beach towels

deckchairs and beachtowels

there is an apocryphal cliché that residents of a certain european country have a habit of leaving their beach towels on the deckchairs and sun-loungers when on vacation at holiday destinations across the world, in order to reserve them for the following day, but to the exclusion of their fellow visitors. in truth, i have seen this take place, but whether it happens as a matter of course to this day, i know not. however, whether this annoying habit still takes place or not, holidaymakers from that particular country are still tarred with that reputation.

it was at least in part, the subject of conversation as we dined al fresco on lattés and toasties on the patio at debbie's. for by sunday next week (26 may), the feeding frenzy of the 2024 edition of fèis ìle will already be underway. and it is tradition that the first sunday of each festival belongs to bruichladdich distillery, situated but a few metres from debbie's, the latter being the very destination to which we'll be headed following yet another sunday morning ride.

and barring unforeseen events, it will also likely be the day when pogi stands atop the giro d'italia podium, with likely the largest winning gap since gianni bugno's in 1990.

however, to return to the outskirts of the whisky festival, the perceived need to leave beach towels on the outdoor benches at debbie's, emulating the holidaymakers from that diplomatically un-named country, is a situation that we have learned from previous years. despite the distillery asking propsective attendees to park their cars at a space set aside on uiskentuie strand, and make use of the free shuttle buses into the village, i can almost guarantee that the roadsides throughout the small village that surrounds the distillery, will be nose to tail with cars belonging to those who have completely ignored those pleas.

and though the gates of the distillery do not open until 12:30, debbie's will open at 8am to cater for the endless stream of those wishing food and drink to keep them occupied until those gates open after mid-day. i confess that part of the lunchtime conversation mentioned above, was not only about the beach towels, but quite why so many, so-called whisky aficionados find it necessary to hang about a small hebridean village over four hours ahead of the event in which they intend to participate.

the sunday parcours, as advised on previous occasions, sticks rigidly to the same route each week, as a pragmatic throwback from the covid years. with the island having been placed in lockdown, transport to which was solely for lifeline purposes, the ferry service was curtailed to one return sailing per day, and none on sundays. debbie's is, apart from a fine hostelry serving the finest coffee west of milan (i have written testament to that effect), set within the local mini-market and post office. with no sailings on sundays, there was subsequently no sunday papers delivered, and thus no reason for the premises to open before noon.

several of the available sunday morning routes had a tendency to bring us to debbie's front door between 11:30 and 11:45, meaning an occasional wait in often less than clement circumstances. depending on the temperature, sometimes we were persuaded simply to cut our losses and head home, awaiting the following weekend to avail ourselves of a quality coffee. as a result, we devised a parcours that, assuming a reasonable average speed, would bring us to the coffee stop at the appointed hour. since then, we have simply repeated the process on a weekly basis.

which, as you may now surmise. provides us with a potential seating problem come next sunday. for as we return from the heat of battle around loch gorm (deftly avoiding those who have opted to head to kilchoman distillery for a less frenetic option than that of bruichladdich), arriving at debbie's around noon, or slightly thereafter. though there is no chance whatsoever that we might replicate the speed and effort of the man in the pink jersey, we still look forward to a healthy repast, washed down with that excellent coffee. however, what is easily predicted is not only a queue to be served, but the likelihood of nowhere to sit for the purposes of consumption.

the decision, therefore, seems perfectly clear; do we delay the start of the sunday ride by around thirty minutes, ensuring arrival after the distillery gates have opened, or should we maintain tradition, start at the usual time, but simply ride a smidgeon slower?

it's at times like this that you really miss the strategies of a directeur sportif.

monday 20 may 2024

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sram 1x transmission

i have possessed a specialized crux cyclocross bicycle for almost eight years, a bicycle i described as one of the finest bicycles i'd ever ridden. not just the finest cyclocross bike, but one of the finest overall. in the intervening years, i have found nothing to change my mind, other than the fact that specialized, apparently eager to find a bandwagon suitable for jumping on, now market the machine as a gravel bike that is coincidentally capable of being ridden in cyclocross events. just like colnago, now that i come to think of it.

the only minor downside to the crux, at least the model that is ensconced within thewashingmachinepost bikeshed, is the fitment of a press-fit bottom bracket. the fact that specialized saw fit to insert an aluminium sleeve inside the carbon to avoid the apocryphal creaks and groans that affected several other brands, has meant that, throughout those ninety-six months, the bottom bracket has performed splendidly. so far, so good. but i have already detailed, elsewhere, the insurmountable faff involved in replacing the bearings when they reach the end-of-life.

