100 clmbs - the revised editions

100 tour climbs

the original parcours for august's annual ride of the falling rain began, as usual, from debbie's café in bruichladdich, but we headed north as opposed to the southerly direction that has prevailed for at least the last decade. in the ride's very first year, we were joined by a professional mountain bike rider, a man whose name i'm afraid i cannot recall, but whose speed i remember all too well. as i breathed through my ears, i was strenuously attempting to make it look as if i too, was comfortably used to riding at such a velocity.

however, i digress just a smidgeon. looking more closely at the original route, the 14% climb at kilchiaran arrived at near 136km into the ride, the very hurdle that all but finished off many of those attempting the full distance. to undermine such an iniquitous situation, it was decided to move the kilchiaran climb into the first 15km, getting it out of the way while the legs were still relatively fresh. as it transpired, so doing solved one other potential problem that had inflected early versions of the ride; that of a peloton that remained essentially together until it arrived at the half-way point of ardbeg distillery.

sad, but true, most cyclists can't climb. or, to put it another way, a minority of cyclists can climb a great deal better than the majority. thus, by the time the kilchiaran climb was over and done with, what had been a close-knit group of cyclists, had fractured into groups of two or three, a situation that placed us in greater favour with the island's motorists. at one time, in my younger days, i would have been one of those happy to describe himself as a grimpeur; those days have sadly evaporated.

yet it's the climbs that continue to attract. how often have you come across a magazine or website feature that portrays the attempts of one or two riders to ascend alpe d'huez or the ventoux, or the galibier, or the mortirolo, to name but four iconic climbs from le tour and the giro. and then there's spain's kneecap crinkler, the angliru. while most of us would find ourselves in serious difficulty attempting any of the above, when time comes to spectate, at either the roadside or from the comfort of the armchair, it's the mountains that are the prize draw. having watched stage one of this year's dauphiné, commentator, matt stephens highlighted the loading of several very hilly stages at the back end of this week's event.

another 100 greatest climbs

though matt made it sound like like an impending death-knell for the riders, there was a clear sense of anticipation in his voice.

within the uk at least, and outwith the professional peloton, perhaps one of the country's best known eccentrics for climbing anything from a hump back bridge, to the bealach na ba near applecross on scotland's west coast, simon warren has carved an impressive career for himself not only riding the hardest of climbs, but writing and cataloguing as many as he can manage, within several books that range across britain, belgium, france, spain and several others.

re-released this month are two of mr warren's finest: another 100 greatest cycling climbs, and 100 greatest cycling climbs of the tour de france, the latter of which might prove very handy for the world tour riders participating in the dauphiné and this year's grande boucle. he has also changed publishers, with quarto relinquishing their rights to vertebrate publishing, a publisher with a great deal invested in the velocipedinal realm. these re-issues have been updated for 2024 and assume the same format as their predecessors, fitting comfortably inside a jersey rear pocket, should you wish to remind yourself of that yet to come when riding any of the contents.

the parcours (so to speak) within each volume, remains true to the originals, providing a brief description opposite a photograph of the climb, overlaid with mr warren's considered opinion as to its grading on a scale of one to ten. below the description are a series of relevant facts such as the final altitude, average gradient, two compact and bijou maps below a profile of the climb. yet while we marvel at the efforts of the professionals, mr warren's own undertakings are not easily dismissed.

"I worked out that I had thirty days to ride all 100 climbs (of the tour de france) and would split the trip into five trips built around school and bank holidays."

for those not yet ready to attack french france, an apprenticeship can be served without leaving britain's shores, ticking off each climb as you go. another 100 greatest cycling climbs is helpfully classified into eleven geographical chapters. for those of us north of the border, there are, coincidentally, eleven climbs with which to concern ourselves (he said, pretending that undertaking any of them was actually a possibility). both priced at £16.95, these are actually every bit as fascinating for the armchair grimpeur as for those with higher ambitions.

it might be just a smidgeon too late to replicate mr warren's french undertakings before this year's tour de france commences at the end of the month, but there's all summer to ride the pointy bits on this side of the channel.

buy a copy of 100 tour de france climbs | buy a copy of another 100 climbs

monday 3 june 2024

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patience as a virtue

tractor with plougshare

islay's most westerly distillery, at kilchoman, styles itself as a farm distillery, a description that may lead you to think of it as compact and bijou. until recently, that would have held perfectly true; at one time a tour of the distillery could have been achieved by standing adjacent to the stills and turning through 360 degrees. however, as seemingly with all the island's distilleries, growth is top of the to do list, entailing inevitable expansion, a factor that has led to the enlargement of kilchoman distillery, by way of malt floors, new stills, warehouses and a particularly impressive visitor centre.

