having a 'cross to bear

richard sachs cyclocross team

as the final stage in reviewing the particularly fine steel sven pathfinder, i fitted a set of limus cyclocross tyres to the wheelsmiths and headed out into the hinterlands. this was in the vain hope that there would not be any sign of a peripatetic audience ready and waiting for a lengthy period of humour at my expense. the results of this review will be made known in the fullness of time, but in the interim, the partial downside to my cyclocross (mis)adventures revolved around the enforced choice of cassette sprockets.

the pathfinder features a single front chainring on which i have yet to count the number of teeth, but i think i'm right in saying that it features a few more than i'd like when matching it with an 11/26 cassette. in short, this setup was not particularly ideal for cyclocross; at least, not for my version of cyclocross. therefore, though padding about bridgend woods served only to encourage a tad more huffing and puffing than to which i'm keen to admit, when i ventured onto the grassy dunes at uiskentuie, it was patently clear that all was going to end in tears unless i headed back to the safety of tarmac.

richard sachs cyclocross team

it was at this point that another member of the sunday peloton rolled alongside, serving only to once again increase my huffing and puffing, while scrabbling to keep up with a chap on a road-bike while yours truly trudged on 33mm knobblies. it subsequently transpired, during an ensuing lunchtime conversation, that, while my velocipedinal colleague had spent at least a minimal amount of time attempting to comprehend and enjoy cyclocross, so far, he'd failed.

i have now made it a personal objective to prove to him just how wrong he is.

because i, on the other hand, eagerly await those sunday afternoons when i can trawl the internet in the frequently vain search for watchable coverage of any cyclocross event that hasn't been geo-restricted. before 'cross reached its current level of uk popularity, there was often an embarrassment of riches to be found across belgian and dutch internet broadcasting. oddly, as more of us have become smitten, the legend across those tiny web portals declaring that the broadcast can not be viewed in my country has become ever more frequent.

richard sachs cyclocross team

but it's not just europe that fulfils its need for mud, glorious mud; cyclocross in north america parallels that of their eastern brethren, opening on the east coast this weekend at rochester new york. and that is the beginning of the season for the richard sachs cyclocross team, the upshot of a long-lived obsession with the sport by the man who builds those exquisite steel frames. however, far from grabbing one of those iconic frames and deciding to have a dirty weekend, undertaking a full season of 'cross takes a smidgeon more than obsession and goodwill.

the richard sachs cyclocross team features four riders for the 2017/18 season: dan chabanov, brittlee bowman, sam o'keefe and mr sachs himself. support for the team comes from the lovely debs and mechanic dan langois. and what can surely be seen as the ultimate faith in richard's means of competing, the sponsors' names decorating both bikes and kit have remained as before, but with one notable exception; activity sports purveyors withings were taken over by nokia digital health, so it is their name that now features as sponsor.

richard sachs cyclocross team

with the new company seemingly keen to continue their association with the rs 'cross team, i asked nokia's mark prince if cyclocross still featured highly in their sponsorship programme?

"As the RSC team sponsor, the product focus will be on our range of health products that automatically measure and track key vitals such as blood pressure, body composition, and temperature. Gaining knowledge and understanding of key vitals is important for everyone, and can be particularly meaningful for competitive athletes. It's great to have RSC get our name in front of the 'cross community, and we hope that our products help the team succeed on the course as well."

on the basis of mark's answer, it's reasonably clear why nokia would remain keen to continue their partnership with a team that competes in the singular manner that dan, brittlee, sam and richard undertake each year. but to ask the $1,000 question, has this partnership fulfilled or exceeded his expectations?

richard sachs cyclocross team

"We're confident that the team will continue to exceed expectations for the new season.  We're still in #crossiscoming mode here in North America, so it's a little early to say just how high is up. However, we are proud that the team agreed to carry the Nokia banner and eager to see the team's new kit for the 2017 season."

in which case, are nokia as obsessed with cyclocross as the rest of us? "Yes. It's fair to say that the global Nokia family is a very enthusiastic group."

