i cannot deny that advertisements for dslr cameras proffer a certain je ne sais quoi. the chunky, masculine look the current crop have about them tends to suggest a secondary career as a photographer. after all, how hard can it be? with auto focus, a wide option of shutter speeds and almost as many numbers on the top display as a garmin gps, there's a macho-ness that suggests instant efficacy. surely something so smoothly industrial would be smart enough not to leave me with a batch of questionable imagery?
and even if my complete lack of pristine photographic knowledge could be said to be totally lacking, alone amongst my immediate peers, i have a facility with photoshop that allows me the luxury of always thinking "i'll sort it in post production." for the rest of you, there's always lightroom. however, while repeating that mantra, i perennially recall the advice by more than one professional in the art to "get it right in the camera first". not everyone's happy to spend a couple of hours in front of a computer screen wrangling pixels.
and there's another thing; pixels. calculated in megas apparently, it was brought to my attention only recently that a fellow of my acquaint, who fields the luxury of being a canon ambassador had embarked upon a project to periodically photograph islay life. the ambassadorial part of this undertaking is apparently acquitted in the shape of canon's latest dslr, the 5ds which sports over 50 megapixels. this places my own eight year-old lumix compact camera at something of a disadvantage, possessing as it does, a mere six megapixels.
however, in common with the former means of marketing computers by means of their processor speed, the number of pixels, as far as i'm concerned, simply results in rather large file sizes, but no real guarantee that those enormous images will receive public approbation. in short, owning a £3,000 camera body does not mean that the resultant images will be even half-decent. when you consider the majority of images augmenting the words on the post are taken on the ten-second timer, all i have to do is make sure i'm standing where i figure i ought to be standing.
and then there's photoshop.
but there is little doubt that there are those in possession of an artistic eye that can react to the scenes in front of them with pin-point acuity. capturing an image that expertly and artistically takes advantage of colour, light and movement before it disappears from view is, i'd imagine, something of an innate skill. i still have doubts as to whether it's possible to teach photographic or artistic composition; you've either got it or you ain't.
i'm also more than painfully aware that i do not have the disposition to become even an amateur photographer. for instance, even if i think the scene in front of me might be worthy of clicking a shutter, i mostly can't be bothered to get the camera from its pocket. not so the rather excellent camille mcmillan.
i recall once seeing a movie that documented camille's modus operandi during which he walked steadily along the roadside with camera at hip level, casually firing the shutter. i guess there are more than just a few of us who would dearly love to have that confidence allied to an obvious photographic ability. since he moved from rouleur and subsequently across the channel, sadly his output tends not to feature large in british cycling publications, but there now might just be a way of remedying that situation.
camille has only within the last day or so, instigated a kickstarter campaign to achieve publication of the circus, a book of his cycling reportage photography. though the monthlies arrive replete with pages and pages of imagery, there's really nothing like holding a 240 page physical book featuring some of the finest and often eccentric cycling imagery this side of belgium's cobbles; this is an ideal opportunity to not only own a copy, but to help the man realise our dream.
in the words of jlt condor team manager, john herety "Camille has always pushed the boundaries with his photography. I've always thought him highly respectful of the traditions of the sport in his work: you don't take pictures of toe-clips and straps unless you really love cycling."
the circus is destined to feature shoots ranging from the slopes of alpe d'huez to the ghent velodrome; from inside team cars to the roubaix cobbles, shot from the road and gutter in colour and black and white. it would be something of a travesty if this opportunity slid by unfunded.
monday 13 april 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
a wednesday morning in portland, oregon, may 2009. i have spent the forenoon at the workshop of tony pereira (his original location in east portland), admiring not only the immaculate metalwork, but the threading of a front light cable through the inside of a tubular steel rack. we also spent some time discussing the merits and demerits of the mixte frame, handbuilt for the fairer sex. also in the workshop is my self-appointed host for the second part of my week in portland's fair town, chris distefano. cd is currently rapha's north america media chap, but in 2009 he fulfilled a similar function with chris king components.
after the hard work of looking at bicycle tubing all morning, we repair to the thai restaurant across the street. apparently my two colleagues enjoy such oriental fare, but its international flavours i've never tried before. since the menu is barely in english, i have to defer to the recommendations of my hosts, though i truly have no idea what i'm ordering. i discover that i don't particularly care for thai food.