it would be so much simpler to have been able to replace a pair of threaded b/b cups, or even involve myself in the now skilled practice of removing and replacing the bearings on a campagnolo crankset. particularly now that i have the required tools. however, more experienced mechanics will be aware that if one part of the transmission requires replacement, there's a good chance that its peers won't be far behind. the cassette sprockets were replaced not so very long ago, as was the rear derailleur, due to the disintegration of the jockey wheel bearings and the lack of suitable replacements to be found.

the simplest means of determining the state of the b/b bearings without dismantling the whole enchilada, was simply to drop the chain off and spin the cranks. oddly, the more worn of the two was the non-drive side. but following the bearing replacement, there was still an audible sign of wear which i took to be the chainring teeth. even following a good clean with lemon degreaser, a certain amount of noise persisted, so i opted to purchase a new, 40t sram chainring (the cranks are sram rival).

still hanging on the wall inside the previously referred to bike shed, are two shiny campagnolo chainsets on which it was (relative) simplicity to unscrew the chainring bolts, slide the ring over the crank arm and affix its replacement in the reverse manner. there was never any need to remove the entire crank arm, and both inner and outer rings featured the same bolt-circle-diameter. the rival crankset features only one chainring, but due to the fifth bolt being situated behind the crank arm, removal is considerably simpler with the driveside crank off the bike. surely a simpler method would either to have the bolts arranged (like campagnolo) around the crank arm, or, as in others, simply thread the bolt into the back of the crank arm?

it seems sram don't work that way.

as with many chainrings, the bolts thread into retainers on the inner face of the chainring, requiring an allen wrench to be inserted into front and rear to prevent them simply spinning pointlessly. and though the back of the crank arm is scalloped, it was still a bit of a struggle to insert the shorter end of an allen key into the (raised) retainer to hold it in place while manfully wrestling with the other side. it will surprise you not at all, that four of the bolts were removed with relative ease, while one did its very best to try my patience. suffice it say, a couple of hours later (twice the amount of time i had expected) the crux sported a new chainring.

unlike campagnolo, sram are content to join their chains using a powerlink, an option i believe vicenza now offers on the ekar thirteen-speed chain. prior to installation of the latter, i removed the cassette sprockets and gave them a thorough dousing with the aforementioned lemon degreaser. and while i was at it, i did the same to the derailleur jockey wheels. superficially, i think it a grave error to fit a shiny new chain to a grubby transmission.

i'm sure many of you have undertaken similar procedures on your own bicycles, or perhaps you just hand it into the local bike shop and ask them to suffer the slings and arrows of technical woes. my teaching my grannies (no offence intended) to suck eggs could easily be seen as a pointless monologue. but it's less about the process of change than about the process of change.

unless you're in the habit of regularly riding your bicycle through gritty mud and subsequently pressure-washing its nooks and crannies, wear and tear tends to be incremental, meaning that it's only when the stars fall completely out of alignment, that we are forced into action. in my case, i was finding an observable slowing of the saturday ride and distinct difficulties in ascending the stairs for a shower on my return. granted, i am definitely not getting any younger, but i appeared to be suffering considerably less when riding my ritchey logic on the sunday ride, a bicycle that recently had its very own bottom bracket bearings upgraded.

you can almost see the light bulb moment.

the professionals have a team of mechanics who regularly service and check their bicycles on almost a daily basis, with components changed in advance of their degradation. we, on the other hand, scarcely have the same good fortune, generally left to our own devices when it comes to decisions about when and what might be replaced. and that, obviously enough, depends a great deal on how au fait you happen to be with the mechanical aspects of cycling. in the days when i repaired bicycles for a living, it was more than common to be presented with components that were well past their sell-by date, the wear on which had frequently passed on their sense of dismay to those around them.

i tend to mark the date on which i replace a chain, and repeat the exercise four months later, irrespective of the level of wear. so doing has possibly saved me several cassette replacements due to excessive abrasion. i confess that leaving the bearings on the crux for as long as i did (eight years) was pretty much at the behest of the time and effort required to replace them (cowardice), but i promise i'll not do so for a second time. suffice it to say that my average speed on yesterday's ride was almost 2kph faster than usual, meaning that, had i been a tad more perspicacious, i could have saved myself a great deal of effort over recent months.

