i like long sleeves. i figure it's probably some sort of a security thing; not as in those large gentlemen wearing shades, black suits and ear pieces but more like a security blanket. if i were to spend my weekends playing pooh sticks on the bridge over the river sorn, i'd wear long-sleeves.
life as a professional rider, however, must be full of trials and tribulations, particularly when it comes to choice of apparel for the day's racing or training. thankfully i do neither of the above, and no-one has ever seen fit to offer a professional contract (with good reason), a situation that suits me most amicably. i can head out on a friday afternoon, work permitting, and ride directly to debbie's cafe without ever having to pass go. if i wear a long-sleeve jersey, even in the height of an islay summer, nobody cares too much, and i can moderate my speed if the ambient temperature would have more amenably suited short sleeves.
no amount of cycling hither and thither at varying tempos will ever convince me that short sleeves and arm-warmers are any more effective than a decent pair of long-sleeves. especially when the armwarmers have that cosy fleece lining, just like that inside a long-sleeve jersey. no doubt, if i were a professional i'd appreciate the flexibility of being able to remove the armwarmers if my exertions brought tears to my arms. but i'm not (a professional that is) and i prefer my long-sleeves.
if you carefully study rule number 82, it clearly states "under no circumstances is there to be any exposed skin between the hems of your kit and the hems of your arm warmers.". though careful pre-ride preparations should minimise any chance of this happening, there's always just the chance that a moment's inattention before stepping out the door will have seriously minimised the overlap between at least one sleeve and the top of an armwarmer. you can imagine the embarrassment and ructions that would follow on entering a den of froth supping, blissfully unaware of any exposed skin north of the elbow. when riding hard into a headwind, one has little need of such potential distractions.
with a long-sleeve jersey, you simply can't fail.
yet i watch messrs valverde and his team-mates, surely more used to the warmth of the spanish plains, participating in the spring classics, in seriously inclement weather. but, in the latter stages, riding in short sleeves. i doubt that would be me; i'd be clad in long-sleeves throughout, particularly, at the risk of repeating myself, when there's soft fleecey stuff inside.
and i really must have sleeves that cover my wrists and festina watch. there was a time when long-sleeve cycle jerseys were just a tad too economical on the sleeve length, leaving long-armed individuals such as myself looking as if wearing a garment that had shrunk in the wash. modernity has made sartorial propriety ever more important in the peloton, a factor of which the chaps in livingston are obviously well aware. and movistar's long-sleeves are very washingmachine friendly.
it's also a little known fact that the three rear pockets on a long-sleeve jersey are more strategically placed than those on a race-fit short sleeve version. aside from the fringe benefits offered by the former, the ability to insouciantly reach behind for a rainjacket, mushroom and cheese pate sandwich (wholemeal bread) or strawberry yoghurt flavoured energy gel is often quietly impressive to one's domestiques. and though probably filed under the heading of individual pecadilloes, i unconsciously warm to the waffle texture on the exterior. i'd happily spread rumours that it offers the same aerodynamic benefits as those dimples zipp have hammered into their carbon wheels.
it would take a physics degree in fluid dynamics to prove me wrong.
how on earth endura can sell these to alejandro valverde for only £69.99 i simply cannot fathom.
saturday 05 april 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................