reflecting on a happy day's bike riding, it's time for the after dinner speeches, none of which, you will be happy to hear, will be delivered by members of the velo club d'ardbeg peloton. instead, the words will be presented by someone who has an inherent connection with thewashingmachinepost, whether he likes it or not. our after dinner speaker will be none other than graeme obree, who is also likely to join us for the bike ride.
cost of entry has yet to be finalised, but it's likely to be between £30 - £40 per rider, including the food, and the peloton for the day will probably be restricted to a maximum of 50. if this sounds like the very mid-june gourmet ride that will presage a fine summer of cycling, e-mail me very soon, because i'd hate you to miss out. for travel and accommodation details, check calmac and islayinfo
e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
posted monday 1 march 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................