if i've got this right, the search for the higgs boson at the large hadron collider will more or less explain the existence of so-called dark matter, the colossal areas of space that appear to be somewhat bereft of any tangible existence or appreciable mass, yet supposedly constitute 83% of the universe. unfortunately, i think i may have been absent from physics class on the day that quantum mechanics was taught, and i've been playing catch-up ever since. who would ever have believed that atomic and sub-atomic particles had need of their own branch of physics? why can't they just behave like normal human beings?
no doubt in contradiction to the teachings and understanding of both peter higgs and professor brian cox, my own apprehension of the material world is that there are simply two distinct species of stuff. there is stuff that pertains to bicycles and stuff that quite blatantly doesn't, though i'm willing to accept that some of the latter can come perilously close to being the former. but such is the nature of distinction in physics, that neither can be specifically the case. bicycle stuff is usually easily identifiable by its propensity to have fixable positions on the majority of bicycle frames. saddles have somewhere to go, as do brakes, stems, wheels; i'm sure you catch my drift.
bicycle stuff exists in alternative forms too; cycle clothing, footwear and helmets all have their place in the firmament. i will, in the interests of not teaching my peloton to suck power bars, leave you to consider your own options rather than labour the point unduly. however, in the interests of maintaining my own level of super-symmetry, the very existence of bicycle stuff predicates that of non-cycling stuff, a theory averred to in my opening dialogue. it will be of endless, and possibly vaccuous debate as to whether one outnumbers the other, but it wouldn't seem too outlandish to designate bicycling stuff to be in the minority.
considering what an agreeable lot we have proved ourselves to be, our collective distaste for non-cycling stuff does not preclude coming into acceptable contact with voluble mountains of it in every day life. and in the course of our velocipedinality, some of this has to be carried hither and thither along the world's highways and byeways. life's just like that.
provision has already been made for just such eventualities in virtually every cycle jersey and/or jacket; those three rear pockets for starters, and on occasion, some larger zipped examples at the rear of a softshell jacket. those, however, preclude a substantial range of accoutrements, accessories and daily provisions that have been incorrectly sized and shaped to comfortably fit in any of the variations denoted above. yet again, life's like that. professional racing cyclists have the undoubted luxury of having roadworthy provisions pre-built to fit those pockets, and should that fail for any reason, there's either a mavic or team car close behind. the amateur fares less well.
bearing in mind that the peloton of amateurs is considerably larger than the paid-for variety, an alternative has to be sought for those moments when collecting the guardian newspaper on the way home is an over-riding necessity. or, indeed, an opportune purchase at debbie's requires to be transported back to bowmore. perhaps there may even be occasions when lending the mighty dave-t a cycling book has to take place on the sunday ride. how he gets it back to port wemyss is his problem.
shortly after receiving the chris king cielo from portland, i took a fancy for a pair of full wood fenders from the same town's river city bicycles, intending them only as stylish protection from islay's considerable rainfall. when it became clear that spring was about to merge into summer, they would be removed and confined to the bikeshed. apart from the fact that summer never quite made it this far, and scotland's population remained without its necessary quantity of vitamin d, the fenders looked so darned cool, that they have remained in situ ever since.
doing so gave the cielo a personality that belied its r45 built wheels and sram red groupset. a wolf in utility clothing. with my riding sensibilities morphing to encompass the need for accommodating more than the occasional non-bicycling stuff, the recent addition of a swift industries of seattle, washington tweed and canvas little dear has not only complemented the cielo and its wooden fenders, but offered the ideal opportunity to enter bowmore's newsagent in lycra and a yellow helmet while subsequently having a pragmatic solution to carrying the newspaper home.
the little dear can be affixed to any saddle hoops and carried in the manner of a saddlebag, but i heartily recommend fastening it to the handlebars; if the wind is on holiday it may even be possible to read the newspaper thus carried. should heavy precipitation preclude this, any contents will remain safe and dry due to the elementary labyrinthine construction of the bag. though faced by a herringbone tweed front flap bearing a front fastening, the principally waxed-cotton construct of the bag flaps over internally, fastening to the inside rear via two substantial poppers. in this manner, external elements are kept firmly at bay.
slogging through horizontal rain, sleet, hail and gale-force winds for the past week or so has all but failed to allow ingress of water. though i'd hate to come across as blase, in my opinion, if the little dear survived this baptism of inclement weather, it will likely survive anything. if you are unwilling to take islay's word for it, might i just point out that seattle's average rainfall exceeds that of this hebridean isle by around 50 inches.
i'm willing to take their word for it.
swift industries 'little dear' cycle bag retails at $75 (around £50) and is one of a wide range of bags for a variety of purposes available through the website of this seattle based business.
posted sunday 25 december 2011..........................................................................................................................................................................................................