when the day job beckons, there is little in the way of decision to be made regarding which piece of software to use for which specific task. in my very early days of purporting to be a freelance graphic designer, the armoury was all but prescribed by the adverts in the media section at the back of the guardian newspaper. anyone who was bereft of skills in photoshop, illustrator and quark xpress was quite possibly wasting their time applying for the majority of available positions.
the thinking behind such statutory recruitment demands were pretty straightforward; prepare bitmap images in photoshop, vector art in illustrator and bring them all together in quark. the situation is pretty much identical nowadays, except quark has been supplanted by adobe's indesign page layout program, quark having become yet another victim of the notion that they had no viable opposition to world dominance.
so while decisions as to how the assembled graphics ought to be prepared for print was still ast the behest of the designer (a fervently hopeful me), the hammer and nails had already been prescribed on my behalf. though apparently somewhat restrictive, the ability to successfully meddle with ubiquity at least offered the promise of transferable skills.
transfer a similar mode of thought to the velocipedinal world, and potential shortcomings are not long in identifying themselves. for let us pointlessly assume that, on rising early on sunday morning, the directions on the wardrobe door feature jersey, baselayer, shorts. there could be a variation on this specific theme where the jersey bore long sleeves and the shorts were simply a euphemism for thermal tights, but i'm sure you're all aware of the climatic conditions that demand such a modified differential of apparel.
but we all know that cycling life isn't quite as cut and dried as the wardrobe list would suggest. in this case, i'm placing the emphasis on the word dried, one rarely bandied about in the hebrides at this time of year. when introducing the perfetto short sleeve jersey, castelli headed their descriptive text with the maxim 'you'll use it more than you can imagine' a phrase that conceivably owes more to castelli's digital media department than actual real life.
of course, i could be wrong.
the perfetto has a philosophy not too far distant from that of the infamous gabba. it features a gore windstopper panel all across the front, including, i'm pleased to say, the taller than normal collar. i do have to admit that any garment that arrives with a big red windstopper tag attached to its full-length zip has already won me over just a tad more than it probably knows. windproofing the back of a jacket would undoubtedly have raised more than just a single quizzical eyebrow, even though i have experienced tail winds that might argue the toss.
in the case of the perfetto, the black coloured back is constructed from the same material that built the armwarmers with which i accessorised in sub-zero windchill, except this time they left off the fleece lining to aid and abet breathability. the worry here, digital media's maxim notwithstanding, was that a jersey such as this with short sleeves would have a very short shelf life.
such as one weekend in may.
i have waxed lyrical on previous occasions as to just how much of a long-sleeve chap i really am, but that does not obviate an inherent leniency towards the shorter versions when cycling conditions might suggest. except mid-april, for me at least, rarely suggests less than cosy cuffs around the wrists. however, you may gauge for yourself the mitigating weather conditions that had me reach for a pair of castelli bibknickers rather than fleecy-lined tights. even the kappelmuur independent socks were only of ankle height. sunny days will do that to a fellow.
despite david duffield's constant advice to protect those easter knees, its the upper regions that tend to feel the cold more than their frantically pedalling compatriots and thus in need of the wind being stoppered. along with those nanoflex armwarmers and a pair of bright yellow, long-fingered gloves.
it rarely takes more than a few moments of exposure to an atlantic headwind to adjudge whether effective windproofing is in evidence. i spent the morning pointing out to anyone within earshot that an all but freezing headwind simply meant pedalling one or two degrees harder to remain warm; i like to practice what i purport to preach, during which i pretty much became a convert to castelli's "...more than you can imagine" proselytisation.
the jacket's weatherproofing is belied by its light weight. it's very much a race-fit sort of jacket/jersey which feels a smidgeon awkward in front of the bathroom mirror, yet more like a second skin on the bike. i can only but admit that i have hardly tested the perfetto's waterproofing; over the course of a few days in the saddle, i met only a light shower, one that convincingly peppered the surface with bobbles of precipitation, but it will take rain of a more serious nature to verify the upper levels of water repellency. i might need to get back to you on that one. there was never the opportunity to experience the protection offered by a lengthy drop tail just below the capacious three rear pockets.
so, no matter if that note on the wardrobe falls to the floor next time mrs washingmachinepost tidies its inner sanctum, i have a stylish wind and weatherproof garment that will comfortably see me through until british summertime ends in october. granted, there will be few occasions when i might dispense with the services of those nanoflex armwarmers, but that only plays to my inner desire for long sleeves, with the flexibility to allow my arms to ride al fresco when conditions allow, or i need to impress brian smith.
castelli's perfetto jersey retails at £125 and available in blue (as reviewed), red, black, lime green or green. sizing extends from small to xxxl. the castelli range is distributed in the uk by saddleback.
friday 15 april 2016..........................................................................................................................................................................................................