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cafe du cycliste

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baby sheep and french fancies

me with a lamb

everyone's sunday morning rides are different. pre-covid, if heading for the sunday ferry at kennacraig by citylink coach, near the erskine bridge, you'd inevitably come across several pelotons from the same club, heading in the same direction (probably the café at arrochar), but at different speeds. others will probably consist of the old-timers who, if you happen to drop off the back en-route, are inclined to leave you to fend for yourself, rather than sending someone back to ride alongside.

pain and suffering.

for the velo club, it has always seemed a tad counter-productive to invite emerging cyclists to join us, then head off into the distance and leave them to get on with it. it's hardly sociable, and it goes against the grain of hebridean friendliness. imagine, if you will, that non-essential travel is, once again, available to one and all, and you have elected to join our small, but perfectly formed sunday morning peloton, keen to make the acquaintance of the indigenous velocipedinists. then we ride away and leave you behind (this based purely on the assumption that, as a body, we prove to be a smidgeon faster, entirely at the behest of slamming into galeforce headwinds all winter). i tend to think you would be less than best pleased.

however, in the absence of visiting cyclists, we have not only become thoroughly insular, but embarrassingly repetitive. i have, at length, explained the rationale behind perambulating the same parcours week, after week, despite the original reason for so doing being no longer valid, but it seems that we're not entirely alone in that. if i might refer you once again, to the erskine cyclists mentioned in my opening gambit, from what i'm led to believe, they pretty much ride the same route week in week out. just like ourselves.

and despite the hypothetical visiting riders, also previously mentioned, asking if we ever get fed up riding the same routes year after year after year (we don't), it transpires that many of our interlocutors are no different in their own way, despite the availablity of a far wider number of roads in the majority of mainland regions. it seems that we are all creatures of habit, even at a professional level, keen as many a world tour rider is to hammer it up the same ascent on a regular basis, hopeful of detecting any significant improvement, granted, there is perhaps a lot more method to their particular madness, but it seems that repetition might be a thing after all.

of course, the ultimate habitual riding probably affects the indoor brigade the most. despite the wide variety of routes allegedly available in watopia, there's no getting away from the fact that the bicycle remains clamped to the same smart trainer, in the same room, in front of the same flat screen or ipad. look to the left or to the right, and those three ducks above the sideboard, or sofa next to the door will scarcely change, no matter how many virtual kilometres strava says you've covered. however, aside from the zwifties, there's always the possibility that eccentric things might be seen and interacted with along the way.

french fancies

things like a box of french fancies for instance.

the second part of our sunday repetitiveness has us ride around loch gorm on islay's atlantic coast. despite yesterday's substantially low temperatures, lowered further still by the wind that wasn't supposed to be there in the first place, we still made a brief halt at saligo bay, to grin smugly at the heavy hail shower that could be seen over the atlantic. the smugness had nothing to do with glory, but everything to do with the fact that said shower was not directly over us. the tautologically obvious fact about a perimeter road, is the knowledge that, ultimately, it heads back in the direction from which we'd originally travelled, though a few kilometres further south, on the opposite shore of the loch. and as we neared the top of foreland hill, those french fancies hoved into view, sat carefully atop a drystone wall.

lest you think such happenings are common currency in the hebrides, let me immediately disavow you of that notion. the young lady who makes and serves my double-egg roll and soya latte each and every saturday lunchtime, is obsessed with sheep (her parents own a croft). and as mentioned in yesterday's post, this is lambing season, a fact we tangibly experienced as we passed the sheep fank at foreland. big kids that each and every one of us undoubtedly is, the option to stop and have photos taken, holding one or two lambs, while greeting finbar the sheepdog and his young owner, was too good an opportunity to pass up. hence the image atop this feature, and the box of french fancies, courtesy of the young lady, with which we unceremoniously stuffed our faces.

all hail the sunday ride.