but nokia are not the only folks with their logo where it matters. in a more collaborative venture, a few years past, richard sachs opted to revamp the look of his bicycles, dispensing with his almost trademark red with white detailing in favour of a softer, more orangey shade that i believe might be referred to as saffron. this, combined with cream lettering and idiosyncratic application of the rs logo, was left to the expertise of yorklyn, delaware's house industries, ostensibly a digital typeface foundry, but with a particularly admirable and funky design ethos.

richard sachs cyclocross team

this redesign extended in later seasons to providing a different colour for each rider's frame, ranging from a to-die-for green edition through gold, blue and black. for the current season, it looks as though gold may be the preferred colour. there's little doubt that the type foundry are still heavily involved, so i asked house industries' rich roat what it is that keeps the house name on on those beautiful steel frames?

"Our relationship with Richard Sachs and the team goes much deeper than a logo on a top tube, cyclocross, or bikes in general. It is a relationship fueled by trust and mutual respect, two things that are very hard to quantify in terms of money or return on investment. We take a back seat to the core supporters whose logos are on the front of the top tube - quite literally. Our logo goes on the seat tube, as it does on every Richard Sachs bicycle. That's a privilege and placement that we do not take lightly."

though cycle sport may be less afflicted by purely commercial mores than many others, rich's testament to their involvement with the richard sachs team speaks volumes. this can be nailed, at least in part, to richard's own philosophy. sat on a shelf in debbie's café is a framed letterpress poster produced by the aforementioned house industries in which emphasis is placed on representing the team sponsors to the best of their collective ability. does richard think this is why his sponsors are eager to resign each year?

richard sachs cyclocross team

"Yes. We give good brand. I'm confident that all who align with us get their investment back in spades. And every single sponsor and industry supplier we have makes something I'd pay 100% bust-out retail for. That's how much I like what we have and use, and would support it."

however, cyclocross can be seen as the province of the privateer, the individual who casually arrives with his/her bicycle stowed in the back of a station-wagon, changing in the passenger seat and hammering round the course with scarcely a care in the world. but, while i've no doubt that still happens, for a concerted 'cross season, does richard figure it would be possible to undertake it without commercial sponsors?

"The UCI C1 and C2 events that we do? Hmm... It would take a small fortune to do all of this independently and without a support system similar to the one we have in place. America is a large continent, and the traveling alone consumes a major part of the budget."

richard sachs cyclocross team

as one with no competitive thoughts, either with cycling in general or cyclocross in particular, my life is gratifyingly free from the constituent parts enforced by any sort of race programme. however, on the basis that the scenario of a respectful queue of sponsors knocking on mr sachs' front door is highly unlikely, does the search for and connection with existing and potential sponsors take up a large chunk of his non-framebuilding time?

"No. There's a connection made at the front end, with each sponsor and after the commitment is made, I email periodically to ensure we're connecting all the dots as planned. But really, it doesn't consume a large block of time."

i'm sure that richard's experience of the above differs substantially from many of the larger teams, both in north america and in continental europe, but from personal experience, i would think that can be traced back to his desire to 'give good brand'. you only have to meet the man to realise just how true this is. but based on his own experience in such matters, is there any one aspect of cyclocross that he thinks would encourage more potential sponsors to view the sport more favourably?

richard sachs cyclocross team

"There's an arena aspect to the niche. Everything that happens almost happens within view. There's the fact that all events are one hour or less. There's the autumn and early winter too - the best time to be outside and take in the entertainment factor that 'cross delivers. The discipline is a perfect sidebar to the larger bicycle racing narrative that many know from the Tour and other more mainstream races."

no matter where you live, #crossiscoming. in view of richard's lengthy involvement with the sport and the continued faith shown both by his riders and sponsors, the richard sachs cyclocross team has already succeeded before a single tyre has become clogged with mud. and as long as that remains the case, all is well with the (cyclocross) world.

richard sachs | house industries | nokia health

all photos ©richard sachs.

monday 11 september 2017

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cycling science: the ultimate nexus of knowledge and perfromance. edited by stephen s cheung & mikel zabala. human kinetics softback 555pp illus. £22.99

cycling science

there's a video on youtube featuring drummer gavin harrison, where he breaks down the mechanics and musical processes behind the drumming on the song 'unsettled', ultimately performed by the band porcupine tree, a group much favoured by frame-building supremo, dario pegoretti.