after lunch, as tony returns to his frame-building, chris and i head off on our bicycles, he aboard a kona and me on the prototype chris king cielo that i've been loaned for my week in oregon. for the first time since i arrived, it's raining, beginning as fine drizzle, but before i reach the red lion hotel on martin luther king boulevard, it has turned to real rain. as we had crossed from the workshop to the restaurant, the increasing cloud cover had threatened as much, and i remember cd saying that at least he didn't feel the need to apologise for the weather: i was from scotland.
that, as it turns out is a relevant truism. islay achieves a greater annual rainfall than does portland, and roughly on a par with seattle in the neighbouring northerly state of washington, a city renowned for its precipitative climate. however, on the experience of two separate visits to portland, they seem serenely free of the winds that batter the west coast of scotland.
though islay plays host to many a birdwatcher (twitcher) over the winter months, the first part of the year when there is a serious influx of visitors is over easter weekend, and principally at the behest of the school holidays. the past week has been bright and sunny, even if the temperatures actively discouraged sitting on the beach for any length of time. by the weekend, we were once again in the throes of galeforce winds and there was snow on the top of the paps on jura. but nobody in their right mind comes to scotland for the weather.
every cloud has, i'm pleased to say, a silver lining. with a waterproof jacket to review, i spent most of saturday morning chasing after rainclouds, eventually succeeding only a matter of minutes after arriving home. this is the west coast of scotland; rain is never too far distant, though i did raise a few eyebrows when seen ploughing through torrential sleet in the opposite direction from my abode.
april is the month when those of us besotted with the spring classics pray for rain and foul weather to add large dollops of character to the racing. that the riders themselves are probably wishing for the exact opposite is an iniquity that rarely seems to impinge upon our own demands. this is the portion of the professional racing calendar that many riders have been eagerly waiting for all winter, when those hours and miles of training can finally be put into competitive practice. i confess that i often seriously wonder why so many of those hours and miles are spent in the warmer climes of the mediterranean when there's every likelihood that the racing will rarely resemble the sun, sea and sand for which that particular ocean is famous.
would not it make far more sense to train in the conditions likely to impinge upon the racing itself? should not the likes of stannard, thomas and wiggins have booked themselves into port charlotte hotel and plied islay's decrepit roads in the search for future classics success? you would think so. but that seems not to be the way that the system works. nary a sign of marginal rains.
which is precisely why the following remark at the foot of an endura clothing swing tag made me smile out loud. 'If you think the Spring Classics are bad, try Scotland.'
sunday 12 april 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
on monday of this week, caledonian macbrayne placed notice of possible disruption to the islay ferry service due to fog. i have lived here for over 27 years and never once in that time can i ever recall a ferry being delayed or cancelled due to fog. modern technology and navigational aids, equip even the thirty-one year old mv isle of arran with sonar, radar, gps and a foghorn. add to that the fact that the two sea routes to and from islay do not cross any major shipping lanes and all local boats are well aware of where the ferries will be at what time, to say that there was considerable surprise expressed locally would be something of an understatement.
the islay ferries ply the same routes day in-day out around 363 days per year, something they've done for more years than their captains and crew would probably care to be reminded of. there's a sneaking suspicion that the boats could probably get here and back on their own. it's not a disruption confined solely to islay, however; on wednesday the oban/tiree ferry was disrupted for the very same reason.
barring unforeseen eventualities (and fog does not necessarily come into that category), it is surely very hard to get lost anywhere these days given the ascendancy of the global positioning satellite network, or gps to which it is more commonly referred. originally developed by and for the military it seems pretty much freely available to anyone with the necessary technology to take advantage of its possibilities. it's not so very long ago that even these black and yellow pixels played home to a review of a garmin device that not only offered locational facilities, but connected via a mobile phone to allow broadcasting of its location to anyone with which the owner had allowed into their inner-circle.
so theoretically, it's possible to traverse both the sahara and gobi deserts without ever taking a wrong turning (don't try this at home). excluding the humorous satnav misdirections, it ought not to be possible to get lost anymore. however, rather obviously, this was not always the case.
