soya cappuccino and carrot cake. one of your five-a-day. probably as good as it gets. the feast of weekend (and mid-week) champions, and compared to the thought of converging for an early evening meal with friends, one of life's great informalities. and while we're on that particular point, consumption of the aforementioned ought also to comprise a relaxing hour or so in the comfort of an appropriate hostelry.
the bike du jour can be casually left leaning against patio furniture outside debbie's, furniture that is currently too cold to occupy in the face of an icy blast from siberia. opening that red door is a simple matter; it's closing it against the wind that is more of a challenge, quickly enough however, to retain that homely, welcoming aroma of the finest coffee this side of easter island.
i'd be very wary of ascribing any degree of formality to sportwool and lycra, but considering it is the fashionable and pragmatic clothing in which to find yourself for, let's say, the sunday ride, it has a specific job to do, and can therefore escape any ascribed notion of leisure wear, in the sense of seeming relaxed and inconspicuous sat at the coffee bar, or the chair that rests beneath richard sachs' remonstrations to 'make lifelong memories, and race.' if i may, just for a moment take a brief sideways step and transport the peloton to starbucks, costa or cafe nero, how relaxed would we all appear if sat in front of froth and cake in any of those establishments?
therefore, in order to enjoy a verisimilitude of lounging unaffectedly midst one's civilian peers, perhaps something just as ostentatious and cycling specific, yet considerably less than pelotonic ought to be available in the honed athlete's wardrobe. something along the lines of prendas ciclismo's leisure jacket; a team issue jacket if you will, but where every one of us is a team member.
it resembles nothing more or less than a baseball style jacket, or the apparel worn to school by one or two of the principals in movies such as grease. there, however, the conjunction with americana comes to a complete halt. i've said it before, and i have no compunction about repeating myself; if mick and andy didn't exist, we'd have to invent them. no matter your affections for any specific cycle team, or indeed, in this day and age, a cycle clothing brand, wearing anything emblazoned with prendas ciclismo marks one out as a member of the cognoscenti.
for the purposes of longevity and comfort, the portuguese made jacket is fashioned from a comfortingly thick mix of fleece-backed cotton and polyester with elasticated cuffs, collar and hem. the full length ykk zip has a padded prendas ciclismo tab to ease the up and down-ness, and two convenient front pockets to allow an insouciant pose leaning against a nearby coffee bar. writ large across the front are the words prendas ciclismo solidly embroidered, while the same appear screenprinted on each sleeve. on the back, testament to mick tarrant and andy storey's seventeen years in business. and despite alex salmond's endless persuasions to the contrary, personally i have no wish to split the borders anytime soon, so an embroidered union jack at top right suits me just dinky doo.
midst protestations from mrs washingmachinepost, i have been wearing this jacket since it arrived a few weeks ago; its comfort, cosiness and, dare i say it, funk have been ideal in the sub-zero temperatures and strained output from the croft's storage heaters in the face of siberian adversity. if it were necessary to constrain into a few words, 'absaflippinlutely brilliant' wouldn't be too strong a phrase. there is little doubt that one's sporting affectations would be unlikely to remain a secret if worn in starbucks, costa or cafe nero, but in such polite and cosmopolitan company, it would fare far better than those strange, cultivated tanlines.
i regard myself as one of life's perennial mediums, not in the sense that i have conversations with those who have passed over, but in terms of sizing. however, as noted on the prendas website, these jackets are just a tad oversized, thus that which i have worn for froth supping is labelled small. bearing that in mind, you might wish to drop a size from the usual when offering up your measly £69.95 for anything from an xs to a 4xl.
i fully expect to see a sold out notice on prendas.co.uk within a very short period of time. there's also a molteni badged version available.
thursday 28th march 2013..........................................................................................................................................................................................................