monday 12 april 2021

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galloway cycling

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out and about

gravel bike and cattle

a few years ago, i was sent a photograph of a sign appearing on a farm gate. it said, "if crossing this field, please ensure you can do so in nine seconds, because the bull can do it in ten." there is some doubt, i believe, over the legality of attaching 'beware of the bull' signs to farm gates north of the border, apparently on the basis that the public has the right of responsible access, and such signs could be regarded as 'restrictive'. conversely, advice also abounds pointing to possible legal irresponsibility by not warning members of the public that their countryside wanderings could lead to some danger.

a few months ago, a friend of mine was seriously injured by a cow, while out walking his dog, even though the ground on which the animals were grazing was not fenced in, nor he fenced out. that's a common occurrence in the hebrides, where sheep and cattle are often free to roam in the more obscure parts of the islands. it cannot be denied that this state of affairs has caused more than just a few car accidents, and sadly, in two cases of which i'm aware, death. i have long thought it something of an oddity that the country has gone health and safety mad, intent on saving us from ourselves, yet quite happy to let black or dark brown cows wander across main roads at night. and on the road adjacent to islay airport, during the warmer months, it's common to find sheep sleeping on the tarmac at night.

situations such as these have rarely caused mishap for cyclists, though i once met a herd of blue greys on the portnahaven coast road that refused to move out the way, despite frenetic arm waving and persistent shouting by yours truly. the shouting bit is usually sufficient to clear cattle off the road, but it's worth bearing in mind that these beast are larger and heavier than the average cyclist on even a steel tourer. if they take fright, it's an extremely good idea to offer a wide berth. sheep, on the other hand, are predictably the most unpredictable animals on earth, but very rarely are they ever aggressive.

however, sheep can be a bit of a problem for cyclists during late march, early april, when it's lambing season. many sheep have twins, and if you accompany that knowledge with seeing mum and one lamb at one side of the road, there's a better than evens chance that lamb number two is on the other side, possibly (as on the loch gorm road), hiding behind some bushes. though sheep will rarely shift for motor vehicles, which could obviously do them some serious damage, they will run a country mile in the proximity of cyclists. thus, to return to the aforementioned scenario, either mum and lamb number one will cross the road to join lamb number two, or vice-versa. the fun part is guessing which.

i mention all of this because we seem to be heading inexorably towards an opening up of the nation, with covid restrictions being relaxed, along with persistent advice to have a staycation as opposed to travelling abroad. thus it would not be unseemly to consider the likelihood of pelotons of cyclists eager to visit the wide-open-spaces of scotland's west coast and those of the inner and outer hebrides. and, at the risk of teaching my granny to suck eggs, the countryside is a tad different than towns and cities.

when was the last time you saw livestock wandering down sauchiehall street?

mountain biking is less than prevalent on islay, principally due to a distinct lack of suitable offroad tracks. though it's not uncommon to see cars parked in main street with full suspension mountain bikes hanging off the back or on a roofrack. where they ride, i know not, but it's rare to see the machinery anywhere other than on bike racks. however, mountain biking seems likely to have been usurped by gravel biking, machinery arguably less dependent on trails that last for ever. thus it seems not unlikely that gravellous riders might think little of chopping and changing between on and off-road, paying scant heed to any grazing livestock. and that might prove unfortunate.

british cycling and cyclinguk have welcomed new advice to be incorporated into the revised countryside code, advice that centres around the "be nice, say hi" campaign, encouraging an enhanced sense of courtesy between walkers, cyclists and equestrians, and i wouldn't for one minute disagree with that sentiment. however, on islay and probably jura, a cyclist/walker interface is relatively unlikely, other than on the three distilleries path, and the soon to be opened, 'lochindaal way', between bruichladdich and port charlotte. the only route on which we occasionally meet horses, is around loch gorm.

though i've specifically referenced islay and jura, these are happenstances not uncommon across scotland's west coast, so if the relaxing of lockdown sends you in such a direction, consider this a public service announcement.

