making an exhibition of ourselves

john boyle's cycle exhibition

it has been many a long season since the velo club have had the luxury of supping al fresco at debbie's after the sunday ride. but the current spate of sultry weather, offering the ideal opporchancities to perambulate the loch, clad only in bibshorts and short-sleeve jerseys, encourages the velocipedinally inclined to place the order for coffees, then sit outdoors, making the place look untidy and scaring the horses.

john boyle's cycle exhibition

not only am i not a technologist, i have my unenviable reputation as a luddite to consider, thus, after all these years, i'm still bereft of any form of mobile phone, smart or otherwise. therefore, when sat outside in the blazing sunshine, i am one of the few not bemoaning the clarity and brightness (or otherwise) of the average touchscreen. the mighty dave t, always a man full of surprises, was at great pains to show me his latest venture into the world of sculpture, following in the great traditions set by barbara hepworth and henry moore, though on an altogether less grand scale.

through the darkness of his phone display, even i could see that the gent is deserving of an exhibition in the turbine hall of the tate modern, arguably the ideal means of showing his tactile sculptures made with cement and one other, for now at least, secret ingredient. no doubt all will be revealed in the foreseeable future, but, when the announcement comes of the annual turner prize heading to islay, remember where you read it first.

john boyle's cycle exhibition

exhibiting is every bit as much a part of modern and vintage cycling as it has ever been. each year, at the beginning of november, the great and the good congregate at london's rouleur classic to drool over acres of carbon fibre, mostly outwith anyone's budget. it's an exhibition that i have attended over the past two years and have every intention of sidling along again later this year. it's an exhibition that follows several major international bike shows, effectively drawing the season, such as it is, to its ultimate end. but without sounding any more like victor meldrew than i already do, i find monocoque carbon fibre inhabits a rather staid universe, much of it emanating from one or two factories in the far east.

john boyle's cycle exhibition

this is not to dismiss any of the claims made by each individual manufacturer as to the propensities of their own designs and associated technologies, but i can't help noticing a leaning towards a cookie cutter uniformity. it is, to an extent, hard to argue that the cycles of yesteryear were any more unique than those currently featuring on the bike shop floor, and i'm fairly sure there is every bit as much love and care employed in the carbon industry as was once the case with lugged steel, but somehow the latter seems possessed of a smidgeon more character.

john boyle's cycle exhibition

no doubt it's a discussion that might lead to heated moments in the clubhouse, but just for the purposes of illustration, i do hope you'll gaze longingly at the accompanying photographs. the jerseys illustrated belong to john boyle, while the bicycles are owned by himself and rab wilson. these were shown at a recent exhibition in troon scout hall, including, in the background of one, the polka dot jersey worn by robert millar (pippa york). bicycles on display included an eddy merckx, bianchi, peugeot, motobecane and a (yellow) gios, amongst others. as a former resident of troon (admittedly over 30 years ago), i'm sorry i missed the opportunity to view these immaculate bicycles in the flesh, so to speak. however, if you harbour the same regrets, apparently mr boyle plans on exhibiting them once again at fenwick on 14th and 15th july.

john boyle's cycle exhibition

sadly i can't be more specific than that, but since fenwick is a relatively small place, it shouldn't be that hard to find. as one who rides an, albeit modern, steel bicycle, i find it a material whose lustre never fades, particularly as seen on the beautiful bicycles shown here.

thanks to my good friend john cunningham for alerting me to this exhibition and rab wilson for the photos which arrived via the aforesaid mr cunningham.

monday 11 june 2018

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making do

ultra-torque crank bolt

i know of the epithet that encourages us not to say 'never again', because it will usually come back to bite you on the bum. but i said it and my bum has teeth marks, though overall, it's for the better not for worse. i spent thirteen years in the original islay pipe band, a musical grouping that began life in grade 4b and has now raised itself to grade two. for those who know nothing about scottish pipe bands (and i envy you, really i do), this just means that they're now a lot better than they were.

