doing it all wrong

four distilleries

during the week, and the working day, i have twitter running at the side of my computer screen. this is not due to any obsession with social media, but purely at the behest of citylink, calmac and a number of other accounts that keep me up to date with travel conditions en-route to islay. granted, with a newspaper that is published on a fortnightly basis, a midweek problem with a ferry, for instance, will likely have been taken care of by publication date.

as an example, given the seemingly continuous problems experienced by calmac's west coast fleet, attempts were made to charter a catamaran car ferry from north of scotland based, pentland ferries. it should be admitted that the likelihood of this being apportioned to the islay route were fairly small; arran and mull were the real targets. however, since the ferry was in the area, it was decided to have it visit the pier on colonsay, along with the two on islay and kennacraig on the kintyre peninsula.

the boat almost fitted at port askaig, but didn't even come close at port ellen or, indeed, at kennacraig.

however, before contracts could be signed, the board of pentland ferries decided that the terms of that contract didn't quite suit their aspirations, and withdrew from discussions entirely. all the above took place during the two week gestation period that existed between publishing one issue, and the following edition. it did mean a better caption to an impressive photo i received of the catamaran at port askaig, but ultimately, all had been resolved prior to switching on the printers. some of this was gleaned from twitter, and some through contact with interested parties, based on twitter's alert.

but something else picked up via the little bird's insistence, was the local marketing group extending an inexplicably excited welcome to the island, to two travel bloggers, apparently arriving on islay over the course of a recent weekend. since i had heard of neither, i used the links to check out both their twitter feeds, and their websites for a tad more information as to why the red carpet was being extended with such great glee.

one of the two women, according to the information portion of her website, had begun her travel blog some five years past, and now earned what she described as, 'a comfortable living' from writing about towns, cities and tourist locations all across scotland, with the occasional foreign destination thrown in for good measure. generous to a fault, she featured a section on the site describing how the intrepid newbie to blogging, could setup and write their own travel blog, seemingly unconcerned that, if successful, it might undermine some of her own thunder.

having written thewashingmachinepost for more than twenty-five years, and from which i earn very little (by design, i might add), i thought perhaps i ought to familiarise myself with where, precisely, i might be going wrong. it transpires that one of my fundamental errors is in writing what might be termed 'straight ahead' articles, all of which sport a beginning, middle and end. you may also be wondering just what might be missing from that cunning plan, but it transpires that what i ought to be doing, if i might translate travel blogging to the world of cycling, is describing 'five things you didn't know about riding in the wind', or 'four islay distilleries you really ought to visit by bicycle', or 'three way to wrap bar tape'.

in point of fact, i could probably offer up readable features on the first two, though i'd be inclined to leave the last in favour of those better acquainted with the tape/handlebar interface. but i've a notion that such headlines are intended as clickbait, as well as a more succinct way of presenting a subject than my lengthier, more convoluted daily digressions. however, i'm also aware that there is a distinct difference between those looking for some velocipedinal entertainment, and prospective travellers intending to visit one of the country's major cities, and concerned they might inadvertently miss some of the more important aspects.

and, if you're at all interested, i'd suggest you visit ardbeg, ardnahoe, kilchoman and bruichladdich (in that order). as to riding in the wind, choose a decent gear, keep your head down, don't fit really deep section rims, grit your teeth, and (as if you didn't know), harden the f**k up. at some time in the distant future, i might even describe how best to begin a cycling blog.

as a postscript, it scarcely seems worth mentioning that neither of the travel bloggers mentioned above, posted any tweets about the island while here, nor, at the last time of looking, had they posted any articles on their blogs. not value for money, in my book.

monday 5 july 2021

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where does my lap go when i stand up?

zen monastery

this past week has been, for want of a better word, disruptive, predominantly due to a visit from my daughter and her family, all of whom we've not seen for well over a year, due to the travel restrictions engendered by the pandemic. perhaps obviously enough, this disruption has not all been unpleasant, but as a card-carrying creature of habit, being unable to change in the bathroom as a bike ride approaches, not being able to watch any episodes of last of the summer wine and having to don a pair of earphones and read a book while 'love island' pretends to be entertainment each evening, has not kept a perpetual smile on my face.

add to that, the fact that my viewing of le tour highlights has been sporadic at least, and disruptive is the best description that i can come up with.