oban cattle

following my posting of the above, a correspondent not too far from islay, just to underline the point i hoped to have made, sent me this image of highland cattle on the principal cycle route from taynuilt to oban on the mainland.
you have been warned.

sunday 11 april 2021

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campagnolo

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if the bike fits

my velo fit

many, many years ago, i was invited by the fine fellows in london's macklin street, to visit their 'cyclefit' premises for a bike-fit, on which i would subsequently report. to say that it was an eye-opener would be something of an understatement, as i'd no certain idea of what the process might comprise. unbeknownst to most of us, we tend to favour one leg over the other when it comes to velocipedinal propulsion, standard power meters generally not highlighting this state of affairs, and only reporting the total output. the infinitely adjustable 'bicycle' used by cyclefit to measure everything that needs to be measured, displays independent power output from each crank.

sat in front of a large monitor, displaying a multitude of figures, it was immediately apparent that my left leg was offering a mere 46% of the power, while my right leg worked overtime to make up the difference. after a few seemingly minute alterations to my bike position, when the screen was once again clearly in view, the figures had evened out to 50% on each. of course, whether that has remained the case, i'd scarcely hazard a guess. but the biggest surprise, gleaned from the comprehensive report handed over at the end of the session, was only realised on returning home.

my velo fit

according to the numbers, my optimum saddle height was 72cm, but on measuring the two bicycles in the bikeshed, i blinked twice at the 75cm featured on both. a few millimetres would have been unremarkable, but 3cm? however, there would have been little point in having undertaken such a comprehensive bike fit, if those numbers had been ignored, so i dropped the saddle height to the advised 72cm, at which it remains to this day. the change in comfort and joy was noticeable from the first pedal stroke. which is why i would still advise having a professional bikefit to anyone experiencing niggling pains while riding.

but, lets not beat about the bush. i have no idea what the current going-rate is for a similar experience, but at the time, i believe the cost was close to £300, an amount most of my non-cycling friends would think rather a lot for even a bicycle. but if spending thousands on state of the art carbon-fibre and equitable trinketry, it's probably a mere fraction of the total cost, yet still a price many may find less than palatable. surely better to spend that sort of cash on a spare pair of wheels, than 'waste' it on a bike fit? is it not simply a matter of figuring out what passes for a comfortable saddle height and trying a couple of different stem lengths?

but possibly more to the point, a great many of us live nowhere near a professional bikefit centre. fortunately, i had been in london for reasons other than just a bike fit, but adding travel and hotel costs onto that £300 would probably have bought me a decent bicycle. granted, opportunities are more widely spread these days, but if i figure the nearest to the hebrides likely to be glasgow, which still involves a three-day trip, with at least one night's accommodation, as was the case when i was fitted for a trek madone at glasgow's alpine bikes. if only there was a serious alternative.

my velo fit

of course, in these modern times where there's an app for everything, it seems there actually is a practical and cost effective alternative. how cost effective? well, the absolute basic service is actually free.

my velo fit provides an online bike fit that uses artificial intelligence to identify the same body segments used by professional bike-fitters to determine your position on the bike. according to the company, you'll need your bike fixed to a turbo trainer, along with a camera or phone with video capabilities, stuck on a tripod for stillness. using the aforementioned, you simply film a 15-30 second side view of you riding your bicycle and then upload it to myvelofit.com.

so it's free, i hear you say?

paying nothing whatsoever, allows you to upload one video per week for a basic fit analysis, providing an unbiased, artificial intelligence based bike size recommendation. or, if you're a bit less stingy, you can pay $35 providing access for two weeks (for one user) which offers up to five uploads per day, a detailed fit report, advanced fit analysis, specific adjustments, and a flexibility assessment all backed by a 30-day money back guarantee. the ultimate bike fit, however, costs $75, offering unlimited access for one year, an unlimited number of bike profiles, as many uploads as you darned well like and everything else included in the $35 option. you can also pay an additional $35 for an expert review.