the moral of the story? look after your bike and it will look after you.

sunday 19 may 2024

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islay undersea power cable

around the beginning of the present decade, the uk ceo of the ford motor company stated that britain would need to be installing around 400 electric vehicle charging points per week in order to satisfy the created demand by the proposed restriction on manufacturing petrol and diesel engines beyond 2030. anecdotally, and quite possibly officially, the current rate of installation is nowhere near that. according to official statistics, at the end of april this year, there were a scant 61,232 charging points nationwide, though this represents a 45%increase on the number available at the same time in 2023.

locally, there has been not a single additional public ev charging point installed in the last two or three years, despite a noticeable increase in the number of electric vehicles plying the island's roadways. however, the problem seems less about a lack of the units themselves, and possibly more to do with the electricity network being incapable of coping.

there are currently 16 new houses being constructed on the outskirts of port charlotte village which, rumour has it, will be unable to make use of their associated heat pumps due to a lack of network capacity. friends of mine are in the process of constructing a new brewery opposite islay international airport, alongside a soon to be built distillery. neither is able to have a full grid connection until at least 2027. i believe a similar situation exists at portintruan distillery, a building that, when finished, will possibly be the largest on the island.

earlier in the week, i attended a drop-in event held by scottish and southern electricity networks (ssen) to explain how and why they intend to install a new undersea cable (see cross-section image above), supplying power from the mainland to the island. the cable will lie on the seabed under the sound of islay, the narrow stretch of water separating islay and jura. these cables have a projected lifespan of between 20 and 25 years, but due to the tidal conditions in the sound, these particular cables have to be replaced every ten or twelve years.

the engineers present at the drop-in explained that, although the cable is capable of carrying increased power over its predecessor, in fact, we won't be gaining any particular advantage from its installation. this is entirely at the behest of the power network on jura and subsequently on islay. it's the constriction of the latter that has instigated a feasibility study into the possibilities of running a spur from the proposed machairwind offshore windfarm between islay's north coast and the isle of colonsay. so while the demand for greater amounts of electricity is almost insurmountable, actually supplying it is seemingly a different matter.

that said, perhaps the supply and demand situation is less acute than we might think. according to a report on the bbc, sales of electric vehicles are on the decrease, following years of soaring sales, somewhat akin to sales of e-bikes, which, by all accounts, are not as healthy as once they were. the report continues to point out that road transport accounts for 12% of planetary greenhouse gas emissions (apparently reaching 27% of uk emissions). therefore, if the government's already postponed plans to replace fossil fuels with electric vehicles are to be achieved, dropping sales could be an insurmountable problem.

lower sales are reputedly the result of high prices, something with which chinese manufacturers could undoubtedly assist, were it not for western governments protecting the home product by imposing punitive tariffs on imported chinese evs. possibly an excellent demonstration of how you can't have your cake and eat it too. in 2020, there were ten million electric vehicles on the road, a number that had increased to 45 million by 2023. but according to the international energy agency (iea), by 2035 there will need to be 790 million, a required 27% annual sales increase. (my italics)

but of course, that is utter nonsense.

the figure is possibly correct if we are to rely entirely on electric vehicles to reach net zero, but that is a very singular and blinkered approach. yes, there will undoubtedly need to be an increase in the number of evs on the roads, given that there's no viable means of uninventing the car, or public demand for same. but what of the bicycle? if the world's governments spent as much time and effort educating and drafting appropriate legislation to curb the number of individuals who drive unbelievably minimal distances instead of walking or cycling, we surely wouldn't need all of those 790 million electric vehicles. building additional infrastructure to aid those who claim they would walk or cycle if it were easier to undertake, and adopting a belligerent stance against those who make unsubstantiated use of their cars, could still achieve net zero within the current time frame.

why is it that almost every government and a substantial number of those in their charge only ever see the car as a solution to everything? most of us have already proved them wrong.

saturday 18 may 2024

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less is less

50th anniversary super-record groupset

in 1953, campagnolo introduced the first bicycle groupset, with their gran sport edition, meaning that, for the first time, the intrepid cyclist could purchase a matching set of front and rear gear mechs, along with a hubset and gear levers. though there had been cycle componentry available from manufacturers other than vicenza's finest, in most cases those had been of the individual variety, when compatibility did not form a significant part of each brand's marketing speak.