however, i am of the opinion that the competitive realm ought not to be applied to music or art, purely on the basis of subjectivity. in bike racing, whoever crosses the line in first place is (dope testing notwithstanding) the winner. in the tours, the chap or chapess who takes the least amount of time to complete the parcours, yet again, is declared the winner. nobody wins a bike race because they're wearing a nice jersey or riding a particularly delectable strain of carbon fibre.

yet though there are undoubtedly pipers and drummers who are more competent than other pipers and drummers, the difference between taking home the trophy and going home empty-handed is based on the likes or dislikes of the judges. likewise the visual arts; i have a particular penchant for the artistic endeavours of frank auerbach, leon kossoff and roy oxlade. you might find them hideous and no better than the efforts of the proverbial five year old. therefore, were we to sit on the same judging panel, the discussions would be long and tedious.

however, since the grade two islay pipe band is comprised predominantly of mainland based players, they rarely play at any functions or events on the island. thus, it was decided to form a community pipe band, one that would have no truck with organised competition, playing purely for the pleasure of those attending island events. the chap who founded said pipes and drums club invited me to tutor the drummers and though i reluctantly agreed to do so, i did forcibly point out that i would not be donning a kilt and sporran to join in the festivities at any point of the game.

wood handled file

of course, you will have seen the inevitable coming from a long way off. my students of the percussive arts number only two at present, neither of whom have reached the age of double figures. so when along came a few engagements during the recent whisky festival, guess who was to be seen wearing a kilt and sporran, percussively battering an andante snare drum?

it is so long since i last had need of so doing, that i do not recall each and every flam and ratamacue of the erstwhile drum parts. but, in my favour, i have been playing drums for well over forty years, during which time i have accrued sufficient chutzpah to bluff for scotland. and given that i am the sole snare drummer, there is no pressing need to keep strictly to any written notes. i'm sure a few folks have noticed the jazz inflections straying into battle of the somme and cutting bracken, but so far, they've been too polite to say.

improvisation is my watchword.

and fortunately, i am not the sole practictioner of making do. after stripping down my campagnolo chorus crankset only the other day in the search for one of those creaks that always sounds as if it's from the bottom bracket region, i was pleased to note that it seemed to have done the trick. ascending the 14% climb out of port askaig, just to prove to me that i could still do it, there was scarcely a murmur from the bike's nether regions, a fact that i considered vindication of my mechanical skills. sadly, i (metaphorically) spoke to soon, for later that same day, after heaving myself up another stiff gradient, all manner of clattering emanated from down under, subsequently found to be the ultra-torque crank bolt having loosened under stress.

park tool 10mm allen wrench

aside from cursing vicenza for necessitating something as large as ten millimetres of allen wrench to keep body, soul and a hirth joint together, the best i could manage in the middle of nowhere, was to turn the bolt with my finger every so often till i made it as far as bruichladdich. banking on there being someone in the distillery with access to the necessary tool, i popped in before heading for coffee.

thankfully, though the engineer was not on duty, a local contractor was working in the still room and happy enough to ransack the back of his van for a non-existent 10mm allen key. in desperation, i scanned the inside of the vehicle for something that looked as if it might offer sufficient purchase on the bolt to at least get me back home. the only thing i could espy was a flat metal file which tapered at the end; sadly, it was just a few millimetres too wide, but in the spirit of improvisation, he took a hand-grinder and removed enough metal to allow it to fit and tighten the bolt.

naturally enough, there's scarcely sufficent torque from a wood-handled file to apply the required pressure for a permanent fix, but the chap told me to take the file with me in a back pocket and simply stop when necessary to effect a few more turns of the bolt. since he stays but a matter of a few hundred metres from the croft, i popped the file back in his garden later that afternoon.

never underestimate the power of improvisation.

sunday 10 june 2018

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time trial

time trial

way back in the 1990s, we organised (a loose interpetation of the word), time-trials from bowmore's round church, out to the airport at glenegedale and back. to all intents and purposes, the distance was as close to ten miles as makes no difference; at least not on this side of the ferry terminal, but to fulfil the implications of the term time-trial, i acquired a deep-section carbon front wheel fitted with a tubular, a carbon time-trial helmet and fitted a set of tri-bars to the colnago.