but for all that, it truly is a farm distillery, situated as it is next to the original rockside farmhouse, now owned by the business. in fact, a few years ago, the distillery bought out the farm and now employs the surrounding fields as a means of growing its own barley. perhaps obviously enough, though distilling and farming may be perfectly good bedfellows, producing whisky does not necessarily qualify you as a farmer. so the distillery owners have subcontracted the farming to a third party, based on the island, but several kilometres distant from kilchoman distillery.

part two of the saturday parcours, following the inevitable double-egg roll and a soya latte at debbie's, consists of a perambulation of loch gorm on islay's west coast, a route that takes me past the entrance to kilchoman. last year, as i neared the left turn at the foot of foreland hill, a tractor with plough-share attached, preceded me onto the hill, and though i initially maintained relatively close station behind, on reaching the hill itself, the average gradient of which is around 6%, the tractor, not surprisingly, left me trailing behind. however, as the road eventually levelled out, i found myself catching up, falling in behind before we reached sunderland farm.

plough-shares are fearsome looking devices, particularly when attached to a bouncing tractor, so while i remained behind, i made sure not to get too close, in case the tractor had need of stopping particularly quickly.

the subsequent five or six kilometres were a unmitigated joy, as i pedalled slowly behind the tractor, a vehicle that stopped all oncoming traffic, allowing for an uninterrupted ride eventually to one of the fields a kilometre or so past the distilllery, where the tractor pulled up next to the gate. my fear along the road, aside from that jiggling plough-share, had been that the tractor would pull over to let me past, as i confess i was rather enjoying a slower ride than would normally have been the case. i was happy to be a patient individual, because the chap driving the tractor was obviously heading to work, whereas i was simply having fun.

when the tractor finally stopped, i too ceased pedalling, placed the bicycle against the fence, and walked round to find the driver. judging by the loud burst of laughter when i thanked him for allowing me the luxury of enjoying the scenery and ride, i think he originally figured i was about to complain that he'd failed to let me pass. patience is a wonderful thing in the right place; i was only out to enjoy myself, with nowhere i had to be at any given time; pretty much what cycling's all about.

switch forward to yesterday, when, as an admitted creature of habit, i plied precisely the same route as described above, though this time without an attendant tractor ahead. the gravel track providing access to kilchoman distillery can be seen in advance of actually reaching it, and as i did so, i espied a motor vehicle travelling away from the distillery along this track, heading to the junction with the road on which i was riding. as i neared to about 30 metres, the car reached the junction, saw me coming (i have a flashing front light on a fluorescent orange and green bicycle, and wear a bright orange helmet), but turned in my direction nonetheless. i would have been past in a matter of seconds, but even though the driver and passenger were ofm (over from mainland), and therefore unlikely to be in any sort of a hurry, it seems the notion of being patient and allowing me to pass, was not something to be considered.

in order to avoid being hit, i'd to mount the grass verge to let the car past.

this week has seen the 2024 edition of the islay whisky festival, an event that brings many hundreds of visitors from all corners of the globe, a sizeable proportion of whom arrive in their own vehicles. i don't doubt that many of those world corners are equipped with wider roads than are we, and that the skills required to drive along islay's single-track roads with passing places, are not necessarily skills possessed by many. but many of the stupidities practised by these visiting motorists rely almost entirely on common sense, largely unrelated to driving. if i can't see what's round a blind corner, the driver behind me sure as heck can't, yet a demonstrable lack of patience usually means that they'll attempt to pass anyway, even as i cycle in the middle of the road to discourage such behaviour.

patience used to be described as a virtue, and properly exercised, i'd imagine it still is. what a shame to learn it's a virtue that seems close to extinction.

sunday 2 june 2024

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yes, really

highland cows on the road

i have previously advised that on every second friday, i do my bit for the environment by transporting copies of islay's community newspaper (105 in total) to debbie's in bruichladdich, by way of bridgend stores. though not originally by choice, this is a practice that i have undertaken since the covid lockdown days, when there was no other staff member available to carry out the task, and royal mail deliveries meant that copies invariably arrived at the two above noted retail outlets, somewhat late of a saturday afternoon. the owner of port charlotte stores, himself a frequent member of the sunday morning peloton, has been also in the habit of cycling from the shop to the croft and accompanying yours truly, while transporting his own sales copies of the newspaper.

