though we are straining at the bit to have it conform to its name, yet again, the ride of the falling rain was conspicuous by a distinct lack of the latter. no matter that a few hundred miles east, or so, as the crow flies, the commonwealth road race was engulfed with several deluges, our biggest problem was that of possible sunburn. though i'm pretty much satisfied with the ride's naming convention, i live forever with concern that one sunny sunday in august, trading standards will turn up unannounced and shut us down.
i'd be hard pushed to recall precisely the year the bike ride assumed its current moniker, but i do remember that it rained steadily from 10am in the morning until well past 4pm in the afternoon. you can no doubt understand our reasoning. in marketing terms it is all but infallible: if, as has become commonplace, the sun shines for most of the day, it can be considered a bonus. if it rains, well then we did tell you. smart thinking, huh?
it does, however, frequently create something of a predicament, mostly as far as appropriate apparel is concerned. on saturday past, the rain began just as the islay half marathon got underway, and failed to stop until around teatime. as is customary, i went cycling, more than adequately fortified by way of waterproof clothing, quite expecting the following day's expedition to be of similar intent. but sunday morning blossomed bright and sunny, demanding even as much as the application of sunscreen to face and legs, but excluding my arms which i clad in armwarmers.
you just never know.
but as the day progressed, and we enjoyed both the pre-ardbeg section as well as that of the post-ardbeg section, the sun and heat showed no sign of going away. during a communal comfort break at bridgend, my bravery showed no bounds and i removed the armwarmers, only, as you may recall, neither limb had been party to a liberal smothering of sunscreen. and that is precisely when the convenience of a compact and bijou stick of secret-training sunscreen spray in a rear pocket came in remarkably handy, not only for yours truly, but for one of my companions who found themselves in similar circumstances.
the secret training range of products has been developed by former european champion track cyclist, tim lawson. he is perhaps more readily known as the founder of science in sport. the samples sent for review included the aforementioned sunscreen spray, a tube of anti-chafing cream (why not just call it chamois cream?), start oil, post race wash and a couple of micro fibre cloths, all smartly presented in appropriate silver coloured containers with contemporarily styled lettering.
i'm none too sure quite how to review the anti-chafing (chamois) cream, for in truth, one is remarkably similar to another. however, the secret training product seems more than adequate and pleasantly aromatic. however, i did rather take a shine (literally) to the start oil which, on the very wet saturday preceding the ride of the falling rain i thought it a good idea to smother my legs in this particular product. rather surprisingly, it was pretty much all still there on my return, having more than adequately done what it says on the bottle. ironically, though untested in this respect, the sunscreen is labelled as non-waterproof, something of an oddity on sweating cyclists.
though thewashingmachinepost croft is possessed of a throughly warming shower, being in possession of secret training's post race wash, i opted to use that in conjunction with one of the micro-fibre cloths. the wash is designed to be used when a shower or bath is not immediately available, by spraying it all over before wiping yourself clean with the cloth. though the aroma is actually quite pleasant and quite strong, by the time i had dressed myself in civilian garb, the likelihood of stunning small animals at twenty paces had receded to more acceptable levels.
tim lawson has already helped many thousands of cyclists through his science in sport products and now seems likely to offer every bit as much care and attention to our externalities. though the claim to be 'with you from warm-up to clean-up, helping to invigorate, protect, calm, sanitize and nourish might read as just so much hyperbole, there's a reasonable chance there's more than a smidgeon of truth to that claim.
the secret training sunscreen (factor 30) retails at £5.99 for 25ml; the micro-fibre cloths (two in a pack) cost £4.99; 250,l of post race wash costs £5.99; 75ml of anti-chafing cream costs £7.99, and 100ml of start oil retails at £7.99. these and other products are available online from secret-training.cc
tuesday 5 august 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................