granted, i've been fortunate to be at work for the bulk of the day, so that has kept me relatively sane, and the fortnightly ride to debbie's on a friday afternoon to deliver copies of the newspaper has helped enormously. then, of course, there's my solo bike ride on saturdays; while the many occupants of my house set off for a beach somewhere on the coast of the principality, i was riding cheerfully into the greyish blue yonder, happy in with own company and my own thoughts for a while. however, a minor blip in the firmament turned out to be a previously unnoticed misdemeanour committed against the cleat on my right shoe.

on closer inspection, there should be a small lip at the front of the cleat to clip into the front portion of the pedal, a small lip that is now conspicuous by its absence. thankfully this did not present insurmountable problems, in that the rear of the cleat/pedal interface worked as designed, allowing my 70km to pass by without extenuating circumstances. but the parcours of the day served mostly to confirm that the bicycle can take on dual purposes, even within the one ride.

you will think me foolish (heck, even i think me foolish), but last week, following the obligatory double-egg roll at debbie's, i attempted to fit in a quick trip to port charlotte village, a matter of 5km from bruichladdich, to take photos of a holiday cottage, ultimately destined for a website upgrade. having told the owners i would arrive between 12:30 - 1pm, when nobody turned up, i set off for the second portion of my bike ride. the foolish part arrived by e-mail later that same day, hoping that i'd managed the photos successfully, having left the front door unlocked. it had not, i'm ashamed to admit, occurred to even try to open the front door. so the same extension of saturday's ride, took place once again, yesterday.

the dichotomy, and i think it an important one, is that the pre-lunchtime pedalling was fun, unencumbered by any looming necessities, other than to watch the scenery (and tourists) go by. but post-lunch, the selfsame bicycle was being employed as a means of transport for work, the result of which will eventually result in additional income. this is important because i've a feeling that many cyclists have a tendency to delineate their rides according to a defined purpose. for instance, if monday to friday is recognised as the working week, then riding a bike to and from that work, is generally regarded as commuting. but if your route to work is as picturesque and enjoyable as is my saturday pedalling, then is it really commuting, or could it be genuinely viewed as just cycling, free of any connotations until such time as the workplace is reached?

by way of supportive evidence, should such be required, the five kilometres ridden on leaving bruichladdich village and arriving at that of port charlotte were most enjoyable, interspersed as they were with a shallow hill, a narrow bridge and passing an old-syle lighthouse. only on reaching the aforementioned holiday cottage did the notion of 'work' enter the equation.

of course, this is a distinctly philosophical consideration, for a bike ride is a bike ride, is a bike ride (or so i've been told); for any innocent bystanders, one cycle ride is all but indistinguishable from any other. but the foregoing discussion surely bears comparison with the zen koans that ask 'what is the sound of one hand clapping?, or 'where does my lap go, when i stand up?'. of course, ruminations such as these need not materially affect power output, cadence or choice of bicycle (my own ride could easily have been accomplished on my cyclocross bike as it was on the ritchey logic).

but if we wish to influence our peer group as to the efficacy and benefits of cycling, understanding that it can sustain more than one activity or purpose, simultaneously, might just be the clincher that converts one more member of the great unwashed. philosophically speaking, of course.

sunday 4 july 2021

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the midlife cyclist. phil cavell. bloomsbury paperback 282pp £14.99

"Let's be clear from the start - this book isn't a training manual."

the midlife cyclist - phill cavell

the acronym mamil refers to middle aged men in lycra, aimed more at those who, with the necessary financial wherewithal, bought themselves pinarellos, colnagos, bianchis et al, combined with rapha, castelli and assos clothing, despite having little previous experience of cycling. following these not inexpensive purchases, they then proceed to enter sportives and gran fondos without much in the way of a clue, and body shapes frequently compared to that of billy bunter. that is, of course, a sweeping generalisation, but i don't doubt that we've all come across riders who closely resemble my description.

personally, i have reached the age where the acronym ought best be altered to oamil, or old age man in lycra. granted, i have been riding a bicycle for almost forty years, so i'm hopefully excused from several of the above excesses, but nonetheless, the vicissitudes of the ageing process are not unknown. oddly enough, despite recognition of the latter, i have just returned from a round trip to debbie's of 28km at an average speed of 28kph, a pair of numbers i thought i'd never again witness on my garmin, espceially when half of that ride was into a modest headwind. so are those aged demands on the elderly athlete (if i can still refer to myself as such) overstated? i seriously doubt it. that average speed, i'd be inclined to think of as a fluke, encouraged by the sense of pride and ego that would not let me drop off the back of my two younger colleagues.