while we have been commended even by our msp (member of the scottish parliament) for our green efforts, in truth, both of us would take any opportunity for a mid-day bike ride, and the promise of a coffee at debbie's simply sweetens the deal. that said, we may have refrained from pointing this out, all the better to celebrate our environmental altruism. it's just a shame that holyrood is not equipped to dispense knighthoods at new year.

however, due to the imminent demise of the village shop in bridgend around mid-june, it seems highly likely that my backpack encased cargo will soon be more than halved, unless alternative shopping arrangements come to pass. the present day shopkeepers simply lease the premises from islay estates, owners of a considerable portion of the island, and also owners of bridgend hotel. while the current leasees served notice of their intention to end the tenancy of the shop when the contract ends later this summer, it appears that the estate, for whatever reason, has no desire to replace the tenancy, or even take it over themselves.

that said, they did submit a planning application to the council last year, portending to implement a substitute shop within outbuildings at the rear of the hotel. however, should that come to pass, it means that the current tenants have no successors to which they might sell the stock or goodwill engendered by the business, so in the middle of next month, they propose to shut up shop and begin the necessary moves to sell off the installed fixtures and fittings prior to the official ending of the contract. quite what the tiny village of bridgend will do for its retail demands i know not, since the estate have failed to engage with enquiries as to the next steps.

the post office formerly contained within the shop premises was closed down by post office management at the beginning of last month, entailing either a five kilometre drive or bus journey to bowmore for village residents to access postal services, or perhaps a ten kilometre trip to bruichladdich if they're in less of a rush, or prefer a more scenic route. i can see the latter being considerably less attractive when winter returns by mid-august. however, as matters stand at present, my backpack will be considerably lighter by the last edition of june, when there will be no shop to which deliveries will be found necessary.

closures such as these are not uncommon, and certainly not so in small rural and island villages such as bridgend. neither are larger villages, such as bowmore, immune from unforeseen closures. the week following the post office closure in bridgend, the bank of scotland branch in bowmore's shore street, owned by the halifax, was also closed for good, while visitscotland has intimated that its entire national network of information centres including that in bowmore, opposite the distillery, will close within the year. fortunately, i was able to deliver them the last remaining copies of the cycling on islay and jura leaflet, thoughtfully commissioned and funded by an earlier incarnation of argyll & bute council, only a matter of months ahead of their disbanding of the council's road safety department.

and despite the latter having remained obsolete for several years, the council has recently narrowed the roadway in school street bowmore to a single lane, just outside bowmore distillery. this has been achieved by considerable widening of the adjacent pavements, for reasons that the majority of village residents and the school bus drivers are struggling to comprehend. according to the council, these works were encouraged by a desire to improve safety of road users. enquiries so far have elicited no apparent safety concerns expressed on behalf of the police, the community council, the distillery or, indeed, the high school sited at the top of the street.

and despite an online search, no planning application in advance of the work can be found.

and while we're on the subject of a narrowing of the road, having ridden to debbie's in the early pm, for the purposes of newspaper delivery, following a vegan flapjack and a soya latte, i had need of returning the way i came. as i neared the end of uiskentuie strand, i came across a farm pickup, with two collies in the back, stopped in the centre of the road, with its hazard lights flashing. a matter of a few metres ahead of this, was a second pickup parked at the side of the road, near a flock of sheep being herded by a sturdy gent waving his arms, and yet another collie attempting to coerce the fluffy animals into some sort of order.

whether the sheep had just been herded into the field, or were about to be moved elsewhere, i know not. following and oncoming vehicles, unable to pass the deliberately stranded pickup, had no option but to slow and stop, while yours truly had no problem sneaking past without incurring any agricultural wrath. i confess, i'm a tad unsure of the rights of any farmer to bring traffic to an enforced halt on a main road simply by parking a vehicle in the middle, but when it comes to farming matters such as this, nothing seems surprising anymore. we have quite frequently been required to pull into a passing place or simply stand on the roadside verge to allow the passage of cattle or sheep, while we perambulate the sunday morning parcours.

during monday's whisky festival open day at islay ales' premises opposite the airport on the main port ellen to bowmore roadway, visitors found themselves highly amused to watch sheep and lambs walking along the centreline of the road as a matter of course. in mainland scotland and presumably englandshire, such animals would be firmly ensconced within their fields.