all this is achieved without ever having need of setting foot outside your front door, boarding a ferry, taking the bus, or catching a train. how it compares to my three-hour session at cyclefit, i'm not qualified to say, though i tend to think the personal touch is always preferable, where it's possible to ask questions (and i did) at every stage of the process. but it does offer a means of support for those domiciled nowhere near a qualified bike-fitter and those of us without the wherewithal to spend another several hundred pounds. now, perhaps, you can gain better placings in those watopian grand tours.

myvelofit.com

saturday 10 april 2021

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rouleur

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divisiveness

alive and well at the muckle roe hall - norman indoor/outdoor cyclists

though perhaps less applicable nowadays, at one time we had contrasting opinions on the relative merits of bruichladdich distillery and those of islay's most southerly distillery at ardbeg. the former have styled themselves as the rebels of the industry, despite the fact that they make single malt in exactly the same way as does every other distillery on islay. writ (very) large on a warehouse wall in their trademark blue, and overlooking the distillery courtyard, are the words 'progressive hebridean distillers', despite having made great play of the fact that there are no computers involved in the whisky-making process. bruichladdich have also highlighted the fact that much of their distilling equipment originates from the 19th century. those features are well worth promoting, but seem somewhat at odds with the adjective 'progressive'.

now owned by french conglomerate, remi-cointreau, the distillery was revived at the hands of mark reynier, whisky guru jim mcewan and simon coughlin, none of whom are still associated with the day to day operation of bruichladdich.

ardbeg, however, on the face of it, have a far more laissez-faire attitude to their place in the single-malt universe. though owned by glenmorangie, who are, in turn, owned by louis-vuitton, moet hennessey (lvmh - also the owners of pinarello), life seems far more relaxed at the southern end of the isle. our contrasting opinion, with which i ostensibly opened, stated that while bruichladdich once resembled a bunch of old farts pretending to be the doobie brothers, ardbeg were the doobie brothers. that latter opinion may have to be slightly modified now that former manager, mickey heads, has retired; if micky was any more laid back, he'd be horizontal. new manager, colin gordon, from our point of view, remains an unknown quantity, but there's no reason to think the atmosphere is likely to change.

if you're wondering what the relevance of all this is to cycling, bear with me while i explain. on the sunday morning ride, conversation rarely revolves around cycling, other than a few moments discussing upcoming races, or the results of those that may have already taken place. other than that, there are more often discussions concerning work, families, television programmes and what chores our respective wives are likely to have tabled up on return from the morning's pedalling. under the heading of work, and related to the foregoing, i bemoaned the style in which certain press releases had been written, particularly that recently received from ardbeg's pr team.

the distillery has recently opened a new stillhouse, a building which contains millimetre accurate reproductions of the original copper stills, in an effort not to alter the successful formula for ardbeg malt. all whisky fans tend to be a tad over enthusiastic about their favoured malt, and the ardbeggians, as the press release would have it, are no different. the missive also recorded their enthusiasm as 'intense commitment', leading to a deep sigh from my side of the office imac. it's one thing to recognise and promote the purported eccentricities of the distillery and its acolytes, but i seriously doubt that any news publication worth its salt, is going to replicate those sentiments in print.

in which case, why was the press release couched in such language? if the rationale behind press releases these days is to minimise the re-writing needed by any given periodical, thus making publication more likely, surely including those idiosyncracies, is somewhat counter productive?

and moving on from that, potential divisiveness rears its ugly head, in the shape of indoor, online cycling. discussion of such subject matter is surely quite ironic, while ploughing through a galeforce, sub-zero headwind, substantially distanced from the reality of riding a smart-trainer positioned in front of an ipad, in a centrally heated sitting room. or kitchen, where one of the velo club has a wattbike positioned. in a group of four, two of us are definitively averse to the mores of watopia, while one is a new recruit and the other is the wattbike owner. thankfully, we are all (reputedly) intelligent enough that the conversation never becomes physical, but if such discourses are taking place in the hebrides, one can only imagine the density of dialogue elsewhere across the nation.