as one of the more technically aware percussionists within the progressive rock genre, harrison opted to start this song with a drum riff that could be followed by the other instruments; quite the reverse of the more normal means of composition. gavin's sonor drumset is more or less symmetrical, with three rack toms over the bass drum and two floor toms to the right. opting to start the riff on the middle-tom (the third over the bass drum), he moved the pattern outwards with both hands before repeating.

in his analysis of this opening gambit, he points out that it consists of eighteen notes, which can more practically be devolved into a 9/8 pattern. he then proceeds to split the first four notes over the middle tom and the snare, but opts to introduce basic mathematics to group the phrasing into something that could be perceived more as a standard 4/4. i cannot disagree that all this makes not a lot of sense to even those with percussive leanings, so i can only imagine how it comes across to those who could scarcely care less. for your further edification, i've appended a link to the video at the end of this review in the hope i may have piqued your interest.

at a certain point in my occasional bouts of drum instruction, i ask the students whether, having grasped the basics of co-ordination and rudimental accomplishment, whether they want to go down the road presaged by gavin harrison, or whether they would be more keen on playing it by ear. few of them choose harrison's course of action.

and such similarity can be seen in this human kinetics publication cycling science, a hefty tome that explains in excruciating detail quite how and why each and every aspect of the sunday ride is as it is. in truth, this is not necessarily a book to read at bedtime; more practically it is a reference book with the ability to settle any particular argument concerning the stuff none of us understand anyway. for instance, how many of our number who don't build frames for a living, were aware that the ultimate tensile strength of reynolds 853 is 290mpa? (disappointingly, i couldn't find anything explaining to what mpa refers.) additionally, when considering bicycle design in relation to aerodynamics, while aero drag outweighs rolling resistance by a factor of almost 10:1 on the flat, ride that bicycle up even a 2% slope and gravity contributes as much to slowing us down, as does the previously mentioned drag factor.

reading through the various sections and chapters has, if nothing else, underlined my adherence to the get-on-your-bike-and-ride school of thought. but then, i'm not on strava. for those in thrall to cycling's facebook, there's little doubt that perusing the relevant parts of this substantial work would provide salient answers as to how you might retrieve that hard won k.o.m. for ensconced within those 555 pages are chapters such as 'the aerodynamic rider', 'cycling nutrition', 'recovery interventions', 'assessing cycling fitness' and 'altitude and hypoxic training' (yes, really).

the editors are also honest enough to deal with the archetypal bike-fit under the heading 'applying the science'...

"Bike fitting and rider positioning is a mixture of science and art [...] Relying on statistical or static approaches to rider positioning could potentially detract from optimal contact point positions by not factoring in how the cyclist sits on a saddle..."

it's that kind of a book.

the honesty surfaces once more when discussing crank lengths. "...excessively long or short crank lengths relative to the rider's leg length can change the range of motion at these two major joints. Over long-duration cycling, this change could affect performance and place a rider at risk of injury. No data, however, exist to support or refute that statement."

as you would perhaps expect in a book with the word science in the title, there are equations, graphs and charts; most of these make as little sense to me as does owning recordings by runrig. however, i'm pretty sure i've gained more than enough information from this book to justify its relatively modest purchase price, though i cannot deny that the chapter on 'air pollution and cyclists' is of scarce relevance this far west.

as the nights darken and the hours available for frenzied pedalling diminish, what better activity to occupy this potential downtime, than acquainting oneself with the scarier facts behind what it is we do for a living?

but on the downside, the cover is truly dreadful.

gavin harrison video

sunday 10 september 2017

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where others fear to tread

chris froome, team sky vuelta 2017

i am not noted for my cycling punditry, a situation that is precisely as it ought to be, for there are more than enough individuals far better qualified to 'pund' than yours truly. though i do enjoy watching cycle racing on the telly box, as i'm sure i have impressed upon you, i'm quite happy to sit back with arms folded and wait until someone crosses the line. there are a number of pundits whose prognostications and insights i am happy to accept, as long as they are aware that nothing they say will actually affect the outcome of the race.

