how many cappuccinos could be classed as one too many? bear in mind we are considering this from the point of view of the honed athlete aboard his/her velocipede, and not necessarily at the end of a hard ride. if any of you read all the way through the transcript of the paul kimmage/phloyd landis interview, you may recall the part where phloyd admits hanging out in a cafe with dave z and downing an alleged total of 13 cappuccinos rather than go out training with his usp team-mates in bad weather. the most i've ever managed to consume in one sitting is three, and one of those was because debbie thought my second was not to her exacting standards, and i supped it not to disappoint her. the landis situation is perhaps understandable; apart from the fact that phloyd is a bit bigger than me, and i've never been to a cafe with dave zabriskie, it is evident that he had no intention of riding a bicycle afterwards. though in point of fact, i doubt, in this case, that would have been physically possible.
debbie's cafe is in bruichladdich and only on the way to somewhere if you're heading to port charlotte or considering a visit to the mighty dave t's summer house (next to the standing stones of port wemyss). if your abode is in bowmore (hub of the universe), while i mean no disrespect, 'tis but a welcome stopping point on a trajectory with a purpose. for the geographically challenged, that's 18km under consideration before the warmth and comfort of washingmachinepost cottage can be experienced. and several of those kilometres are along the exposed stretch of uiskentuie strand; just as likely to provide a head or crosswind as it is to encourage the intrepid. three soya cappuccinos, allied to my constitution, provided an all but insurmountable hurdle to the return of the jedi; four would have left me asking about the possibility of bed and breakfast behind the coffee machine.
if we can extrapolate in an unlikely direction at this point, perhaps those who have the strength and vigour to down a selection of cappuccinos that stretches into the low teens, are built of sterner stuff than your average member of the pelotonese. it may be that the conditioning appropriate to the competitively inclined, specifically those in the cycling realm, allows for the ingestion of food and liquids that would leave most of us standing (or sitting with our feet up in the coffee shop, if truth be told). i'm sure we have all seen the archetypal photographs in the monthlies, come july, that graphically indicate the quantities of victuals required to maintain that slender frame and calorific consumption associated with even the lowliest of tour riders. compared to that, a dozen or so cappuccinos is likely considered small beer.
the abilities conferred upon the hardy are oft times to be marvelled at. even the mighty dave t, conditioned through years of working out of doors, is often to be seen wearing regular cycling mitts even during the lowest of temperatures. and while i convince myself of a long lost belgian heritage concealed under the ear flaps of my merino winter cap, the mighty dave is content with a regular cotton casquette. brian smith, a man i believed doth protest too much, gives much credence to the scottishness of grasping the bars with unclothed hands; in his case, it is all too true. however, with my poor circulation (at least in the right hand), i place great comfort in long-sleeves and long-fingers, particularly in the hebridean temperatures currently in force.
but temptation operates in the manner of edgar allan poe's tell tale heart; even though the red gloves were ensconced in the rainjacket's rear pocket, the temptation was always there. did i really need to be wearing the corio gloves? were they not overkill under the circumstances? had the temperature not risen sufficiently that mitts would be more equivocal than gloves, even though this would be to give semantics its day? the gara rosso simply did not give up, and after only one cappuccino and the cool, calm and collected length of uiskentuie to contend with, those red mitts were grasping the brooks covered bars on the cielo, and we were making our minds up as to whether those were cold fingers or not.pride, as is often proposed, bears no pain, and though none were about to see, pride is the deciding factor. the leather could not be softer (or more red) or more like silk if fortune smiled more forcefully upon it. the fingers are commendably longer than most, the padding minimal but indeed all that could be asked for, and the fit like a second skin. rosso is good; for while pride is resisting that pain and suffering, the colour is tying us with the speed and grace of a ferrari; of dubious benefit to maranello, but you can see the personal affiliation to be gained. perhaps a popper fastening across the back of the wrist would have been more in keeping with the tradition of a leather mitt, but it cannot be denied that velcro (or hook and loop fastening, as they'd say on blue peter) is a pragmatic nod to the contemporary, and a more easily applied method of fastening.
i will readily concede that for all apart from the stalwart from port wemyss, the opportunity for the sunday ride to be regularly accompanied by bare fingers is several weeks in the distance. but on the cusp of each ride, those dromarti gara rosso will be pleading not to take no for an answer, and on each occasion, headspace will be party to the arguments of the meek. perhaps hardiness can be acquired sooner rather than later; that pride still bears no pain.
dromarti's gara rosso red leather cycling mitts are currently only available in a limited edition of 100 (well, ninety-eight if you exclude my pair and that in the possession of the photographer) at a slightly alarming, yet reassuringly expensive £95. these should soon be populating the dromarti website ready to welcome all-comers.
posted sunday 6th february 2011..........................................................................................................................................................................................................