if you're cycling in the highlands or islands, and you come across cattle or sheep either wandering the roads, or being herded in one direction or another, accept it as part of the eccentricities that make the countryside what it is. do not be tempted to overtake any deliberate cattle movements, and ensure that you switch off any flashing lights in advance of oncoming sheep or cows. if there are solitary cows at the roadside, make sure to talk to them as you approach; if startled, their hooves can make mincemeat of your carbon fibre, to say nothing of what they can do to flesh and bones. the ground across which you may be cycling forms part of someone's livelihood; flashing lights are likely to startle cows in particular, and while many are docile, they're a lot bigger and a lot heavier than you are. just keep out of the way as much as possible. if you want to take photos to show the folks back home, switch the flash off.

it's the same nation, but very often, it's a different world.

saturday 1 june 2024

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energy fools the magician

dtswiss wind tunnel test

i am simply the very personification of joe average. even though my surname is palmer, when it comes to velocipedinal matters, it might as well be 'average'. in fact, if i'm brutally honest, probably the hyphenated 'below-average, which in retrospect would appear to confer a pleasing level of status. and not that i wish to disrespect anyone, but i think i'm quite probably in good company. no matter which particular cycling discipline of which you find yourself a fan, the chances are that none of us are anywhere near the top of the vitesse scale. for the sake of uniformity, i'm going to assume that most of us are acolytes of the road-going variety.

yet, however many times we all watched the live broadcasts or highlights of this year's giro d'italia, admiring the herculean, yet somehow relaxed efforts of tadej pogacar on the mountains, there's no escaping the fact that virtually none of us are in even the same universe as the slovenian. in fact, as a peloton of joe averages, the majority of us would struggle to equal the efforts of even the most mediocre of top amateurs. though it may come as a slap in the face, there's the reality that riding even the finest of carbon fibre and the very latest in wireless groupsets will attract far more positive approbation from the remaining average family, than it will an increase in kilometres per hour.

even cursory research into the factors that surround the apparent innocence of the word aero, will bring a consensus that, irrespective of cost, aerodynamics operate on a sliding scale, essentially meaning that the faster you ride, the greater the benefit. it's not for nothing that the majority of wind-tunnel tests surrounding aero frames and aero wheels tend to begin with a baseline of near 50kph and work their way upwards. assuming you're happy to accept that is irrefutable evidence, hands up all those who can ride at 50kph for any appreciable time or distance?

i thought not.

i possess a very nice pair of 45mm campagnolo bora wto road wheels; the rim-brake version. these have, however, been removed from my ritchey logic road bike because, as frequently mentioned in recent years, islay is the north atlantic's preferred repository for galeforce winds. and 45mm is a depth all but guaranteed to catch those winds when they hit from the side rather than the front. at the risk of stating the glaringly obvious, that's most of the time. as a result, the boras are more inclined to occupy the bright blue wheel bags in which they arrived, while my ritchey rolls on a pair of condor handbuilt wheels, sporting mavic open pro alloy rims, 32 three-cross stainless steel spokes and a pair of campagnolo record hubs.

there's also the admission that, even when the boras occupied the spaces between the bicycle's dropouts, i can't say i noticed any appreciable difference in speed. which, in a roundabout way, would tend to support the contention that i'd need to be riding way above my current average speed to make the boras anything other than carbon eye-candy.

in the grand scheme of things, this makes very little dfifference to anyone really. if you have a sufficient number of pounds or dollars in your bank account to afford a pair of carbonsports lightweight wheels, then i'd suggest you go for it. even if all they achieve is to make you feel better, there's a certain level of justification for what might be a very expensive purchase. but ultimately, and particularly at the average level i believe we have all agreed we occupy, a wheel is a wheel is a wheel. in theory, outfitting a road bike with mountain bike 29er wheels would scarcely raise an eyebrow.

those of us with a predilection towards even just watching cyclocross racing will be well acquainted with the modern practice of all the participants riding aero carbon wheels. yet, from memory, the highest average speed recorded in any event during the past 'cross season, was by mathieu van der poel, at 28kph, some 24kph less than the baseline wind-tunnel speeds alluded to above. accepting that those who indulge in modern-day gravel riding are likely to experience an average speed considerably lower than that of mvdp (my own average experienced over a mixture of on and offroad riding aboard my cyclocross bicycle tends to hover around 19kph), there ought best be some justifiable consternation over the veracity of fitting deep-rim carbon wheels.