remember when we just went for a bike ride?

friday 09 april 2021

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prendas ciclismo ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

pessimistic optimism

cycling increase in scotland

on a wednesday morning, i'm usually in the office on my own for an hour or so, before any of the rest of the staff arrive, all of whom enter by the back door, because, currently, i'm the only one with a front door key (long story). a shout of 'hello' around 09:45 signified that my office colleague had arrived for work, followed by a lengthy silence, leading to the possibility that i'd been hearing things. the lengthy silence, however, turned out to be the time elapsed between her arriving by e-bike after a 16km ride, and getting changed out of her secret identity. though the hebrides were blessed by a pleasant, clear morning, not only was there a lack of rain/hail/snow (delete as applicable), there was, for once, surprisingly little wind, easing the pedal journey north.

that's the second time the woman has ridden to and from work in the last few weeks, a bit of a coup for someone entirely bereft of suitable weatherproof clothing in the face of a remarkably cold month of april. in the grand scheme of things, two bike rides in a month are hardly that of which front page headlines are made, but from her personal point of view, quite encouraging. if we extrapolate this particular exploit across the country, that surely counts as an increase in scottish cycling. and, as it happens, that would appear to be the case, with scottish cycling listing a 47% increase over the past year.

having frequently wondered from whence such statistical evidence arrives, learning of the existence of a nationwide network of automatic counters has answered my question. and though statistics are probably the bane of everyone's lives, apart from statisticians, over the course of last year, those counters recorded increases of 68% in april, 77% in may, 63% in jun, 44 % in july and 33% in august, compared, of course, with the same periods in 2019. that would indicate a rather confident increase in scottish cycling, which, to all intents and purposes, has continued to the present day.

much as i'd love to say this has been reflected in my own observations on islay, sadly, other than the instance mentioned at the beginning of the page, that has not been the case. not unnaturally, this increase in the number of scottish pedalists has been apportioned to the covid pandemic, though i think that may only be partially true, for i believe the statisticians may have ignored the existence of passive peer pressure. for example, if even one or two office staff were to have taken to the way of the saddle in order to preclude any need to use public transport (the principal reason given for the upsurge in cycling), would it not be logical to suppose that others, less reliant on public transport, may have joined them, when the benefits of cycling were made manifest?

it's a difficult proposition to support with facts and figures, but similarly, a hard contention to deny.

support for the increase in cycling nationwide would appear to have been confirmed by figures from the bicycle association demonstrating that sales of bicycles and accoutrements increased by 45% across the uk in 2020. the lady with the e-bike could easily confirm one corollary of this increase: a distinct slowdown in supply. her original e-bike developed a crack in the electric motor mounting, a problem which the manufacturer honoured under warranty by replacing with a new bicycle. unfortunately, disruption of both manufacture and supply chains due to covid-19, meant that the new machine took near six months to arrive in the uk. i doubt she's the only person to have suffered a long wait for a bicycle.

cycling scotland chief executive keith irving said, "It has been a horrendous year, but one of the few bright spots has been more people getting back on their bikes. We're delighted at the massive increase in cycling and it's vital we see it continue and expand." and that's the bit that seems to be following an expected trend. numbers show that there was a 32% increase in numbers during september 2020, dropping to 22% in october, then slumping drastically to 7% in november and 4% in december (however, it's worth my pointing out that those still show increases from 2019). but in january, the numbers decreased by 14%.

regular cyclists, or even regular people, will be well aware that the weather in november, december and january is rarely conducive to sharpening those tan lines. unless cycling is part of your dna, riding in crappy weather is probably not at the top of your to do list, and that's always where the weak-link is going to be found, when it comes time to maintain the increase, as life begins to resemble some sort of normality once again.