i base the foregoing on my having sufficient intelligence to watch the event unfold, comprehending that which transpires in front of me and appreciating the various strategies played out by the respective teams and riders. though i was blissfully unaware of any such affinities with three-dimensional chess when channel four launched their half-hour broadcasts of the tour de france in 1985, subsequent all-day coverage of entire mountain stages by eurosport's 'home of cycling' revealed the true sophistication of top class cycle racing.

but, to me at least, it now appears that much of that strategy has been bludgeoned into history by the manouevres of team sky. having watched almost every stage of the current vuelta espana, the daily routine appears to centre around having moscon, nieve and at least one other, slog themselves into virtual oblivion to keep chris froome in the position in which he and dave have decided is rightfully his. since the ultimate aim of any professional cycle team is to win races, not only for the good of the team but perhaps more importantly for the good of their sponsors, it's a daily strategy with which it is hard to argue. after all, it is supposed to be a team sport and sky are a team that like to win.

however, the bit that i don't quite get is why nobody else is trying to do anything about it.

if you've watched any of the spanish mountain stages in particular, froome's team-mates appear to not only have the ability to remain with their leader up till the final few kilometres, but quite frequently in the case of mikel nieve, accompany him when he crosses the finish line. it's a tried and tested means of ensuring victory, one that worked well for prince voldemort in us postal. the oddity is that i don't see anyone else achieving or attempting to achieve the same thing.

for starters, fabio aru and miguel angel lopez seem to disagree over who is the team leader. and can we really believe that a team at this level could really forget to put a smaller chainring on aru's bike? even if there were other astana team members around for those last few steep kilometres, i fear there may be a display of either mixed loyalties or worse still, no loyalties at all. and for all the undoubted ascending and descending skills demonstrated by bahrain's vincenzo nibali, he's having to do all the work for himself; there are rarely, if ever, any other blue and red jerseys to offer aid.

contador, it seems, has no real need of team support, which is just as well, because i don't think there are any other trek-segafredo riders in the race at all.

froome looks set to achieve the tour/vuelta double, a victory he must surely share with his sky team who have worked their butts off to pave the way to that final red jersey in madrid. i'm just very confused as to why none of his competitors are trying to make it more of a level playing field? i have seen suggestions that it's because none have the capabilities so to do, but quite frankly, i don't believe that.

now you know why i refrain from punditry.

chris froome, team sky vuelta 2017

photos: ©team sky

saturday 9 september 2017

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danny's shoes

di luca killer ds1 shoes

though i have a full-time profession to occupy the majority of my waking hours and thewashingmachinepost to fill most of those remaining, i have still found a few hours occupying the instercises - the gaps in the firmament, if you will - to teach drumming to both higher and advanced higher pupils at the local secondary school. my motivation is based primarily on not having had the same opportunities when i was that age; i'm entirely self-taught. i'm hoping that those in my charge enjoy the process as much as do i.

however, though my principal mode of employment is but a lateral move from that for which i trained, the post and the drumming are both intriguing meanderings that keep me from wearying. i'm hardly alone in this; i know of many others who manage to fill the gaps to considerably greater effect than yours truly.

di luca killer ds1 shoes

but what of those who are driven to follow a specific path, a career that must be followed to the exclusion of all else if both mental and economic stability are to be achieved and maintained? at one time, the life of a professional cyclist was seen as a viable alternative to working the land or going down the mine. remuneration was not necessarily substantially greater than either of the above mentioned alternatives, but both travel and the approbation of one's peers and acolytes more than made up for any minor differences. if success was on the cards, the spoils could be potentially far greater.

however, i have practised my own vocation for well over twenty years and currently there seems little likelihood of interruption in the foreseeable future. but even the best of the professionals will eventually find it necessary to hang up their wheels, as the saying goes. di luca killer ds1 shoes robert millar/philippa york once claimed that past the age of thirty, it became necessary to train twice as hard just to remain at the same level, never mind searching for improvement. that may well be the situation that bertie the accountant currently finds himself in; though his performance in this year's vuelta somewhat belies this portent.