but as we have already discussed above, a wheel, is a wheel, is a wheel, perhaps succinctly demonstrated by the knowledge that the carbon wheels ridden by mathieu, wout and tom in their cyclocross endeavours, are all but identical to those offered to the intrepid roadie, it seems a somewhat null venture to persuade the great unwashed that, as owners of gravel bikes, it is necessitous to acquire specifically denoted gravel wheels. yet, amongst others, that seems to be the strategy espoused by dt swiss via their recently introduced wheelsets. bear in mind that common consensus, sprinkled with a soupcon of aero testing, would indicate that the wheels contribute a maximum of 8% to the aero drag affecting a bicycle and its rider.

personally, were i, as joe below-average to find myself in need of a pair of wheels for my minimal offroad adventures, i'd be looking principally at robustness, with no regard whatsoever for any potential aero benefits, secure in the knowledge that if can't ride fast enough on road to gain aero advantages, there is not one iota of chance that would happen offroad. dt swiss, on the other hand, have introduced both 30mm and 50mm depths which, they report, were "...proven during the development phase to provide the lowest aerodynamic drag" it might only be me, but somehow the words aero and gravel used in the same sentence is the very definition of an oxymoron.

the situation is aggravated by a retail price of between £1800 and £2,300.

i harbour no doubts over the robustness of the wheelsets, but i would seriously question the need for aerodynamics when thundering (relatively slowly) through the undergrowth. and, as if to add insult to injury, there is also an e-bike variant included in these latest releases. bear in mind that, in the majority of countries, road or gravel legal e-bikes are limited to 25kph; given the weight of this bicycle classification, the chances of sustaining higher speeds when the motor cuts out, are a tad limited, probably negating any (all?) potential aerodynamic advantages.

we're getting perilously close to the contention that custom team kit for zwift riders is a good idea.

dt swiss gravel wheelsets

friday 31 may 2024

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an uncomfortable sense of dismay

camelback mule on-bike range

one of my office colleagues is in the habit of pointing out that "it's just as well we're all different", a remarkably sane means of accepting the pecadillos and occasionally aberrant behaviour of those we live or work with. just because it's not the way you or i would deal with a situation, doesn't necessarily make it wrong. perhaps the best example i can provide is that of a new york drum teacher whose solution to the education process was to feature two drumsets in his studio, separated by a slim partition. whatever he played, his student would have to replicate, but in a singularly individual manner; thus, went the reasoning, as long as the sound was duplicated, the technique employed to do so was, apparently, largely immaterial.

there are shortcomings to such a manner of teaching, but a blog about cycling matters is probably not the ideal place in which to deal with them.

an erstwhile colleague of mine was apt to ride behind his almost teenage children, informing them when to change gear, when to brake, how to turn corners etc., rather than allowing them the luxury of learning how to do so by way of their own efforts. the concept of the two perhaps finding it more equitable to figure out their own way of accomplishing such matters appeared not to have occurred. next sunday morning bike ride, pay attention to those around you; when climbing or simply rouleuring, there's every likelihood that your peers not only do so in a different gear than your good self, but their cadences are likely also to differ. but in pretty much all cases (apart from those who insist on switching to the smallest cassette sprocket and having the chain remain there for the entire duration of the ride), that's perfectly ok.

as outlined in my opening paragraph "...we're all different."

in truth, the above explanation, long-winded though it may be, is the only acceptable rationale at which i can arrive and maintain my sanity, for the existence of bikepacking bags. this could, of course, simply be the outcome of a more vintage socialisation experience. when i were a lad, should i have wished to travel anywhere expeditious by bicycle, the sole options would have started with a bar bag and extended, utlimately, to a pair of front low-rider panniers, matched to a larger pair of rear panniers. additionally, the bicycles to which the above were affixed, generally resembled a more relaxed verisimilitude of the average road bike, but ideally festooned with a triple-chainset and honey-coloured brooks saddle.