on failing miserably to fit a campagnolo chain to a chorus groupset many years ago, despite using a park tool workshop chain tool, i made reference to the possibility of simply using a sram chain fitment of which would have been made considerably simpler by use of a power-link. yet, while that would have negated any requirement for any brand of chain tool, i was advised that, had i suffered any subsequent problems due to this substitution, campagnolo would not have looked kindly upon any warranty claims.

wimp that i am, i retreated in the face of copywriting, and bought one of those alarmingly expensive campagnolo chain tools. granted, the latter is an excellent example of italian engineering, but i'm pretty sure that a sram chain, or its method of fitment, would have actually have caused any grief in the first place. that said, i have little doubt that sram would have taken a similar stance, had i pursued any warranty claim with them, had the chain actually been found to cause difficulties while routing through the record components.

whether the advent of the groupset was simply the first salvo in warranty-gate, i know not, but it has certainly played into the hands of the groupset manufacturers.

that said, it would surely be only an act of obtuse rebellion to consider combining components from differing manufacturers on one bike frame? why on earth would you opt to purchase brake/gear levers from shimano, for instance, and hope or expect that they would work seamlessly with derailleurs courced from campagnolo? i have seen instances where vicenza's disc calipers have been combined with a different brand of levers, but purely in the interests of fitment, where the more logical choice would have caused insurmountable difficulties due to the characteristics of the frame. that's not to suggest, however, that so doing had the blessing from the warranty departments of either.

mixing some stuff does work just because it does. but considering the financial penalty of getting it wrong, better to leave that to a qualified shop mechanic. in other words, don't try this at home. i'm sure we all know someone who, for reasons of stupidity or bone-headed determination, has attempted to match ten speed levers from one marque with an eleven speed block and rear derailleur from another, simply because they can. i'm not sure anyone is really surprised when it results in wholesale failure.

but whatever your views on the compatibility or lack thereof amongst the principal gear and brake components currently available, the big three have been demonstrably guilty of removing items from what is defined as a groupset, yet with apparently no protest or even recognition from either the great unwashed or cognoscenti. though many will be peripherally aware of this having taken place, it was only the recent offer of a 50th anniversary campagnolo super record groupset, that made it plain just what has gone missing.

issued in 1983, the anniversary groupset (almost too glorious to be sullied by fitment to a bicycle) consisted of a polished, engraved alloy crankset, a seatpost, a pair of rim brakes and associated brake levers, a pair of polished alloy hubs (for freewheel only) with those iconic q/r levers, a pair of alloy quill pedals, complete with toeclips and straps, both front and rear derailleurs, downtube gear levers, an italian threaded, square taper bottom bracket and a headset. missing in action was a chain and freewheel. however, in mitigation, chains were of standard issue in the early eighties, and with standard threads on everyone's hubs, you could fit any block your heart desired.

take a quick glance at today's groupsets, pedals, headsets, seatposts and hubs are notable by their absence. but given the incompatibilities that have surfaced in the last forty years, that's hardly surprising. and there are particularly good reasons for the absence of some of those items; headsets are no longer one-inch; in fact headsets are no longer headsets. there are too may differing pedal systems currently available, and it seems that nobody apart from me rides handbuilt wheels anymore. but one of the major absences from the contemporary groupset is even more pertinent: aesthetics.

it will come as little surprise that, despite the price of the proffered 50th anniversary groupset, i actually considered its purchase, purely on its good looks. little, if anything, is shiny nowadays, chainsets either feature cast, one-piece chainring/cranksets, or have the chainring bolts accessible on the inner-face, requiring removal of the chainset to remove or replace rings. and everything is black, either carbon or paint. on the crankset featured in the anniversary record groupset, both chainrings utilise the same bolt circle diameter. as i recently discovered, the bcd on my 12-speed record crankset differs for each ring, and it requires removal of the inner ring to gain access to those fastening the outer ring. (the word aaaaaarrrrgh, springs to mind).

as californian digital type foundry, emigré has cultivated as an apt slogan 'design is a good idea'. as was a complete, shiny groupset. (ironically, the e-mail advising of the campag groupset arrived simultaneously with several others promoting sram's new red axs groupset. i know which i prefer.

campagnolo super record 50th anniversary groupset

friday 17 may 2024

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star wars stormtrooper

it will surprise no-one at all that i was the first cyclist on the island to own and wear a cycle helmet, a choice based on the premise that i'd rather be a fungus than a vegetable. the latter being a statement realised after some helmet wearers found themselves being name-called as mushroom heads. those early bell helmets were, as nowadays, constructed from polystyrene, but instead of the ubiquitous bonded plastic outer shell that is de rigeur these days, those early models featured elasticated lycra covers, often with mesh panels to aid ventilation.

