due to the vagaries of the local postal routes and seeming endless reshuffling of the post personnel, our daily delivery alters from a pre-lunchtime delivery to late afternoon depending on who's delivering on any specific day. though i'm assured the route itself changes not one whit from day to day, the direction in which the red post van accomplishes its task is very much at the mercy of the uniformed postie in the driver's seat. more recently letters, packages and boxes have been arriving either just before i get home for the day, or a few minutes after. thus, the little blighters in mrs washingmachinepost's care and attention vye with each other over who will get there first to bring it all to the sitting room.
if it ended there, worries and concerns would stop at that point, but while white and brown envelopes elicit no interest whatsoever, boxes and jiffy bags are a different kettle of titanium bolts altogether. therefore, no matter that i have been handed my mail, any of the latter type of package is immediately wrested from my grasp, that it might be opened by smaller hands than my own. fortunately, many of today's velocipedinal despatch departments stuff everything carefully inside plastic bags featuring probably the strongest glue known to mankind. so inevitably, after several minutes of squirming faces and white knuckled hands, the packages are handed back that i might finish the task.
that's a reasonably accurate description surrounding the recent delivery of a showers pass skyline cap. if you need any confirmation of the joy such a specific delivery can bring to a four year-old boy, you need only cast a glance at the photo above.
however, since that particular four year-old has yet to master the skill of riding without my holding onto the saddle, pushing through wind and rain with head showers passed, (if you'll pardon my misuse of the english language) devolved to yours truly.
the belgian style which the skyline cap emulates - named after skyline boulevard running above the showers pass home of portland town - holds a great deal of favour in thewashingmachinepost hat wardrobe (everybody's got one of those, right?). there are probably more months of the year in the hebrides when such headgear is more appropriate than anywhere else apart from belgium. and i fear even the latter is in some doubt; having watched a couple of european cyclocross races recently, i failed to spot any flemish riders with earflaps and peaks all but concealed 'neath helmets. but invoking once more the conviction that hebrideans are the flandrians of the west, i feel totally secure in my own choice of headwear.
the principal is simple; a softshell style cap is augmented by a ribbed, elastic flap that covers the ears when emulating pelotonic attack formation, yet can be simply flipped upwards when supping froth at the coffee stop in the feed-zone. the skyline fulfils each and every function to perfection, resulting in a toasty head no matter the ambient weather conditions. and the highly reflective logos applied about its person will leave no passing motorists in doubt as to your existence after dark. however, if like me, you're a helmet wearer, you'll need to flip the peak upwards in a distinctly non-flandrian manner to reveal the showers pass byline on the underside.
as a peak-down sort of chap, i'd be happier if the lettering was also applied to the top.
but while we're here and discussing peaks, this is sort of where the skyline cap falls down. every other version of this style of headwear in my possession features a rigid peak. the sort of accoutrement that can be totally destroyed by popping it in the washing machine. the skyline cap's peak is soft and floppy, and verging on not much use at all in windy conditions. i'm guessing they don't get winds in portland like we get on islay.
riding into a galeforce headwind, the peak was blown down over my rudy projects, rather limiting my forward visibility. flipping the peak into the up position made no difference; the wind simply blew it back down. crosswinds provided a similar, but ultimately more irritating problem. in this case, the peak fibrillated rather frantically, and when riding into the sunset (so to speak) offered an experience similar to the sort of strobe lighting apparently featured at loud discos. the sort of thing that drives you nuts. the only solution i can offer to these misdemeanours is to insert a plastic former into the peak and make it rigid like all the others. as it is, it has of necessity been relegated to windless days, and those will be few and far between this winter.
close, but no cigar.
the showers pass skyline cap is a one-size-fits-all garment, available in black with yellow trim. price in the uk is £25 ($40 in usa) and available from all showers pass dealers.
thursday 6 november 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................