if we assume that the average professional bike rider views retirement around the ages of 34 or 35, with the latest figures demonstrating that we're living longer and longer, it means that they face more years as non-pros than those gainfully employed on a bicycle. in which case, what's going to happen next?

the obvious answer might be to find a taiwanese factory happy to churn out some carbon fibre with their name on the downtube, but while there are a few who have taken that route (merckx and cipollini are perhaps two of the more notable exponents), there are far more who haven't. one who has joined the happy throng, however, is italy's danilo di luca, winner of the 2007 giro d'italia as well as all three of the ardennes classics.

di luca killer ds1 shoes

in partnership with di luca bikes, britain's velobici has, for some time, offered an exclusively numbered continental version of the kyklos frame, a partnership that has now been extended to take in danny's (i'm sure that even a rider nicknamed killer won't mind if i refer to him as danny) di luca killer ks1 range of 100% carbon fibre race shoes. though this may not strike you as something worthy of great fanfare; after all, many others offer strikingly coloured road shoes, as genesis once advised, there's a trick in the tale.

in order to offer a truly excellent fit, no matter the vagaries of your tootsies, these carbon fibre shoes can be heat-molded by immersion in hot water, as opposed to the oven method used by previous variants from other manufacturers. available in six distinct colours and twelve sizes, the anatomically shaped killer ds1 provides an ideal level of breathability, an atop lace system, along with both arch and lateral forefoot support. not suprisingly, this all comes at a premium price, a currently pre-brexit £390.

if your feet are your secret weapon, you may think nothing of treating them to this level of sporting luxury. the only question remaining is which of the six colours to choose?

velobici + di luca

friday 8 september 2017

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force field

milltag star wars jerseys

because much of my working day is spent sitting in a chair, staring at an admittedly large computer screen, i have occasion to take a walk of a mile or so before i head to the office. so doing seems to have beneficial effects on my back and takes less time than donning shorts and jersey prior to rescuing a bicycle from the shed. to be honest, i'd need to leap out of bed a tad earlier than is currently the case and us old folks need our beauty sleep. encouragingly the parcours of my walk offers excellent views across the loch accompanied by advance warning of any impending rain showers. an excellent start to the working day.

milltag star wars jerseys

and during this walk, it is not unknown for me to indulge in often obscure ruminations that occupy the grey matter as i try to avoid the council trucks heading towards the recycling centre at the end of the road. topics vary considerably, but only the other day i had cause to wonder whatever had happened to gretsch drums in the mid to late sixties. this was undoubtedly occasioned by my need to learn several bop tunes for the upcoming lagavulin islay jazz festival (15-17 september), the originals of which were mostly recorded by the great and the good on gretsch. however, the majority of those percussionists were not only signed to gretsch, but frequently appeared in the sort of press adverts that we all laugh about today.

milltag star wars jerseys

fellows such as max roach, art blakey, louie bellson, mel lewis, elvin jones, jimmy cobb and others could all be seen cheerfully percussing their four-piece gretsch broadkasters during the halcyon days of be-bop jazz. yet move forward to the seventies and eighties and that iconic gretsch logo had often been replaced by ludwig, pearl, drum workshop etc. so what happened to cause such a wholesale defection from what was once seen as pretty much the only choice for the self-respecting be-bopping drummer?

though i'm not about to turn the post into a drum forum (at least, not yet), after a quick look at the company's history, the answer is quite plain to see. only one year after max roach recorded his seminal drums unlimited album, fred gretsch snr. retired and sold up to the baldwin music company. let's just say that the latter were less obsessed with 'that great gretsch sound' than was the man whose name featured on the front bass drum head.

milltag star wars jerseys

but as with most idyllic periods of rumination, the mind wanders; in this case, deflected by a previous notification concerning next year's ww100 anniversary taking place on islay on 4 may. as even the disinterested amongst you will surely be aware, may 4th is also revered as star wars day (may the fourth be with you), possibly the very movie franchise that has arguably done more to legitimise science fiction than any other. yet, while i have owned a cycle jersey featuring the lovable character, dennis the menace and seen others featuring the logos of various popular rock bands, riding into the sunset with a stormtrooper helmet prominently emblazoned on the back and front is not a situation i've previously come across.