the internals mostly consisted of differently sized velcro'd felt pads in order to tune the fit. it would be a year or two before the adjustable internal cage appeared, making it possible for manufacturers to produce only two distinct sizes as opposed to often four in the early days.

the choice to wear a helmet in the first place arose from a section of my almost daily parcours. the trip in either direction featured the climb to borraichill, near carrabus, offering a rapid descent in either direction, across roads that were peppered with loose gravel. though i rather enjoyed the speedy descents, it dawned on me that, particularly during the winter months, were i to become a cropper at any point, i could potentially lie unseen for quite some time before anyone realised i was there. the options, therefore, were two-fold; either i could slow down to a safer speed, or i could start wearing a cycle helmet to protect my noggin should the gravel get the better of me.

that said, i still believe it to be the right and proper decision not to make cycle helmet use mandatory in the uk. though i, and all my sunday morning colleagues, would never leave home on the bike without wearing a helmet, for folks who perhaps only ride to the shops or possibly to work or school, any legal necessity to wear a helmet might encourage them to drive, or simply not go at all. the uci made helmets mandatory for professional riders in 2003 following the death of andrey kivilev in paris-nice. the rule had been simmering in the background as far back as the early 1990s, but kivilev's death from an almost stationary fall provided the necessary impetus.

as i recall, however, the early days of mandatory helmet use allowed the pros to divest themselves of those helmets at the foot of the final climb of the day. it wasn't long, however, until even that get-out clause was closed. as the technology developed, helmets became lighter, stronger and better ventilated, to the extent where you'd scarcely know you were wwearing one. on several embarrasing occasions, i have ridden away from debbie's, only to turn round, convinced i'd left the helmet on the coffee table, when, in fact, i was actually wearing it. helmets are intrinsically like insurance policies, in that you buy and wear one, but hope you'll never have to use it in anger.

the late lord carlos of mercian had good cause to be thankful he wore a helmet. after reaching the top of a short climb ahead of my colleagues, i backed off to wait for them, as lord carlos, seemingly oblivious to everything around him, rode into my rear wheel and fell off, banging his helmet on the tarmac. this incident completely destroyed one side of his helmet, without which he'd have been discovering whether or not he liked hospital food. but no matter how the manufacturers style their helmets through aesthetic streamlining and bright colours, a bit like wheels and cranksets, they are no more nor less than items of specific functionality.

unless, of course, you're a time-triallist.

i once owned a black, carbon-fibre, tear-drop shaped tt helmet which featured a clear visor, a helmet that had been sent for review, but which seemed more at home in a star wars movie than on my head. since those days, time trial helmets have become ever more ridiculous, all in the name of aerodynamics. some of those witnessed in last week's giro d'italia time trial pushed the envelope of good taste to absurd proportions. we've already had the ludicrousness sported by visma lease-a-bike, the gregory porter style balaclavas that augment helmets from specialized, and two small 'aerofoils' attached to the lower portion of the visor, obscuring the rider's cheeks.

there was a discussion held within a minimalist (two of us) peloton at the weekend, where we fervently hoped that the uci would exercise its ability to ban anything it darn well likes, and state that tt helmets are now persona non-grata, on the basis that they make the sport's top professionals look like complete dorks. the purpose of a cycle helmet is to protect one's cranium: full-stop. anyone caught attempting to replicate the headgear of an empire stormtrooper should be made to clear the parcours of each tour de france time-trial course with a toothbrush.

make it so, mr sulu.

wednesday 15 may 2024

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king of sports: cycle road racing - peter ward mbe. pendle press paperback. 158pp illus £15

king of sports

this year's eurosport coverage of the giro d'italia has been enlivened recently by the addition of education first/easypost chief executive, jonathan vaughters. in addition to his laid-back colorado drawl, mr vaughters is remarkably well appraised of modern nutrition methods, training schedules, power outputs, bike technology; all the minutiae with which you'd hope a man in his position would be acquainted.

the information with which he has regaled us during stage commentary has been most enlightening, but several aeons removed from fausto coppi's advice to ride a bike, ride a bike, and ride a bike. only a few decades later, eddy merckx, though possibly phrasing it a tad differently, essentially said the same thing. it was probably during the era of chris boardman that suddenly, quantity was no longer the master of all it surveyed, having begun to be supplanted by quality. depending on your point of view, things have either become worse or better since then.

