i own three twenty-inch ride cymbals, all of different weights. i have two crash cymbals at sixteen and eighteen inches, three pairs of hi-hat cymbals (10", 13" and 14") a couple of splash cymbals and a small chinese cymbal that i never play, but one i bought in new york and i like to hang onto for sentimental reasons. i don't play drums as often as i used to, but at last year's islay jazz festival, i used only one of the ride cymbals and dispensed with the hi-hat altogether in favour of two sets of ankle bells. it's been a very long time since i set up every cymbal i own, and not just because there are few venues on islay with sufficient stage space, or the fact that i don't own enough cymbal stands.
it is something of a forlorn conceit that i have so many choices of metal at my disposal. it's tempting to excuse such excess on the grounds of each being appropriate for varying musical situations, but that would only make sense if i'd returned to being a session drummer. it's very much a case of it being better to have and not need, etc, etc. playing them all at once would verge dangerously close to ostentation.
on a comparable yet far more minimalistic scale, with the exception of the taurus corinto, all of my bicycles have two sets of bottle cage bolts, but each carries only one cage. i'm also sure we are all acquainted with riders who feel the need to plonk a full 750ml bottle in each, even for the sunday morning ride.
perhaps they are possessed of a less tolerant constitution than i, but i think it unlikely. sundays last usually no more than 80km max, a distance most could surely manage on 500ml of water or carbo drink? it's hard not to equate the carrying of more than one bottle with that of yours truly positioning every cymbal i own round my loud and toneful maple. discretion is undoubtedly the better part of valour.
i'm crap at drinking on the bicycle. riding 200km in one day, valiantly reviewing a jersey designed expressly for such distances and much further (it seemed like a really good idea at the time), i was eventually forced into making a dash for the local average market to grab myself a couple of bottles of spring water. two bottles on the bike would have been a very good idea that day, presumably the very reason why cycle frames have a double set of bosses in the first place. but generally speaking, there is an alarming tendency to return home with every bit as much water in my bottle as i left with.
oddly, the latter deficiency seems not to overly concern my tenacity on the bicycle, less than onerous though it may be.
adding some form of flavouring to that sole bottle (like adding sizzles to a ride cymbal) does provide an incentive to slurp more often, but i still find it slips my memory more often than really it should. however, i can't help feeling that my filling up with tasty stuff before the off tends to lean heavily on the superficial. if i truly wish to see some improvement in my performance (less sniggering at the back please), then a more concerted programme of hydration would seem to be more in order.
osmo hydration products are the brainchild of nutritional scientist, dr stacy sims, but more importantly from our velocipedinal perspective, her productive offspring are currently used by the tinkoff-saxo team, home to former tour winner, bertie the accountant. perhaps uniquely amongst the purveyors of hydration products, osmo contend that men are from mars and women are from venus, making the hydration demands of each somewhat different. as a resident of mars myself, i'm unable to testify as to the difference between the two.
the osmo range consists of three distinct products contained in tubs of ever-increasing size. the first port of call is named preload hydration with the condition that it ought only to be taken in extreme heat, intense efforts or ultra-endurance. since the first of these three is as likely on islay as a saxo tinkoff training camp in bowmore, it's left to the subjectivity of numbers two and three to justify preloading my hydration. directions for consumption of the pineapple and lemon powder, complete with a measured scoop, dictate a helping the night before as well as thirty minutes before a bout of intense effort.
the latter is not something i would usually entertain, but 16km into a galeforce headwind is as close as i'm likely to get. however, the bottle on the bike (or bottles, if you'd prefer) is recommended to contain two scoops of orange flavoured osmo active hydration, a powder inhabiting container number two. short of a team of physicians and dietitians waiting at the end of my ride, any benefits i feel may have accrued are entirely at the mercy of my perception. it's easy to convince yourself that the benefits are manifold, but to be honest, the main aspect we're all likely to examine is does it taste nice?
it makes little difference to the exertive amateur as to the promised benefits if the drink aboard the bike makes you gag. happily, not only do both the mentioned osmo products taste particularly good, but subtly so. there are many alternatives on the market that seem to impress their flavours upon the palate with rather more emphasis than seems completely justifiable. osmo have obviated this by providing their hydrational benefits without resorting to flavour overkill. in fact, both offer a mildly milky sensation upon the tongue while apparently increasing both power output and endurance. i'd be lying if i hand on heart attested to the former, but i'd be willing to confirm the latter.
many of the great and good are keen to point out that the most important part of any bike ride is that of recovery. for those in the velo club that has more often been considered as the supping of froth accompanied by a slice of carrot cake. however, neither are ever likely to improve cycling performance. thus, occupying space in the largest of the three osmo tubs is the acute recovery, a vanilla powder recommended to be mixed with either water or almond milk. in the absence of the latter, i used soya milk, mixing up to a rather pleasant form of milkshake. never has positive flavour sensation been so pertinent; many another recovery drink does not encourage a repeat performance.
the active preload powder would, i'd suggest, suit only the very keen or residents of very warm countries. however, the active hydration and recovery would appear to make perceivable differences when used systematically and regularly as part of a wattage controlled fitness regime. the fact that they taste rather good is a gratefully received bonus.
osmo preload hydration retails at around £20 for a 260g tub. active hydration costs around £16 for 400g and the acute recovery approximately £28.50. osmo products are distrbuted in the uk by 2pure
monday 19 may 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................