mrs washingmachinepost is a childminder, an occupation that has its happy moments accompanied by its screaming brat moments too. the latter are ameliorated, however, by the knowledge that they can always be handed back to their respective parents at the end of the day. on the occasions when my work finishes before mrs twmp's, there are endless games of hide and seek, ring-a-ring-a roses and running down the big hill accompanied by splatterings of yogurt all over the clean pair of rapha jeans i put on that very morning. those of you still in possession of young children will know exactly where i'm coming from. often just what you need at the end of a long, hard day in the office. (ironic statement alert).
as this childcare is offered as a professional service, there are a number of routine duties that seemingly require to be undertaken at the break of each day, the most impinging of which is the clearing and subsequent disinfecting of every surface the little darlings are not supposed to be allowed anywhere near in the first place. periodically the same care and attention is lavished upon boxes and boxes of toy animals, lego, model cars, construction kits and a dishevelled array of books in an effort to forestall cross contamination between different familes of children.
it's probably an occasional routine we could readily apply to aspects of our cycling habit, but let's be honest, most of the incidents with grime and contamination experienced from the saddle are of the glaringly obvious type. these can either be embarrasingly concealed, where possible, or worn as a badge of honour where appropriate. as a for instance, the cyclists' tattoo, consisting of half an oily chainring on the calf of a right leg should be hidden at all costs from the pelotonese, yet placing on display for the civilian population, blissfully unaware of the shame such confers upon the happless individual, is almost tantamount to glove tanlines on the back of the hand in pelotonic company.
these are often, however, a tad more obvious than invisible bacteria on a kitchen worktop. putting the chain back on after a schleck moment provides a pair of hands that would not be out of place on a miners' strike picket line.
but, if we assume that all goes undemandingly well on the sunday bike ride, the worst that could conceivably happen would be a dishevelled pile of swot and hetty, slouched in a wooden kitchen chair wondering just what's for lunch. at that particular point in a grand old day, it's often a case of changing from superman into nondescript civilian life as quickly as possible after a hot shower. considerations are few and far between beyond the above, yet we ought to be paying a smidgeon more attention to the small things in life, and for once it's not all about the bike.
if i may refer you to the swot and hetty of the previous discussion, those cushioned pads at front and rear of the helmet, the long-suffering insoles in those svelte leather shoes, and the cushioned inners of a pair of leather track mitts have all inherited squillions of little bacteriums over the course of a couple of hours riding. if i might bring up the pertinent question, what are you going to do about it?
well, up till recently, not much. when i remember to do so i give the gloves a scrub in soapy water, shoes have occasionally been treated with febreze i found in the kitchen cupboard, and if the helmet's lucky, the straps get something resembling a passing scrub. it's barely adequate, i admit, but i'm no different from anyone else, so stop looking at me like that. the exceptions to this are richard and dean at purple harry. buoyed with the success of those scratchy pipecleaners, they have not for one minute rested on their purple laurels, releasing a whole slew of scrubbing products for the velocipede, including a second edition of the three fingered polishing glove which is thankfully now the appropriate shade of purple.
the latest product, to be officially launched at the scottish bike show next week, concerns our personal hygiene in a way that will not result in a red face. the smelly aromas that result from all those exertions can now be immediately dispersed by means of the purple harry helmet, shoe and glove sanitiser, a biocide spray that not only banishes niffs, but pretty much kills them stone dead at the same time. though its effectiveness can only be truly appreciated over an appropriate period of time, so far, it's not doing too badly, particularly with regard to the inner recesses of my shoes, and i'm hoping, a brand new pair of leather gloves will feel the immediate benefits of my repetitive purple spraying technique on their textured innards.
price on opening is likely to be £5.99 for a 250ml spray, though if you're attending the scottish bike show, there's likely to be a special price on offer. an essential purchase for all sorts of reasons.
posted wednesday 4 april 2012...........................................................................................................................................................................................................