should you harbour any doubts that such is the case, i'd urge you to read phil cavell's the midlife cyclist, the chapters of which provide the definitive information as to why age might not be your friend in the peloton. the author is one of the two gents who operate cyclefit in london's macklin street, and admittedly a man who is already in his late fifties. that the author is particularly well-acquainted with pretty much every aspect relating to his wide-ranging narrative, i can attest first hand, having benefitted from a lengthy bike-fit several years ago. the changes made at that point to my position on the bicycle are still assisting me today.

phil makes it plain in his opening chapters, reiterated when necessary, that we are amongst the first to discover what it means to continue riding into middle-age. "We're almost certainly the first cohort, in great enough number, to be statistically relevant, to push our bodies into and beyond middle age, towards peak performance. We're the virtual crash-test dummies for future generations..." if we accept this to be true, and i see no evidence to the contrary, few of us have any real idea how to improve our fitness as the years roll by. which gives us the perfect incentive to add this book to the velocipedinal bookshelf.

i recall robert millar (as was) stating that, past the age of thirty, it was necessary to train twice as hard, just to maintain parity with younger upstarts in the peloton. that being the case, how much harder does the 40 or 50+ rider have to train to stay fit and to fend off the worst of the ageing process? but then, none of us are filling in entry forms for the tour de france, so what need is there to work so hard on the bike, once middle-age beckons? "We evolved to persistence hunt, not to sit and browse the internet; and endurance cycling obviously more closely mimics persistence hunting than playing video games." as we age, we lose muscle fibre, whether we want to or not, so assuming continued fitness is likely to make the ageing process more bearable, then hunting it is.

the author is demonstrably a fan of getting out on the bike, rather than plying the world of watopia in search of geriatric fitness, predominantly on the basis that riding in the 'real world' forces any rider to maintain stability in the face of many an expected and unexpected hurdle. "Training outside is palpably better for your balance, riding skills and cognition. It's also better for your general mood and mental health."

he also advocates, in a chapter entitled 'Bike, what bike?' that, given the choice, we ought to opt for a disc-brake equipped machine, (probably the one point in the book with which i'd take issue), but having earlier pointed out that the bikes we ride today are of a design that has basically remained unchanged since the latter part of the nineteenth century. this is predominantly at the behest of the uci (in which the author finds little favour) who effectively disparaged and subsequently banned the recumbent design which had arrived in the 1930s. "This UCI definition was essentially the same criteria that the Wright brothers used in 1895."

but phil cavell has the perspicacityto realise that it's not only not all about the bike, it's also not all about power output, heart-rates, or even functional threshold power (ftp). in a chapter entitled The Mindful Cyclist, he looks at the variables not encompassed by choice of bike, bike-fit (a subject on which he is eminently qualified to comment), but perhaps a less obvious factor in the quest for progress, and the staving off of age-related degeneration. "The 'mindful cyclist' is one who takes care of their whole self and in doing so makes themselves a faster cyclist and almost certainly a better parent and partner."

phil cavell's credentials for writing such a book as this, are encapsulated by fabian cancellara on the back cover: "...Well, he is certainly old enough", but that only tells a fraction of the story. not only is this a highly desirable publication because the author has been on the same quest as his readers, but because he has an impressive ability to write about the subject in plain, unequivocal language. happy to (metaphorically) hold his hand up to personal foibles and predilections, he is also rarely dogmatic in his presentation; here are the facts, and here's what might help you cope with them. my only gripe is that he didn't write this ten years ago. and though little of the contents can be viewed as hypothetical, to bolster his case for included advice, the book ends with several, real world case studies, underlining the veracity of that advice. there is also a copious and comprehensive index at the back, for finding important reference points easily and quickly.

as stated at the opening of this review, it's not a training manual, and very much the better for that being the case. no matter what age you are now, you're inevitably going to get older; buy a copy now and prepare in advance.

saturday 3 july 2021

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a hard rain's gonna fall

ardstream burger van

despite the news that 1300 scottish football supporters have returned home with covid symptoms (who saw that one coming?), britain is currently in somewhat of a transition period with regard to the pandemic. were everything to remain closed, social distancing to be rigidly enforced and facemasks to be worn at all times, there's every likelihood that instances of the virus would remain notably low. however, economically, i fear that none of us would be in a position to sustain day-to-day life as once it was; opening up is an inevitable consquence of the need to maintain industry, mental wellbeing, and any sort of 'normal' life.

