it strains against my better judgement to introduce any of my scribblings via reference to a motor car. any motor car. however, i'm hoping that either nobody notices, or will cut me some slack becasue the car in question is so out of our collective financial reach, that it really escapes the mundane definition i have applied.
a rolls royce phantom.
as far as i can ascertain, one of these machines will lighten an appropriately reinforced bank account to the tune of around a quarter of a million pounds. doubtless this figure could be enhanced with a few well-chosen extras, but for the time being, £250,000 will do just nicely thanks. at this sort of rarefied price atmosphere, the prospective owner not unrealistically expects a veneer of luxury, one that, for some inexplicable, but perfectly acceptable reason, harks back to a period of nostalgia. as the 'official rolls-royce website' subtly states 'wide-expanses of soft leather, and high-gloss wood make phantom an oasis of comfort and calm.'
i do not inhabit the sort of social strata that would bring me into contact with any sort of rolls-royce, but i really have no reason to doubt that an alarmingly expensive motor car such as the phantom is indeed an oasis of comfort and calm. as the advertising for a much earlier model stated, produced when rolls-royce was still a british owned company, the loudest thing in a rolls is the clock, to which the managing director of the day reputedly replied what the hell is wrong with the clock? however, it is an era that rolls are keen to retain a connection with, and there can be little doubt that the average man on a bicycle (such as me) appreciates just what wood and leather represent. it's that special something that many of us desire, but if we're perfectly honest, few of us need.
conscious display is not to which i refer here; ownership of something that proffers a degree of luxury above and beyond the call of duty, an unashamed display of form over function, but an example of which makes the act of cycling just that wee bit more special. unlike a carbon derailleur, a pair of handmade tyres or a hub that rolls for twenty four hours left to its own devices, an item of personal luxury that can accompany each and every ride, and remind of exclusivity experienced by few in the commuting or sportive peloton. i'm struggling for the right words here, but hoping that even through my literary grasping, i've managed to convey a tangible meaning.
you know what i mean?
corio is a municipality in the province of turin in the italian region of piedmont, about 30 km northwest of turin. it's also the name of the latest long-finger leather gloves from dromarti, garments (if gloves are allowed to inhabit that description) that have been more than a day or two in the making. in fact, if you promise not to tell, i had my first peek at the prototypes on the second day of the cycle show at earls court last october. rolls royces probably take a couple of weeks to assemble too. these are unashamed luxury of the kind i have been ineffectively referring to since i started this outing.
the leather is impossibly soft and pliable; if this were wrapped around a rolls royce phantom steering wheel, oohs and aaahs would be elicited everytime the driving position was assumed. that they are the province of those aboard two wheels and a chainset, means that such exaltations are ours to express. the padding is slim; thin but ultimately effective in operation; not too much, not too little. the dark brown leather is contrasted by a red, dromarti embossed section on the back of each glove as well as a red-lined zip on the outboard edge, easing placement and removal. these correlate well with either the brown or black and red dromarti shoes, now that you ask. i am firmly of the opinion that any cycle glove, whether leather or not, ought to feel very slightly undersized when worn for the first time. leather, as can be adjudged by the perennial brooks or zimbale saddles, breathes and adjusts to personal fit. a looser fit will go all sloppy way too soon.
the corio gloves accompanied me on my visit to the quality islay guesthouse visited on tuesday; the ultimate frosting on the cake to enhance my escape from designer scruff, detracting from too many glances at my unbrushed hair. there is an indefinable satisfaction to be gained from sitting a pair of corio leather gloves alongside the soya cappuccino and caramel biscuit. do not besmirch their reputation by ordering a cheese and pickle sandwich at the same time; a slice of carrot cake is, however, more than acceptable. there is no need to draw attention to their proximity; it is simply enough to know that these belong to the world of cycling. as cyril lord was wont to announce in the same age of nostalgia; 'this is luxury you can afford'.
pragmatism dictates that this affordable luxury ought to sing for its supper too, and this they are consummate in achieving, providing comfort, grip, protection, not forgetting more than a smidgeon of luxury. there is no snot wipe across the thumb or forefinger; but then that's what the butler is for. made from nappa leather, and with a subtle fleece lining words quickly become inadequate. i believe i may already have proved that fact. bringing advertising quotes bang up to date with a quote from something totally unrelated, but amenable to the situation, it would not be unseemly to leave these black and yellow pixels for the darker hue of the dromarti website, credit card in hand, trackpad primed to click.
'because you're worth it.'
dromarti corio leather gloves retail at £120 in small, medium (tested), large and extra large.
posted thursday 20th january 2011..........................................................................................................................................................................................................