east of fraserburgh, on the northeast coast of scotland are the two adjoining villages of inverallochy and cairnbuig. owing to the proximity one to the other, they are often referred to collectively as invercairn. in 1951, a profoundly deaf resident of cairnbuig by the name of james duthie set off to ride his bicycle to the north african country of morocco. while the route may even be an adventure in itself nowadays, modern bicycles, such as one of steven shand's stoaters, would undoubtedly make such an undertaking a tad less onerous than was the case for dummy jim, as duthie was more commonly known.
the knowledge that he never actually made it that far, can be easily gleaned from the title of his journal, i cycled into the arctic circle, published in 1955. this 3,000 mile solo trip from cairnbuig to the north of norway, cost him a mere £12. if, like me, you're wondering just how it's possible to head off to north africa yet arrive in norway, you may have to be deep of pocket. though the book was published in 1955, it seems it may not have remained in print for too long; amazon currently offers a used copy for £80.
dummy jim sadly died in a road accident in 1965, apparently having disappeared into obscurity. and there he might well have remained, had film director matt hulse not found reason to document his story by way of a feature length film, released in 2011. copies of this award wining movie can be purchased on dvd from the dummy jim website, satisfying our curiosity via a weave of fiction, documentary, animation and archive. but in order to whet your appetite for a further slice of scottish eccentricity, follow the link below to watch a short trailer.
as the list magazine said of the movie on its release "Very beautiful and utterly bonkers."
saturday 11 april 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
one of the most common remarks to be garnered from the comments of visitors to this hallowed isle is the friendliness of the locals. however, some of these comments seem misdirected as a result of a fundamental misunderstanding. this can best be explained by the query made of one of the post bus drivers a couple of years ago by one member of a party of german whisky aficionados. on being dropped off at his destination, he asked where the locals went in the winter. the postie's total lack of comprehension led to the unravelling of the notion that he though we were only on the island during the summer months in order to cater for visitors such as himself.
he figured we all had alternative employment on the mainland when the season was over.
however, even in the face of what seemed a largely uncomplimentary situation, smiles and a cheery hello are more likely to be directed towards visitors than that of being completely ignored in cities such as glasgow or london. and it takes only a matter of days before visiting motorists have adopted the islay wave commonly exchanged between island drivers (and cyclists).
but lest you think we're a bunch of total softies, happy to step back in the average market queue to let a holidaymaker precede us, be assured that behind closed doors, we're cursing your every incompetence and imposition in the search for provisions.
however, i doubt this is a situation pertinent only to that of islay. a large influx of bmw, audi and range rover drivers at any point on scotland's west coast no doubt gives rise to local consternation, particularly when the concept of a passing place seems totally alien. and being treated as peasants solely here for their entertainment doesn't always go down so well.
nonetheless, our velocipedinal perambulations are carried out in a constant state of joy, something that we often hope to spread towards those riding our very own crumbling and wind infested roads. as a peloton of any size (down as far as one) passes on the opposite side of the road, we generally offer a 'hail fellow, well met' accompanied by a friendly wave. in early season, such as now, visiting cyclists tend to be somewhat thinner on the ground, meaning less onus on the velo club to keep our right hands in the air for too long. and in previous years, these felicitations have mostly been returned.
this year, however, those we have met on the highways and by-ways seem particularly dour, a good scottish word meaning 'of unpleasant demeanour'. why this should be the case, i really have no idea; if they'd been riding over here during the first three months of this year, i could have understood their feelings of disenfranchisement. but easter was quite pleasant.
so, a whole lot earlier than has become customary, might i offer a few words of wisdom pertaining to any cycling you may intend to do on islay? if a fellow cyclist waves to you, no matter whether they're on road bikes, mountain bikes, folding bikes or hire bikes, and despite any velocipedinal misgivings you may bear at the time, please spare the effort to return the greeting with a hearty wave.
otherwise we'll talk about you when you've gone.
friday 10 april 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
as i may have mentioned on more than one occasion, my other secret identity is occasionally involved with sitting comfortably behind a rather fetching drumset. over the years, that drumset has changed every so often, mostly in keeping with the genre of music that was the order of the day. perhaps rather obviously, playing music of whatever style involves learning so to do in the first place. it's a process that can be deceptively simple for a drummer, but not entirely unusually, sometimes every bit as hard as for the rest of the band.
band practice or (more professionally) band rehearsals often occupied several hours over the course of an evening or more than a week or two, repeating the song or tune until everyone has pretty much got the hang of it. however, being offered as little as two hours prior to a jazz festival gig to learn two forty minute sets came as something of a shock. this resulted in hastily scrawled sheets of music paper which subsequently meant nothing whatsoever on the gig itself. but, in my defence, there is a good reason for this.