but it is something of a tentative period in time, when many events that we once took for granted have to concern themselves whether the audiences that made them financially viable are likely to attend, along with the constant fear that any turn for the worse in national terms may once again bring lockdown conditions, leaving them all dressed up but with nowhere to go. the cost of insuring against the latter is probably somewhat prohibitive at present, leading many to take the safe option, and cancel ahead of time.

islay's annual agricultural show, which has taken place on the second thursday of august pretty much every year until 2020, has once again, cancelled its reality event and opted for a series of online events instead. last years' islay book festival took place entirely online with some success, bringing about a similar set of circumstances this year, but spread more widely across the calendar, rather than adhering to a specific weekend. at present, i have no idea if september's islay jazz festival is going ahead, for the organisers seem incapable of responding to my e-mails, but the jura music festival, traditionally held on the last weekend of september, announced cancellation of reality in favour of online quite some time past.

and though i've heard nothing so far, i would imagine that july's traditional sports days in bowmore and port ellen villages have also been curtailed.

however, bucking the trend somewhat, the annual ride of the falling rain is intended to proceed as planned (in its loosest sense, you understand) on sunday 1 august. since we'll all be riding bicycles, probably at least one metre apart, and the midway stop at ardbeg is now catered for by their 'ardstream' trailer in the car park, maintaining distance should be a piece of clootie dumpling, so to speak. however, i mention this now, because social distancing still affects calmac's ferry service, thus reducing the maximum number of passengers on any given sailing. additionally, so far this year, islay has proved to be one of those destinations of choice, resulting in a substantial number of visitors at a time when we would normally be a tad quieter. extrapolating that to the beginning of august could well mean a shortage of available accommodation.

it may already be too late, for all i know.

however, should you be planning to join us at 10am outside debbie's in bruichladdich on sunday 1 august, please ensure you have booked your ferry trips in both directions and that you have somewhere to stay on arrival. if it really does turn out to be the ride of the falling rain, it won't be much fun hanging about the village streets in soaking wet cycling gear. and if you are intending to participate, can i please reiterate that we highly recommend that each of you donate £10 to world bicycle relief, so that those less velocipedinally fortunate than ourselves, benefit from our grand day out.

see you there.

ride of the falling rain

friday 2 july 2021

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is this really us?

black hole

though i said i'd do my best to avoid the tour de france for the next two and a half weeks, i feel i ought to offer a spoiler alert that, though the following is not directly related to the event, there is a smattering of collateral damage.

though proud to admit to being a card-carrying luddite, i do profess a ceratin proclivity towards velocipedinal technology, even if purely for the purpoes of naysaying any purported benefits. and when a situation arises that appears to vindicate my cynicism, even if for reasons other than those i myself put forward, that smug grin you see, is barely concealed glee. thus, on catching sight of a tirade against tubeless tyres in my youtube feed only the other night, thoughts of white bubbles emanating from a tyre bead for days on end were rapidly brought to mind. as it transpires, this particular rant centred around apparent evidence that wheel manufacturers had begun sounding warnings about de-tensioning of spokes, when their products were fitted with tubeless tyres. i won't go into the whys and wherefores, but apparently specialized's roval brand has indicated that their wheels should preferably be used only with tubed clinchers.

and then there's the many instances of dropped seatstays that have become almost de rigeur on many framesets built over the past two or three years. i thought i had discovered the reason for this apparent anomaly to be the lack of requirement for a brake bridge in these days of wall-to-wall discs, but it seems i was erroneous in that assumption. the frame manufacturers apparently proffer this break with tradition as being in the interests of improved rider comfort. spoiler alert: it doesn't. this was clearly demonstrated by means of computer engineering simulations, showing that, in point of fact, it actually makes no difference whatsoever. so maybe my brake-bridge contention is nearer the mark.

however, those items aside, my eye was once again caught by a feature on the purportedly new tech on show at the tour de france, an event frequently selected by manufacturers to either show off the new toys, or pretend to keep them secret in the name of on-the-job testing. one of the points of interest, though hardly headline news, was chris froome's adoption of disc brakes, following his youtube diatribe against their use on road bikes. however, i'd have thought that his employment of a lightweight carbon wheelset was less noteworthy, since many professionals have done so for years, and it was surely verging on utter nonsense to note that froomie's saddle was of a different constitution than that of his israeli start-up nation team-mates.