cycling in pleasant weather is never particularly hard, while continued riding, day after day, is a habit that becomes ever easier, the longer it continues. but unless you've actually caught the cycling bug, perhaps finding yourself eager to read the announcement of next year's tour route, it seems to take only a minor blip to undo all the previous good. it's an obstacle that cannot seemingly be simply cured by the implementation of 'pop-up' cycle lanes in towns and cities across the country. travelling in motor cars, buses or trains when the weather turns sour is always going to be a more attractive option than getting wet on the bike. that's where the peer pressure mentioned above, might come to the rescue.

if enough of those who took up cycling during the pandemic, continue throughout any periods of adversity, perhaps, just perhaps, the less resolute might be inclined to follow suit. of course, that's pure supposition; i have no statistics to back it up.

thursday 08 april 2021

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picture this

photographer roff smith

i have, you will no doubt be surprised to hear, received more than a single commendation for some of the photography that appears midst these black and yellow pixels, praise that, while welcome, is entirely misplaced. though i count myself highly proficient in photoshop, and capable of snapping the occasional landscape, a career in creative photography is about as far removed as the likelihood of my becoming the first scottish victor at the ronde van vlaanderen. the general process of taking photos to accompany the review du jour, is finding somewhere steady on which to place the camera, with the timer set to its maximum of ten seconds.

photographer roff smith

i hope you will agree that one-sixth of a minute is hardly sufficient time in which to press the shutter, clamber aboard the ritchey, and cycle far enough away, in order to about turn and ride back towards the camera. aside from anything else, there's the not inconsequential problem of ensuring i am in frame' when the shutter fires. that's a hard enough ask when remaining stationary, but a few metres distant from the lens. you would hardly believe the number of images from which i am fortunately/unfortunately missing.

photographer roff smith

those have turned me into the verisimilitude of an angler, bemoaning the fact that those unpopulated images were undoubtedly the best of the batch.

however, combining the skills of the photographer with those of an avid bike rider are hardly unknown, the difference usually being in the equipment used to capture far better photographs than those punted by yours truly. for starters, a camera more sophisticated than my own compact point and shoot would likely offer the opportunity to make use of an external device, extending the time before the shutter opens. however, that would seriously interfere with my professed sartorial svelteness; fitting a canon or nikon dslr into a rear jersey pocket is something of a non-starter, to say nothing of a tripod.

photographer roff smith

but there are those amongst us with not only the necessary photographic skills, but no particular reticence to lugging heavy photographic gear in the hope of snapping a few astounding images. all that accompanied by a love for the bicycle and cycling. roff smith is one such gent. to quote from his photo feature in the online new york times, smith is "...a travel photographer grounded by the pandemic..." he began taking a camera and tripod on his morning bicycle rides, intent on treating the exercise "...as though they were magazine assignments."

photographer roff smith

starting out simply as something to do, the photographer soon realised that it had "...blossomed into a celebration of travelling at home." Roff lives in the sussex seaside town of st leonards-on-sea on england's south coast, and all the images in his nyt feature were taken within a ten mile radius of his home, sometimes leaving as early as 3am to take advantage of weather, light, or atmospheric conditions. that, in a nutsell, is dedication to the cause. he shares my own reticence to appear in front of the camera, something that has taken me many a long year to get used to, but, like roff, one that has no alternative. "As a journalist, I've always said I had a great face for radio and the perfect voice for print. But needs must when the devil drives. What with social-distancing requirements and zero budget, I'm all I've got."

photographer roff smith

referring to the problem i have subsumed, concerning the available time on the shutter, roff says he uses what's referred to as an intervalometer, "...a programmable timer that allows me to preset whatever delay I need and then have the camera fire off a chosen number of frames. That's the easy bit. Anyone can take a self-portrait." though i might disagree over that last bit, i do get his point. he's also keen to make plain that, in these days of covid travel restrictions, "...I feel as though I've been places, seen things, traveled in the grand old sense of the word.
"And, ever the travel photographer, I bring back pictures of where I've been."

you can admire roff smith's words and imagery here.