time trial

ageing memory prevents recall as to where i placed in the local standings on the hypothetical podium, but rest assured, graeme obree had nothing to worry about. we even had a bona-fide 'pusher-offer' to ensure there was no faffing with trying to clip in at the start of these (nowhere near) record-breaking rides. the only thing completely missing was a proper time-trial bike, machinery that, to this day, i have yet to swing a leg over.

but now that we're well into the noughties, it's no longer graeme obree that is uppermost in the time-trial stakes and, in fact, neither is another adopted scotsman, david millar. however, much of milllar's early career centred around his ability in the tour prologue and similar events against the clock. whether this prompted scots film producer, finlay pretsell to make this documentary about the latter part of the rider's career is somewhat unclear; in truth, the only (scarily fast) time-trialling evident in this superb movie is confined to the backdrop to the opening credits.

time trial

it is dramatic footage nonetheless, seen from varying angles, including from a bar mounted camera facing towards millar's head. the next one hour and ten minutes features millar's final year of racing, pretty much excluding time-trials, but in the voiceover he gives indication of his tenacity in reaching for victory by recounting his attempt to ride through a fast corner without pulling the brake levers.

"I remember when I was fifteen and I got my first road bike, there used to be this road that I'd go up and down, up and down, because there was just one corner that i couldn't get through without braking. I decided I had to do it, had to get through that corner without braking. And every time I came down it, I had to make sure I took that corner at 50kph and not below.
"I just kept practising and practising and eventually i did it. [It] took me two weeks and I never braked again for it. Ever."

time trial

it's well worth my pointing out at this point, that dan deacon's original music score for the film is exemplary; there when you need it and silent when you don't, but the film would be far less effective without it. and whether deliberately or not, there are a couple of sections reminiscent of scotland's the blue nile.

sensibly, if not entirely predictably, millar's doping infraction is dealt with as the time-trialling fades to a shot of him in cofidis colours and phill liggett's commentary. it would surely be the elephant in the room were it ignored altogether and arguably seen as an aferthought if left until later. one interviewer states that a winning tour result was a bit "cat and mouse" to which millar instantly replies "Yeah, but I was the cat." after the victory, he states to another interlocutor "I don't know how I did that", while the footage cuts to a suited millar entering a courtroom to the sound of a voice recounting his victories apparently achieved while using drugs.

time trial

however, the film is more of a reality check as to just how hard it is to make a career as a professional cyclist at the top level and how the ageing process begins to rob him of his top line speed. it would be naive to pretend that david millar doesn't come across as a bit of a moaning minnie in the peloton. in one notable scene, he rides alongside geraint thomas, bemoaning the fact that there are riders who ought not to be at the sharp end of racing, a monologue during which thomas simply rides on, as if to get away.

this propensity to look on the pessimistic side is almost comically offset by his garmin directeur sportif and former pro, charly wegelius. when the team mechanic points out that the peloton is getting strung out, wegelius says "They're just going to have to toughen up. You kow what it was like when I was racing? Uphill both ways. Had to take the train to races. Ride to the hotel. Share the toilet. 16 of us. 25 teams in a school. But we loved it, you know? We had passion. We didn't race for the money. We raced for the pride of the jersey we were wearing." shades of Monty Python, methinks.

time trial

with hindsight, and rather unfortunately in the light of millar's reformed doper stance, he rooms with thomas dekker, who subsequently published an autobiographical exposé of his own extensive doping regime. millar's transgression, however, is not left alone, with the occasional reminder from commentary or millar himself. in a direct to camera piece, director finlay pretsell asks millar if he would talk about the process of coming back from his two-year drugs ban, to which millar replies, quite matter of factly, "I've said it already hundreds of times. I'd have to think about that...I don't think I can even talk about it anymore. I've literally exhausted it."