i've already pointed the cynical finger at jumbo visma's claim to be the first team ever to feature blue front tyres on their cervelos (tyres that would surely have been more appropriate on last year's celeste blue bianchis), but it appears that this season's bicycles are now replete with stems allowing the complete internal routing of all cables, including hydraulic tubing for the disk brakes. there's no denying that so doing offers a very tidy front end to the world, but it must provide a great deal of faff for the team mechanics, if employed (as it seems) purely for aesthetic reasons. surely nobody is going to tell me that hiding the cables from the airflow actually makes any measurable aerodynamic difference?

and, of course, there's pinarello's new f-series dogma, relased on the back of the manufacturer having renewed their contract with ineos grenadiers for a few more years. this is a machine that has been featured on several youtube channels recently, though the greatest thing i've gleaned from those, print publications and online news outlets, is that there's still a caliper brake version on sale alongside the disc version. ally this with numerous implementations of shimano's latest twelve-speed dura-ace groupset, and there would be ever greater reasoning for referring to cycling fans who hang on every technological word as 'nerds'.

has it really come to this? have we become so engrossed in the most miniscule of technological advancements, that we are no different from those who queue overnight outside an apple store for the latest colour or size of iphone? there's every likelihood that sagan, cavendish, van der poel and their pals could leave us trailing, even were they to ride mail-order catalogue folding bikes. chris froome did not win several tours de france because he was astride a pinarello, any more than mathieu van der poel took his first yellow jersey becasue he was aboard a canyon. and this year's winner will not have reached the podium's top step because he had caliper/disc brakes fitted (delete as applicable). continued technological development in the bike industry is every bit as certain as the generation of gravitational waves resulting from a neutron star being swallowed in its entirety by a nearby black hole.

the worrying part might be our apparent obsession with it all.

thursday 1 july 2021

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the rack that jack built

jack the rack

as the tour continues on its squiffy and crash-laden route to paris, it's perhaps worthy of a timely reminder that bicycles were not originally built for sporting purposes. it has been said that any human endeavour featuring one or more wheels is bound to be raced at some point in its career, but there will be oh, so many more which never achieve escape velocity, but occupy that arguably more humdrum existence of moving people from a to be and back again. this can be as simple as yours truly riding from bowmore to bruichladdich every second friday to deliver a box of newspapers, to the more intrepid individuals who laugh in the face of danger and pack their velocipedes with literally everything apart from the kitchen sink, before traipsing off across the world, simply for the hell of it.

jack the rack

and so much more prevalent have long-distance, self-supporting events become, allied to those who take time out from mundane life to travel the world, and those who believe the websites and purchase bicycles that pretend to do likewise, that where such demand exists, there will be manufacturers keen to service that demand. thus, in recent years, there has been a notable upsurge in all shapes and sizes of bikebags, eager and willing to be festooned about the personage of the average and not so average, gravel bike. i don't doubt that there are still many ingrained in the world of cotton-duck, for whom low-rider racks and panniers are the centre of their very existence, but trendsetters and their acolytes apparently have alternative and perfectly valid solutions to pursue.

jack the rack

but suppose the machinery in the bike shed is capable of travelling further than debbie's café, but lacks the necessary braze-ons and wherewithal to even bikepack to ardbeg distillery? if the spirit is willing, would not it be of some succour to the thus disadvantaged to participate when the desire takes hold? i cannot deny that, similar to occasional desires to own a wholly unnecessary and overly-complex digital slr camera, i have no real need of bikepacking accessories. yet, i may have, squished into forgotten nooks and crannies, some form of luggage-related capacity that would allow even the briefest of cargo-carrying jaunts. the spirit is willing, but the racks are missing.

jack the rack

and even if the racks were not missing, how to fit them to a road bike with fag-packet clearance under the fork crown and nothing about its seatsatys that would appear to welcome boltage? and that is precisely where jack comes into the picture. why the name jack, i couldn't possibly relate, for information about jack's existence appeared from miles and luke. but jack is essentially a front rack that affixes to the front of your bicycle a la porteur style, offering a tested 5kg of carriage, without so much as need for bolts or brazing.

jack the rack

according to miles gibbons, "JACK's a product that we're putting up on Kickstarter this summer. The general idea is to start creating a set of products that add utility to any bike (old or new, big or small) without the need for any technical help or experience. Democratising the bicycle even more, with fewer stupid standards and 'over-integration'."

