the noticeable change in the weather made itself known on saturday. though patchily sunny, it went all grey before i made it as far as nipping out on the bike and in true sod's law fashion, it stayed that way until i stopped for lunch at debbie's, when the sun came out. however, the grey stuff and a rising wind contrived to chill the air, making my choice of bibshorts perhasp a tad optimistic. still, we're all well enough practised over here not to leave home without a rain jacket, even at the height of summer.
as i write, there are smirs of rain on the sitting room windows and it's getting harder to see the fields only a few hundred metres from the croft. this means autumn at best or perhaps even the early onset of winter. which unfortunately reminds me of all the bicycle maintenance i had promised myself to undertake before the weather closes in for the next few months. the bike shed is currently so infested with bicycles and one or two boxes in which at least two of them arrived, that any fettling need take place outdoors on the workstand, for there is no space in the shed.
it is surely somewhat iniquitous that many of us take a serious interest in the state of our velocipedes, happy to click one of the online bike stores and order alloy doohickies and cables to ensure smooth transport into 2015. but what of the individual? what of the cyclist who will pedal from now into next year? aren't we in need of some fettling too?
few will have answered 'no' to that last question, even in blissful ignorance of how it might be achieved. it is surely no coincidence that those who have gained fame and fortune from cleaning, polishing and lubricating our prized possessions should now offer the wherewithal to keep the engine in a similar state of health. this has been achieved with the release of purple harry's ultimate care products contained within three identically sized dispensers.
it is, i will readily admit, not particularly common to find chamois cream in a press-top dispenser; more usually it arrives either in a squeezy tube, or a small plastic or metal tub. as you might imagine, there is a perfectly good reason for the purple harry method according to co-founder, richard hargreaves. "I've always thought that putting this type of product in a pot like many companies do is a little unhygienic, especially for chamois cream. If it's applied direct to skin, and you've not put enough on, you get some more. There’s no double dipping with these containers." additionally, unlike many on the market, the chamois cream, which is constituted more like a dense foam, is unscented. "This is one of the best ways to ensure it is suitable for all skin types, as it's often the fragrance that causes irritation."
i'd be lying if i testified to any special qualities offered by harry's chamois cream. most, if not all, carry out their task every bit as well as the rest of their peer group, but i am rather in favour if the method of dispensation (if you see what i mean) because i'm a messy fellow at the best of times. though each of the three products is clearly labelled, it would be a prudent move to make doubly sure before application. though bearing an orange stripe across the label, the muscle warming cream would not prove a comforting alternative to the chamois cream.
what the muscle warming cream does do that i've not often come across before, is carry out its specific task with an impressive subtlety. there will be few amongst us who have not slathered those chiselled calf muscles with embrocation (as we in the trade prefer to call it) and immediately wished we'd waited till just before bum cheeks hit the saddle. harry's warming cream approaches the subject with a greater degree of circumspection; dispensing a small amount either directly or onto your hand before massaging onto those rock-hard muscles does not result in a watering of the eyes and a subsequent wild grabbing for ice or a fire extinguisher.
at first i thought i'd perhaps been too sparing, for there seemed little effect, but once i'd headed out into the wide grey yonder, that dispensed duvet for my legs fended off any untoward chilly temperatures. and it did this for hours on end without complaining.
not that i've tried doing so, but harry's muscle cooling cream, also contained in an identical pump dispenser would probably add something of a frisson in the nether regions should it also be mistaken for the chamois cream. in which case, never carry out any of the above noted applications while wearing spectacles in a steamy bathroom. on having divested oneself of pelotonic garments and had a refreshing shower, the cooling cream (a transparent gel) was gratefully welcomed by my chris hoy look-alike thighs, while offering a menthol aroma to anyone standing within conversational range.
each of the plastic dispensers is pragmatically limited to 100ml, meaning those friendly, uniformed officials working in airport security will have no recourse to confiscation before you've even made it as far as that overseas sportive ride.
purple harry have an excellent track record of releasing products that dispense with unnecessary rhetoric; basically, they do precisely what it says on the tin (or plastic pump dispenser) and do so rather well.
each of purple harry's ultimate rider care range can be purchased individually at a cost of £9.99 each.
sunday 28 september 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................