i'm assuming that the four seasons (the real ones, not vivaldi's composition nor the guys that used to sing with franki valli) were named for a specific reason. one must presume that, at some time in the earth's dim and distant past, those with the wherewithal to offer international diktats were able to do just that, placing an order for autumn, winter, spring and summer. or if you're across the pond, just substitute fall for autumn.
if that is truly the case, and we haven't just inherited the current setup from a janet ahlberg kiddies book, then in a leather-bound instruction manual somewhere or other is a list of the specific parameters that distinguish one from its subsequent neighbour. there surely has to be some means of determining just when spring ends and summer starts, and i'm guessing that this does not take the form of a specific date on the calendar.
my reasoning behind the latter conjecture is the knowledge that, in the middle ages, education was scarcely endemic in the human race at large. yet peasant farmers totally devoid of a doctorate in meteorological studies knew just when to sow seed, when to scythe the fields filled with corn or barley and many other annual agricultural necessities. of course, there's always the possibility that these things were done in line with natural observation that didn't necessarily coincide with the doubling of prices at center parcs during the school breaks.
commerciality has tightened up on these strictures, to the point of reducing seasonality to two distinct cupboards: autumn (fall)/winter and spring/summer. those are the preferred delineations favoured by the cycle industry's apparel providers, at which points they proffer one or two new garments midst revised colours for the rest. rather obviously, we are about to enter the first mentioned of those two seasonal partitions. winter garments offering enhanced showerproofing, waterproofing, windproofing and insulation of varying degrees that have been stored in a cupboard since february are now, or about to be placed in our direct path of purchase.
but what if they're wrong?
earlier this year, when all and sundry were illustrating the spring/summer ranges with sunlit images featuring short-sleeves and lightweight fabrics, temperatures in the hebrides were still in single figures and the rain was still conspicuous by its presence. many items were encased under winter clothing in order to complete a review, speedily divesting outer garments in the teeth of an atlantic gale in order to take photographs. quite blatantly, somebody somewhere had got the seasons quite wrong.
so when andy and mick at prendas ciclismo sent through a pair of their revamped aqua light overshoes at the end of august, they were in fact late, rather than too early. only the previous weekend, many of the velo club had worn overshoes and full-length bibtights. naturally enough, as a hardened, if occasionally mistaken scotsman, i wore bibshorts and got my feet wet.
for the latter part of 2015, prendas have added very in-your-face fluorescent yellow panels to these incredibly versatile items of footwear. these are overshoes that live up to their name with aplomb, being very lightweight and thus avoiding any propensity to cause overheating. yet that thin fabric had the ability to shield a deep burgundy pair of dromarti leather shoes from road spray and minor showers. and despite the ambient temperature being well above freezing, my tootsies never once over-heated. honestly, not once.
and one of the principal benefits of their fastening is a half-length zip at the rear of each shoe, accompanied by a large velcro flap that obviates any zip chafing if you happen to be wearing short-length socks. if this sunday's forecast is anything to go by, they'll be called into service on the morning ride during which, as is my wont, i will be unbearably smug. with warm, dry feet.
prendas aqua light fluoro overshoes are available from the prendas website at a cost of only £29.95 in shoe sizes ranging from 37 to 50.
saturday 6 september 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................