milltag star wars jerseys

i have no idea if the chaps at cycle jersey purveyors milltag have need of their own daily walk or cycle prior to the working day, but for unspecified reasons they have had the remarkable foresight and perspicacity to bring two star wars cycle jerseys to market, allowing the jedi amongst us to match our frame-fit light sabres (to save you time on google, i made that bit up). the two stormtrooper designs, based on andrew ainsworth's original drawings, are currently available for pre-order at a cost of £75 each via milltag's website, though for copyright reasons, they cannot be offered for purchase in the united states.

i'm going to ask specialized if they have plans to offer a bicycle based on the millennium falcon, or perhaps gretsch could make a luke skywalker snare drum? or maybe milltag could follow this up with wookie armwarmers?

milltag stormtrooper jerseys

thursday 7 september 2017

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cycling climbs of north-west england. a road cyclist's guide. simon warren. frances lincoln paperback. 174pp illus. £8.99

cycling climbs of north-west england - simon warren

the bbc, in 1965, brought to uk televisions screens, a quiz programme entitled call my bluff, originally hosted by robin ray but succeeded by robert robinson two years later. two teams of three personalities were presented with three possible definitions for an obscure word, only one of which was true. each member of one team had to convincingly persuade or 'bluff' the members of the opposing team that their own definition was the correct one. points were accumulated by identifying which were fictitious and discarding those in favour of the third.

words that featured in those early programmes included queach, strongle, ablewhacket, hickboo and several other unlikely candidates. offhand, i can think of one or two words from the velocipedinal milieu that could possibly have contributed to any one of the numerous broadcast series (the last finished in july of 2005, though there was a comic relief special in 2011), but oddly enough, it is mountain biking that has provided me with a potential bluff to present to you here.

dowgang hush.

in downhill mountain biking, it is necessary to prevent the chain from unshipping mid-berm, a situation that would lead to a distinct lack of acceleration when next came time to pedal. this is accomplished by a small device that clamps the right-hand chainstay and presses a rubberised bearing roller against the lower section of chain, keeping it appropriately tensioned and lessening the rattle a flapping chain tends to create (hence the 'hush' part of the name).

or, it could be a medium-sized watering hole in the karroun hill nature reserve in western australia, some 350 kilometres north-east of perth. in reality, it's a small offshoot of lake moore, itself adjacent to a couple of other call my bluff candidates named mouroubra and bimbijy. as animals and the occasional traveller head eastwards, dowgang hush is pretty much the last source of water en-route to the larger mount manning range nature reserve.

or might it be the 7/10 climb featured on page 21 of the irrepressible simon warren's latest and final (as if any of us believe that) road climbs of the united kingdom: cycling climbs of north-west england? sited just off the a689 south of nenthall and extending to just less than 1.5 kilometres, dowgang hush contrasts 20% slopes with the road becoming almost flat in places. if attempting the hill, simon figures you should allow around ten minutes from bottom to top.

the choice of the correct answer is entirely of your choosing. should you opt to acquire a copy of mr warren's latest book (soon to be released as part of a complete boxed set), you may well find amongst its contents, several other named climbs that lend themselves to further episodes of call my bluff. hills such as blea tarn, faulds brow, brigsteer brow and stone rigg outrake, for example.

cycling climbs of north-west england - simon warren

mind you, all jesting aside, the thought of attempting hardknott pass, definitely the hardest climb featured in the book with its sections of up to 30%, doesn't sound that much like a joke. while i'm more than acquainted with the notion of suffering for my art, there's suffering and then there's suffering. simon warren deserves to find his name amongst those on the new year's honours list. as with all the previous editions of his climbing series, each is illustrated with photo and location map, accompanying a graphic description of the potential purgatory his readers may be inclined to follow.

i'd recommend that you purchase a copy of this very book along with the full boxed set, the latter for leaving prominently in the office or on the sideboard in the perhaps vain hope that visitors and business colleagues will be fooled by your faux grimpeurship.