admirable intentions indeed, but just exactly how does jack work? "JACK fits to your bike by effectively hooking over the handlebars, either side of the stem where it clamps to your handlebar. A load bearing strap fits to JACK just behind your handlebar, routes under your stem, then hooks back onto JACK. A retaining strap then fits from JACK to your steerer tube. There are two versions of spacers to make sure you have a protective and correctly sized interface between JACK and your handlebar. There are three versions of the Load strap sized to different types of stems and stem angles.
"Damn easy."

jack the rack

as miles alluded to above, jack will be the subject of a kickstarter campaign in august of this year, with first deliveries expected towards the end of the year, just when you'll be planning your next major expedition. however, word is that jack will head to production whether the kickstarter campaign is successful or not.

i think it highly unlikely you'll see even lachlan morton with one of these attached to his cannondale at next year's tour down under, but with more and more machinery depending on compatible products, it's nice to see a bit of velocipedinal enterprise that appears to demonstrate no particular favouritism. take a tour over to the website (link below) and sign up to hear when the kickstarter campaign goes live around mid-august.

jack the bike rack

wednesday 30 june 2021

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the wave - hokusai

i'm sure many of us recall one parent or the other shaking a forefinger in our direction, while strongly advising that we be on our 'best behaviour' when visiting friends, relatives or simply existing in a public place. and i would not be the least surprised if many were like me, left wondering just what that actually meant. was i not already on my best behaviour? was my deportment around the house in full view of my parents, not the expected state of affairs? though i have come across numerous books and manuals for first-time parents, i have yet to come across a similar set of publications for their offspring. therefore, 'best behaviour' remains a theoretical ideal that may, or may not, have been achieved over the course of the early years, as educationalists are wont to refer.

a similar state of affairs now reigns across the principality, now that scottish schools have seen fit to declare the summer holidays officially started. this, in the official year of 'staycations' will soon result in an endless stream of visitors to the isles, the majority in their cars, motorhomes and campervans, but undoubtedly one or two small pelotons of cyclists. this state of affairs will surely impact upon the resident velocipedinists, the implications being that we too, ought to be on our best behaviour. however, i feel this ought to be a two-way-street; if we're going to be excellent mine hosts, it seems only fair that our visitors toe the line too, just as their parents must surely have advised them.

for instance, as the velo club rounded the corner, south west of carnduncan, we pulled over to allow the passage of an oncoming vehicle, one that featured a pair of bicycles on a roof rack. the perimeter road around loch gorm is, by definition, circular, allowing intrepid, motor-based cyclists, to park the car somewhere insignificant, and pedal the highly attractive, ten kilometres, past both saligo and machir bays, as well as kilchoman distillery. quite why you would want to drive the bicycles around the same route in warm(ish) sunny weather, was quite beyond us.

but then, of course, there is our own behaviour to consider, not just towards cyclists, but also the visiting motorists, if only to safeguard our perambulations from the more invasive of the species.

i have vented at great length concerning the apparent ignorance of the purpose of road insets, even when helpfully signposted as passing places. quite how we get across the message that such necessities on single track roads are not solely for cyclists to get out of the way, is still the subject of much pelotonic discussion. and i do seriously wonder if those behind the wheels of the cars encountered between kilchoman and foreland road end, are aware that they are the subject of a weekly competition to guess how many will be met en-route to debbie's? and if they knew, would they, in fact, care.

however, aside from nine malt whisky distilleries, islay is also famous for the 'islay wave', the habit of local drivers and cyclists waving to each other as we pass. it's a very pleasant habit that has existed for many a long year, encouraging and maintaining the sense of community that still strongly exists on the island. it can be a tad disconcerting for the uninformed visitor, many of whom are convinced there's either something wrong with with their vehicles, or that they have been mistaken for someone else. it's a courtesy extended to all, resident and visitor alike, even by the stalwarts in the velo club peloton, but one that we have opted to enhance for the summer season.

for who can resist a peloton that is not only on its best behaviour, but in the early throes of developing the synchronised wave? taking our lead from the front rider, after a countdown of three, all members of the peloton perform a simultaneous wave in the direction of the hapless motorist (or cyclist, the latter also receiving a 'hail fellow, well met'. we may learn to do so in four part harmony by august). and hopefully, with more practice, the synchronised wave will look a bit more synchronised than did sunday morning's efforts, but the season is but young.

tuesday 29 june 2021

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