there is now a well-heeled industry surrounding the modern world of competitive cycling, one that has inveigled its way into almost every aspect of the sport/activity, even those in which no real demand exists. only the other day i was on the receiving end of a press release informing me that two members of aerodynamics company, aerotech had succeeded in considerably reducing the time taken to cover the 55 mile route in the annual etape caledonia. thereby hangs an intriguing story, but i'll save that for another day. however, for what i will categorise as the rest of us, the sporting life may consist of a slightly different hue.

staying with the competitive realm for the time being, however, some six decades past, matters were a tad more straightforward and, dare i say it, simpler. and there's no need to simply take my word for it: pendle press director, sherif dhaimish, having found an original copy of peter ward's 1967 book king of sports, effectively a manual for the aspiring road cyclist, opted to revive it for the modern age. and mr ward, later made an mbe for his services to cycling, had excellent credentials for so doing. a stage winner at the 1956 tour of britain, winner of over 30 first class races and a regular cycle commuter to his job as a british aerospace engineer. king of sports, was, in fact, the first manual of its type to be publshed in english.

the mighty dave-t, a man with a wicked sense of humour, told me shortly after moving here to the centre of the universe, that in his day, it was not encouraged to carry a water bottle on the bike if the ride was likely to be of 60 miles or less. this in direct contravention of the current belief that even office workers ought to consume several times their own body weight in water throughout the working day. i was never too sure whether he was winding me up or not, but i need only look at page 29 of the chapter that concerns itself with training.

"When your distances are over 60 miles you can carry food and one bottle of liquid refreshment. take a few extra biscuits or sandwiches as it is far better to arrive home with them in your musette than to die of hunger 20 miles from home.
"Your body's reserves are ample for training under 60 miles."

note the complete lack of mention of isotonic drinks, gels and carbohydrate nutrition bars. just ask tadej what kind of biscuits or sandwiches he prefers on the passo di gavia. however, as mr daimish refers in his publisher's note "Peter's work strips cycling back to the foundation of what it takes to reach your potential on a bike, which isn't the latest gadgets - it's your health, wellbeing and a love for riding." this is not the re-publishing of an ancient work purely for curiosity's sake. many, if not all of the contents of this book were hard won by the premier cyclists of the day. and to risk the overuse of a cliché 'it never did them any harm.'

the contents alone demonstrate that matters have not changed entirely from the 1960s; the subject headings are essentially the same - only the methodology may have changed out of all recognition. aside from the previously mentioned training procedures, mr ward enlightens upon diet, exercise, preparation, clothing, tactics, and good sportsmanship, amongst others. however, perhaps the only one of those that still persists in its original state, is that of sportsmanship. for that reason alone, cycle sport might still be referred to as the beautiful sport.

and as if to prove my earlier point that this is a book for you and i, "It is time all riders realised that if everyone stops correctly at halt signs, police controlled or not, no one will gain an unfair advantage in bunch or breakaway." a book of which the entire contents are firmly rooted in daily reality. and lest we forget that the great champions of the past achieved such deserved adulation for a reason, mr ward quotes fausto coppi as saying "Always remember that the other chap is suffering as much as you are."

though i have no wish to impose my hard-won luddite tendencies upon even those who ought to know better, despite the intervening sixty years since this book was originally published, there is much within that would benefit the current crop of sunday morning pelotons. jonathan vaughters may allude to the current professional riders' ability to consume 120g of carbohydrate per hour, but neither you nor i can or need to do likewise. that said, i cannot say that i have much truck with pete ward's advice to consume a plate of uncooked porridge. he's more than welcome to that.

thankfully, within the chapter concerning mechanical equipment, there is no mention of tubeless tyres, one reason, i'm sure, that i favour that era over the present. and it's nice to read of the freewheel (remember them?) referred to as 'the block'. though i now ride a twelve-speed groupset, i still refer to my collection of sprockets in that manner. as does the mighty dave-t. and while there will doubtless be overwhelming public disparagement, mr ward's contention that the racing bicycle frame "...must be built of 531 double-butted or Kromo tubing throughout." is actually as sensible today for the regular cyclist, as it was in 1965.

there is brilliance and worth on every page, but not everyone will realise it.

wednesday 15 may 2024

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