unless of course, you're perfectly aware of the true meaning of dowgang hush and have climbed pretty much the entire contents of the series.

wednesday 6 september 2017

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this is cambridge a bloc long-sleeve jersey and socks

this is cambridge a bloc jersey

though both my kids have grown up and moved away, one decidedly further than the other, due to mrs washingmachinepost looking after kids for a living, the croft is still festoned with all manner of plastic toys, crayons, books and a small, green table all set for afternoon tea. for just under a week, on leaning towards the sideboard to switch off the table lamp, a verisimilitude of an american truck flashes its lights and makes noises akin to starting its engine.

this is cambridge a bloc jersey

and that's to say nothing of the lego bricks that inevitably find their way into my slippers. there's nothing worse than having to limp up the stairs to bed.

in fact, it's rather good fun; the children in mrs washingmachinepost's charge are spread over all ages, from one year olds to an eight year-old who's been here from the age of six-weeks. this way i can regularly experience the full spectrum of childlike behaviour, all the way from being splattered by the sort of gloop that very young children have for lunch to assisting with english and reading homework.

this is cambridge a bloc jersey

it's a situation that is replicated in these very columns. having been here for so long, there are more than just a few startups that are now entering their teenage years, while others are still in their early stages. one such example would be that of this is cambridge, a duo of cycling entrepreneurs who began commercial cycling life by offering hand-made merino casquettes for the more sartorially astute amongst our number. according to a quick scan of the archived posts, my first this is cambridge review was posted on 18 march 2013; over four years ago.

this is cambridge a bloc jersey

not satisfied with providing cycling cap heaven for a year or two, daphne and andrew subsequently spread their wings into socks, short-sleeve jerseys, baselayers before taking the major (and commendably successful) step into retailing their first pair of bibshorts. perhaps preceding the latter, but only recently arriving at washingmachinepost croft is a more seasonably appropriate long-sleeve a bloc jersey, matching its sleevely eccentricity with a pair of similarly odd socks (odd as in not the same as opposed to just plain odd).

this particular example is coloured blue; dark for the torso, but offering light blue with white hoops on the left arm, contrasted by much narrower, but dark blue and white hoops to the right. the rightmost breast is writ large with i've never quite seen the attraction of skinsuits, particularly in the cyclocross field (see what i did there?), but the race fit of this jersey and the clinginess of the long sleeves, matched with a pair of those excellent tic bibshorts, probably means i ought better to have scrabbled in the undergrowth as opposed to escaping the peloton. a skinsuit that's not joined in the middle.

this is cambridge a bloc jersey

whichever of the two above options better suits your cycling predilection is really of no never mind; the jersey will assume and fulfil both with aplomb. however, bearing in mind that a couple of rides were fulfilled in lowered, autumnal temperatures, with a collar that bore the specific hallmarks of race-fit, i opted to accessorise with a richard sachs monogrammed collar. it would probably have mattered less if yours truly had also been race fit.

aside from the close-fit (reminiscent of italiana), the construction is quite impressive, from the full-length front zip, to the now standard three rear pockets. and though it's less than likely that the average pro has need of a fourth zipped security pocket for keys or coffee money, this amateur would quite like to have seen one midst the regular three. however, their cargo capacity was never in doubt.

this is cambridge a bloc jersey

the matching socks are a neat idea, though if wearing odd socks offends your obsessive compulsive disorder, you need only acquire a second pair to create two matching sets. with a pair of thermal bibshorts under development, ready and willing to be matched with yet to be released tic knee-warmers, this is cambridge are only a rainjacket short of an ensemble to have completed the ultimate transition to adulthood.

doesn't it make you proud?

this is cambridge a bloc unisex l/s jersey is available in sizes from xxs to xxl (check sizing before ordering) and can be ordered in black with pink, light-blue with orange, or dark-blue with light-blue. retail price via the tic website is £105. the matching socks are available in three sizes and a variety of colours at a cost of £13.95. i'm pretty sure there's a cap to go with whichever option you choose.

this is cambridge

tuesday 5 september 2017

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................