"it's touring jim, but precisely as we knew it."

the advent of the much-maligned (by me) gravel bike, however, has brought us the concept of bikepacking, quite possibly a hastily invented subterfuge to justify the genre's existence in the first place. and since the gravel genre has spawned bicycles that almost precisely resemble the age-old cyclocross bicycle, it appears that panniers are now persona-non-grata, on the pretext that such a luggage format is almost inevitably bound to snag on the luxuriant undergrowth through which the gravellously intrepid must pedal. thus, bikepacking luggage ought best remain within the remarkably narrow footprint of which such machinery is constituted.

sadly, it appears that fulfilling such requirements incurs the necessity of abandoning all thoughts of a pleasing aesthetic. i still have one or two examples of superbly constructed bikepacking bags languishing in thewashingmachinepost bikeshed. and they languish there because i am too embarrassed to affix them to any of my bicycles, lest i become an object of ridicule within hebridean society. i believe the very concept of riding as far away from civilisation as possible, has less to do with a sense of adventure and a great deal more to do with possible humiliation, and the likelihood of upsetting the villagers.

and as if velocipedinal society were insufficiently discomfited by such blatant disregard for appendages of tasteful appearance, the fine people at camelback, purveyors of various types of flexible and ergonomic drinks containers, have joined the happy throng with an unexplained acronym. their m.u.l.e. range, featuring a number of frame-mounted bladders, but no sign of just what m.u.l.e. actually represents, comprises a frame pack, handebar pack, stem pack and two differing saddle packs. of course, assuming the more exploratory non-aesthete intends covering a substantial distance aboard their re-badged 'cross bike, the choice of which luggage bearing bikepacking bag ought best be replaced by a similarly formatted camelback container, could potentially result in lengthy periods of confused procrastination.

i would agree, however, that touring/bikepacking ought best be an exercise in pragmatism to the possible exclusion of good taste, but surely, this far into the 21st century, it is possible to have both? that being said, perhaps the art of being different, when related to bikepacking luggage, ought to be kept as far from public gaze as possible, thus rendering the need for aesthetic certitude, null and void.

camelback m.u.l.e. range

thursday 30 may 2024

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permissions slip

tadej pogacar's pink colnago

according to velominati's rule #16: respect the jersey: championship and race leader jerseys must only be worn if you've won the championship or led the race. in practice, that means turning up on a sunday morning, clad in a credit lyonnaise yellow jersey, leaves you wide open to ridicule. similarly, the pink jersey from the giro, or the red jersey from spain. i confess i do own a pink rapha classic jersey from 2005, but i believe i've escaped having the michael extracted, if only because the word mortirolo is emblazoned across the front and back, undermining any association with the top spot on the podium.

and perhaps rather obviously, in light of the above, mathieu van der poel is the only chap who should be seen wearing the rainbow bands. i recall from many years ago, geoffrey butler's cycle shop advertising yellow jerseys for sale, something i would imagine would scarcely have offered a healthy return on investment.

the following rule, number 17, also makes it plain that it's highly questionable to wear team kit, if you're not paid to do so. i'm sure i may previously have mentioned my almost embarrassing moment when supping coffee in the late lamented ronde cycle shop in edinburgh's stockbridge area. a rider entered the shop, clad head to toe in rapha condor team kit, wheeling a rapha condor acciaio team bike, which he rolled through to the mechanic's area and sat down opposite yours truly at the coffee table.

fortunately, claire beaumont and grant young of condor cycles were in the store, unpacking some condor bicycles. as the gent sat down, claire acknowledged his presence, revealing his name as jimmy mccallum, one of the rapha condor team riders. this was very fortunate, as i was about to make a complete fool of myself by asking if he hadn't gone slightly over the top with the team kit? the worrying part was that he knew who i was.

however, having watched the final stages of this year's giro d'italia, it was plain to see that jonathan milan's bicycle had been painted to match the ciclamino jersey worn as points winner in the race. similarly, tadej pogacar was aboard an all pink colnago v4rs, including enve wheels with pink logos, while the remainder of his team rode black colnagos with pink lettering and head tube logos. given the commercialisation of the sport, not only is it highly likely that those final stage uae jerseys with their pink sleeves will be available in the foreseeable future, it's eminently possible that both trek and colnago will offer limited edition versions of those bicycles.

there is precedent for this, with not only yellow bicycles following pogacar's victory in the tour, but a polka dot version for thomas voeckler.

so how does velominati's rules apply in such circumstances? the paintwork applied to milan's trek is rather attractive and would, i believe, look particularly attractive in the sunday peloton. but no matter how convincing i might sound, i couldn't sprint if my life depended on it. and though a version of tadej's pink colnago would match my rapha jersey just ginger peachy, the only thing i have in common with the giro winner is that our surnames both start with the letter 'p'.

but assuming that my enthusiasm ran away with me and i frightened my bank manager by purchasing either one of those bikes, would i be likely to suffer the slings and arrows of my peers? does this make the case for a rule #96? (and note that tadej, presumably unkowingly, broke rule #95 following the finish of saturday's stage).

photo: colnago

wednesday 29 may 2024

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