thanks to dan russell for pointing me in the right direction

wednesday 07 april 2021

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world bicycle relief

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le col hors categorie bibshorts ii

le col hors categorie bibs ii

the phrase, 'window of opportunity' is arguably one the has been missing in action of late, unless, of course, you're elon musk or jeff bezos. this past year has pretty much wiped away every opportunity for the majority of us, existing instead in a form of stasis, where mention of the bill murray movie 'groundhog day', has become daily conversational currency. in scotland, the last announcement from holyrood rescinded the 'stay at home' mantra, to be replaced with 'stay within your local authority area', offering something of a dichotomy in the immediate locale.

le col hors categorie bibs ii

around christmas time, just as plans were afoot to move the scottish islands into level one, everything changed, and islay and jura, along with their west coast compatriots, were placed at level three, just where we remain today. with mainland scotland at level four, the restrictions were plain to see: unless essential, you don't move from a higher level to a lower level, a situation that has effectively kept the virus at bay, from an islander's point of view.

however, the change highlighted above, creates a situation for which clarity has yet to appear. islay and jura, and indeed, colonsay, mull and tiree are all islands that come under the jurisdiction of argyll and bute council, meaning, theoretically, that the current advice would give those in mainland argyll, free reign to take the ferry to any one of the above islands. so far, however, it seems sense has prevailed, with islay's roads over the easter weekend, comfortingly clear of any traffic, local or visiting. but the other welcome happenstance for at least two of those easter weekend days, was a bout of unbridled sunshine and warmer temperatures, though swirling snow outside the sitting room window as i write, would tend to suggest that brief period of meteorological abnormality has come to a sudden end.

le col hors categorie bibs ii

ever eager to welcome better conditions with open arms and bare legs, friday and saturday provided the ideal opportunity to hang the winter bibtights back in the cycling wardrobe and break out the bibshorts. and what better welcome for a two-day, hebridean version of british summer time, than the latest to emerge from yanto barker's le col spring/summer collection? the hors categorie bibshorts have been tailored for the new season with a modified and improved cut, featuring an impossibly smooth lycra and one of the most luxurious chamois pads, i've ever had the privilege of wearing.

le col hors categorie bibs ii

as a ten-stone weakling with a 30" waist, i opted for the small size, providing a notably close and comfortable fit that takes a smidgeon of effort to put on. the flat, elastic bib straps are smooth enough to prevent digging in at the shoulders, while the length easily accommodated my hardly impressive 5' 10". there are le col branded elastic hems that keep the impressively long legs in place throughout even feeble attempts to nudge the garmin to ever larger digits. my one disappointment, a trivial one to be sure, is the stealth-like branding, with only a black, shiny 'le col' logo applied to the back for those traling in your wake to witness. if i'd just invested £180 on a pair of such superb shorts, i'd be rather keen to let even innocent bystanders be aware of that fact.

le col hors categorie bibs ii

it's become something of a self-inflicted cliché, to aver that seated luxury such as this is akin to wearing nothing at all below the jersey hem (heaven forbid), but even in those dire moments when discovering there really are no more sprockets left on the cassette, it's plain that the hors categorie bibs have your (logo'd) back. and should you be wondering, the flour featured on a saturday double-egg roll, wipes from the lycra with the least effort, providing, sartorial elegance as you make the acquaintance of a less than adoring public once more.

it would take no longer than a few website clicks to learn that bibshorts can be had for a good deal less than £180, but to paraphrase those 'l'oreal' adverts, they're worth it. and so are we.

le col hors categorie bibshorts ii are available in navy/white, black/black, or black/white (as reviewed). sizing ranges from small to 3xl at a retail price of £180.
le col hors categorie bib shorts ii

tuesday 06 april 2021

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endura cycle clothing ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

hot chillee ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

wabi woolens ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

showers pass ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

rapha ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

as always, if you have any comments, please feel free to e-mail and thanks for reading.

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