i used to sight read drum parts as a matter of course, but only as a result of one evening's shock treatment. there was, at one time, a night club in ayrshire known as 'wales' place', where i was once engaged to play along with a father and son keyboard and bass duo. nobody alerted me to the fact that the evening's principal entertainment was a cabaret singer for which i was to join forces with her musical director. i found this out during our aprés gig break, when the aforesaid gent stuck his head round the door and handed me my sheet music. as a timid twenty-something, i was too scared to admit i couldn't read drum music; i simply stuck the music on a stand, then played what i thought i ought to, glancing periodically at the sheets to appear convincing.
i learned two things that evening: firstly, so-called musical directors more often than not, are rarely able to read drum music themselves. and secondly, i seem to learn music by way of shapes.
this latter apparently idiosyncratic means of learning songs seemed so at odds with the mainstream as it is presented, that i hesitated ever to make this known to any of the bandmates with whiich i have played over a lengthy and infrequent career. that is, until the guitarist in the blues band in which i played, made mention that he learned his guitar parts in similar fashion. neither of us could actually describe those shapes, nor set them down on paper, and it seems unlikely that we both visualised the same shapes for the same song. but it turns out that more musicians than you'd think find this an effective way of storing the information needed to play.
i have since discovered that these ethereal and less than definable shapes infect more than just music. they're also front and foremost when mentally describing regular bike rides and many an international bike race. it would be foolish of me to expound further on such matters as they relate to bicycle racing, for as i have mentioned above, these do not assume the mantle of anything that might be described by use of geometry. however, the chaps at massif central seem to have something of a grasp on this shape factor, even if theirs are a tad more colourful and monumental.
the latter adjective is, in this context, rather appropriate, for the current output from massif headquarters currently concerns three of what are velocipedinally known as 'the monuments'. in this case, i offer a reprise of that produced for milan sanremo, now augmented by that curated for the ronde van vlaanderen and anticipating this weekend's paris-roubaix. of course, these bear witness to substantially more than just arbitrary mental pictures, encompassing as they do the results and principal topography of each parcours.
my ability to sight read drum parts has substantially diminished over the years, mostly because there truly has been no real need so to do. a true case of 'use it or lose it.' to a certain degree that may be true of massif central's graphic delights, given that these perfectly printed edifices are available only in limited numbers.
the paris-roubaix edition will be available soon after the race has ended and we all know whether prince bradley has truly crowned an impressive career. either way, the winning triumvirate will find their names adorning this latest of race bred graphics, ready to join the other two in the set.
thursday 9 april 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
it's wednesday, 8 april, a significant date because that means we've only four more sleeps till paris-roubaix, absolutely the most stoaterish bike race in the entire history of the world. no matter how many stages fit between the start of the giro d'italia and the end, they will never compare to the undiminished joy that is paris-roubaix. even the yellow jerseyed glory pushed through our television sets for those three weeks in july are but nothing in the face of cobbled adversity. (of course, come either the giro or le tour, i'll have forgotten i ever said this, but that is then and this is now)
despite the prevalence of mostly pleasant weather in recent years, much like that which shone upon last sunday's shimano bumper cars in flanders, the abiding memory of roubaix is mud-caked riders with jerseys barely distinguishable one from the other. lying prostrate in the middle of roubaix velodrome. however, as a spectacle, there is little to parallel the hell of the north, even though a rather misheaded article recently trumpeted the fact that paris -roubiax would ride over a section of tour de france cobbles. i assume the person responsible has been made to clean out the gaps between those at arenberg with a toothbrush.
but despite my or even the collective enthusiasm for watching the pros hammer across little more than polished boulders, i fear most of us are guilty of double standards. imagine if those in northern france were to make use of the cyclists' touring club website that encouraged the reporting of potholes; there's a strong possibility they'd need to renew their webserver every second day. but those of us militant enough to put finger to keyboard are never slow to vent our wrath by so doing on this side of the channel. ungainly potholes or collapsed road edges which interfere with our smooth passage into the direct path of range rovers, beamers and audis ought surely to be repaired and pretty quick smart too.
