argument simmers as to the correct definition of the word acronym. though one side of the discussion insists the correct meaning to be an abbreviation formed from a series of initial letters (such as n.a.s.a.), the opposite side of the coin is more given to seeing it as an abbreviation pronounced as a word. either way, it is a feature of contemporary society that they form an ever-increasing portion of our daily lives.
an advertisement recently appeared in islay's local newspaper, alerting readers to the fact that the ijcvs were holding their agm at icci. i'll refrain from blighting your day further by explaining just what that all entails, but i figure you can see where i'm coming from. several of our most favoured cycle providers are every bit as guilty; witness pinarello's f.a.s.t. range of components, or mavic's u.s.t., s.c.c. and a.r.c.. meaningless in and of themselves, but verging on the technically impressive if you have no idea of that to which they refer.
and now i possess a long-sleeve winter jersey with the letters vb beautifully embroidered front left. i have decided that they are a contraction of victorious brian. every bit as vacuous as most other acronyms, but handy to have as a ready answer when anyone enquires as to their representation. and believe me, they have.
though personally the self-praise holds greater sway, in point of fact, the letters v and b refer to the jersey's originator: velobici. this is an inescapable alternative, proudly embroidered across the back between my shoulder blades on their latest long-sleeve continental jersey. it is, it has to be (readily) admitted, a thing of beauty and, for those not in possession, one of potential envy.
i need not reiterate my self-declared love of the long-sleeve jersey in all its manifestations, but i do rather adore the fact that the continental features thumb loops at the cuffs of its extended length sleeves. popping right and left thumbs in place prevents those insidious, wayward draughts from reducing the cosy warmth engendered by the fabric and a well-judged height of collar. additionally, on the few occasions i've come across thumb loops such as these, after a few dozen kilometres, they hurt my thumbs. not so in this case. the acronymically named vr1 material from which the continental is hewn offers hitherto unrealised comfort, allied to an impressive four-way-stretch and a clever thermal loop inside to maximise its fluffiness properties.
in keeping with many modern-day jerseys, there is silicon gloop on the dropped rear hem to "keep everything where it should be, regardless of the conditions" to quote from the velobici website. a few centimetres above this hem is an idiosyncratic, yet intelligently thought out pocket arrangement: three differently sized open pockets, coupled with two zipped variants, one each side of the jersey. you just know this jersey has been designed by a kindred spirit; that leftmost zipped pocket is ideally placed to contain coffee money.
the smallest of the open pockets is sited adjacent to the coffee money pocket and pretty much on the side panel of the jersey. here is the ideal spot for that mini-pump, preventing the darned little blighter digging into your spine, seated on one of debbie's chairs while supping the froth that the aforementioned money afforded after a sunday ride. the remaining two pockets offer what can realistically be deigned, substantial cargo space. all three zips can be opened and closed without need for gloved fumbling, due to medallion style vb chainring zip pullers.
prior to dwelling on other aspects of what is truly a superlative jersey, it seems pertinent to make mention of the fashion in which the pocket array is styled. leading from the left, the pockets increase in depth by means of a parabolic curve up towards the rear right. after all, a mini-pump probably requires less pocket depth than does a scrunched waterproof cape. aside from the velobici logo'd reinforced top to these pockets, this demonstration of thinking outside the monocoque deserves more than just modest adulation.
the stretchy fabric serves to flatter, holding close to that honed athletic figure whether on or off the bicycle. though the majority of my forays into the wild west were rarely accompanied by temperatures that encouraged ventilation, the front zip tag is easily graspable, even with thermally insulated fingers. though i cannot deny i had need of wearing a gilet more often than not, the closely knit vr-1 material kept the wind at bay while wicking the scarce amount of perspiration engendered by one or two rides in sub-zero windchill.
velobici's continental jersey very effectively eschews any notable association with the peloton, harbouring a desirable style all of its very own, yet sees fit to display the acronym for victorious brian on the left breast. and it's made in nottingham.
the mighty dave t will like that.
velobici's long-sleeve continental jersey is available in navy blue only, in sizes from xs to xxl (medium reviewed) and retails at £160.
tuesday 8 march 2016..........................................................................................................................................................................................................