but though we mostly concern ourselves with the way of the road-bike round these here parts, it's hard to deny a sneaking affection for, as daniel wakefield pasley of manual for speed once described it, the road less travelled. not that there is a collective desire to nip down to the local ibd with a hankering to purchase a farm gate with springs. heaven forfend that we should. we are, undoubtedly, made of sterner stuff, content with 28mm road tyres or perhaps a cyclocross bike with appropriately wide rubber. not for us the way of the spring.
it's a genre of cycling that is gradually occupying a wider perspective on the roadie's horizon. though still not as mainstream as is the case on mainland europe or even in north america, cyclocross is encroaching on the psyche in a subliminal manner, while the powers that be subtly create a less competitive stage upon which we can adopt the rugged manner of the early spring classics and cyclocrossers, yet fear not for the intrusion of motorised transport. surprisingly enough, one of the european progenitors of this appealing diversion is cervelo co-founder and owner of techno tubo torino (3t), gerard vroomen about whom it is said "his appalling lack of talent to ride a bike fast naturally led him to the non-competitive art of offriding."
the word offriding seems particularly appropriate to describe what the american bicycle companies would have us believe is the natural playground for their gravel bikes. in this case, the so-called offriding initiative is brought to you as a growing series of multi-stage gravel rides at the behest of the ex-ceo of bmc, andy kessler, hot chillee's sven thiele and the aforementioned mr vroomen. their events are classified according to how hard each ride is and what skills might be demanded of the participants, some of which can be ridden on a standard road bike with slightly wider tyres.
vroomen commented "We like the variety of equipment you see at gravel events so we try not to be too restrictive. That said, OFFRIDING events offer a mix of fast and tough sections, so a bike combining a fast road cycling position with the ability to fit bigger tyres is ideal; 'fast enough to get through the forest, rugged enough to conquer the rocks'" the magic of these offrides is the organisation by hot chillee, renowned for their excellent londres-paris rides as well as the alpine challenge and nearer to topicality dunkerque-roubaix. riders will have access to fully serviced pit stops, medical and mechanical services and feed stops.
the first of these events takes place around amsterdam at the end of this month (28 april - 3 may), with online entry already available at offriding.cc. the intention is to follow this with further european events and a final one in south africa's western cape this november.
if gent wevelgem, ronde van vlaanderen and paris roubaix have piqued your enthusiasm for leaving tarmac behind for a day or two without necessarily joining the knobbly-tyre brigade, €975 (approx. £700) will provide several days riding on gravé (as rapha describe it.) the smiles are completely free.
wednesday 8 april 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
i'm not sure where there is a definitive meaning enshrined for the word marketing, but more often than not, it's the ideal way of convincing us that we really ought to have that which we probably don't. that is, of course, a cynical view of the thought processes involved in the art of selling, because, quite honestly, how would we ever know of the existence of any superlative product if it weren't for the ever-cheerfully populated company marketing department?
having never made an academic study of the genre, i truthfully have no idea whether there was a time in its distant past, when marketing was concerned with telling the truth. slogans such as 'why not buy this really average product?' probably never made the grade, but they'd surely be more approachable than tv ads that promise hits from a 'best selling' album, one that has only just been released?
on that basis, you'd think that the majority of us would have become all but inured to the temptations placed in our paths, yet seemingly not. apple's iphone 6 wasn't that much different than number five (apart from the slightly bigger version), yet they've sold more of those than any of the previous editions, most of which are probably still working perfectly well. perhaps it's the advances that have been made in packaging?
though cielo build some particularly fine steel bicycles, even chris king would probably agree that they're hardly ground-breaking. however, cielo's production director, jay sycip, inspired by apple's packaging for the ipod, devised a means of securely packing a cielo and its necessary accoutrements (such as wheels) in a minimalist manner that allowed mine to survive the flight from portland to glasgow and its subsequent tour round scotland's fedex outposts. i have to say, that was a feature it's hard not to like.
so, when a handsomely crafted bottle of chain lube arrived in the mail, accompanied by a press release the introductory paragraph of which states "Muc-Off is excited to launch their newest chain lube, formulated to lubricate your chain over long distances and during the harshest weather conditions. May we introduce 'Hydrodynamic' - the result of a dedication to innovation by both Team Sky and Muc-Off.", there's a distinct feeling of deja-vu. for surely every chain lube on the planet aspires to offer the same properties? why on earth would i even consider a chain lube that had no intention of keeping my chain happy over lengthy distances? and considering the iniquity of the hebridean weather, doing so in some of the harshest weather conditions is an absolute necessity.
but then there's the packaging to consider. that connection to team sky is advised not only via an appropriate logo on the label, but carried through in the sky blue wording 'chain lube' while the uniquely shaped plastic bottle fields a blue screw off top. encased within its carded blister pack along with what i believe is often referred to a black light (about which, more later), it's pretty much guaranteed to stand out amongst its competitors.
muc-off's marketing even extends to popping a usb pen drive, cunningly disguised as a small muc-off spray, inside the box. this contains a video featuring prince bradley and members of the team sky maintenance crew, where they comment - almost too seriously - about the performance benefits of the hydro dynamic chain lube. performance benefits? of a chain lube? surely this must have been packaged by a chuckling marketing department. i mean any company happy to call itself muc-off must have a pretty good sense of humour in the first place.
all the above was carefully observed and digested before any of the blue liquid was allowed anywhere near a bicycle chain. so in my capacity as a famous cycling journalist, ever wise to the vicissitudes of those tricky marketing press releases and videos, i figured i had this pretty well sussed in advance of the practical part of the equation. and to cap it all, they want to charge you £16 for a mere 50ml. heck, a can of three-in-one oil is only a few pence over £3
having access to substantial quantities of precipitation almost on tap, it seemed a pity to delay further and risk missing the deluge. so i strictly followed the instructions included in the pack to degrease the chain completely before application. just in case the marketing appeals to you too, i might point out that not only is it necessary to snip off the top of the application nozzle, but there's a hidden foil top, removal of which entails taking the lid off first. i confess i did not know that.
the key-ringed black light is a novel gimmick with which to check that the blue (what else?) lube has penetrated each and every link on the chain, though i wasn't too sure whether to to do so immediately after application or once i'd wiped the excess from the chain. muc-off recommend that the chain be lubed at least three to four hours before use. i carried out the procedure the evening before.
it took only a few metres, let alone kilometres, to note that not only had the blue liquid silenced a less than brand new chain, but had apparently made pedalling less onerous. that, presumably, would be the performance benefits of which bradley had spoken, the very ones of which i had been embarrassingly cynical only a few paragraphs above.
i do not have the benefit of a small science lab at the back of my bike shed to make further investigations, but after only a wet 80km bike ride, i was still having a hard time reconciling myself to the fact that a simple chain lube was apparently making me ever so slightly faster. the cielo has ceramic bearings in its chris king bottom bracket and ceramic bearings in its blue chris king r45 hubs; perhaps the silencing of the chain had allowed me simply to better appreciate the frictionless roll of the portland made components?
in an effort to isolate the problem, i then degreased the chain on my aging colnago c40. this has been in situ probably a tad longer than is seemly in polite company, and rolls over a carbon ten-speed chainset that is still affixed via a square-taper cartridge bottom bracket. archaic technology by modern standards you will doubtless agree, and likely not susceptible to any performance enhancements conferred by a nicely packaged, sky-blue liquid.
unfortunately for the spanish inquisitors amongst us, the results were almost identical to that displayed by the cielo. though only mildly damp at one point, the colnago has had a look at more than 160 kilometres and yet the smoothness of perambulation persists. and very much in its favour and applicable to both chains, they have remained bright and shiny throughout their periods of adversity. i mention this because i have used several effective chain lubes that have the unfortunate side-effect of rendering the chain a liquidy black all over. a factor that does not equate well with my clean chain ocd.
the plan here with muc-off's hydro dynamic chain lube was to have spent at least a couple of weeks evaluating its efficacy; such immediate results were entirely unexpected. it seemed, therefore, rather more pertinent that i advised you of what seems like, on the face of it, something of a breakthrough in chain lubrication. according to the selfsame press release Team Sky wanted "...the fastest and most efficient lube [...] We are an evidence-based team, so the advantages need to be quantifiable."
i'm sure team sky have a far less subjective means of carrying out this quantifiability than do i, but it seems highly likely that they've come to the same conclusions. namely, this stuff is ruddy marvellous, more than justifying that previously scary retail price. it has reaffirmed my faith in marketing departments (or at least, the folks working at muc-off).
tuesday 7 april 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................