'time-trial' is, on at least one level, a highly abstract film, both in view of the overall concept and the footage, of which a very wet and cold 2013 milan-sanremo plays a significant part. and i mean that in highly favourable terms. it's a movie that bears comparison with jorgen leth's 'sunday in hell'. despite millar's apparent dissatisfaction with his vocation, the final piece to camera shows a distraught scot in tears after wegelius drops him from garmin's tour de france squad, claiming that he wanted to ride one more tour before he retired.

time trial

though the film's title had me believe i was about to watch a discourse on the art of racing against the clock, but in truth, i had no preconceptions about what i expected to see. what i did see is exceptional; when it reaches a cinema near you, do not dither or prevaricate. just go and see it.


time trial is part-funded by creative scotland and the scottish documentary institute. it will be released in uk cinemas on june 29. time trial film website

saturday 9 june 2018

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riding is the answer

rapha - riding is the answer

like many a modern day roadie, i began my serious cycling on a mountain bike, partly because it was the trendy thing to do at the time, secondly because i thought those tiny gears would prevent me being embarrassed on the hills and thirdly because i now resided in the rural idyll where one surely ought to be adventurous in one's velociedinal activities. of course, unless that rural idyll is situated on the edge of endless countryside (well, actually, it is), there will always be anything up to seven miles of asphalt in between me and the rough stuff.

rapha - riding is the answer

to be quite honest, that got tired quickly (pun intended)

however, mountain biking was and seemingly still is, for the cool kids, the guys who look remarkably similar to surfer dudes in dress and attitude, but with the addition of dainese body armour and chunky helmets. there's no apparent need to take on a mamil appearance in polite company; baggy shorts and jerseys with loose fitting sleeves, but without any rear pockets. i believe the correct term is 'gnarly', another word that usually precedes that of dude. of course, i generalise; mountain biking and mountain bikers aren't all like that, but their pr often seems to think they are.

rapha - riding is the answer

however, when i tired of slogging over kilometres of tarmac in order to embrace the gnarly-ness' of offroading, it dawned on me that were i to adopt skinny tyres and bendy bars, the world that was now my oyster began at the back gate and continued until sunset over the tarmac'd prairie. not only that, but those coffee shops that were conspicuous by their absence in the hinterlands, were now in plentiful supply and frequently at just the locations you wanted them to be.

but surely, becoming a roadie involved tempering that spirit of revolution? no more would it be possible to wear the mantle of the revolutionary, sporting a devil-may-care persona in the face of conformity. i enjoy my spring classics and tours as much as the next dude, but those power meters, team cars and riding to order on the climbs hardly seemed the ideal means of discarding encroaching adversity.

rapha - riding is the answer

in which case, perhaps it was time to adopt the way of the velominati, memorise all those rules and make sure that my shorts, jersey and socks were all sourced from the same apparel purveyor. heaven forfend that one should appear reckless in lycra. the frequent arrival of 'singletrack' magazine would occasionally give cause for thoughts of wistfullness for those long, lost days of knobbly tyres and tiny inner rings. but, at the risk of name dropping, the folks at imperial works sort of came through to lighten my heavy load. i'm sure i need only mention the rapha continental to illustrate that to which i refer. and now, some ten years later, rapha have done it again.

rapha - riding is the answer

and if i may be so bold as to quote the reaction of the inestimable richard mitchelson, they've 'nailed it'

i seriously defy anyone to watch the movie linked below and not immediately feel a pressing need to go ride your 'road' bike. right here, right now. subtly and perhaps not so subtly, the first salvo in rapha's 'riding is the answer' campaign demonstrates the undeniable veracity of that statement, building on ultan coyle's "nothing's ever worse after a bike ride" statement and ben lieberson's "outside is free". the latest copy of singletrack magazine arrived in today's mail and though chipps has maintained its usual excellent standard of writing and imagery, envy is no longer an emotion engendered by its art quality pages.

this time, i have no regrets at name dropping. thank you rapha; on the inside at least, i am a gnarly dude once again and probably even more insufferable than the last time.

riding is the answer

friday 8 june 2018

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snek tubeless tyre lever

snek lifeboat tyre lever

i have recounted on several tedious occasions that, when purely a roadie-in-waiting, a 'newbie' by any other name, i was overly concerned with the tribulations that might occur when switching from the inner to the outer chainring on the archetypal 'ten speed racer'. as has become evident, i got over that early undue concern to become the superlative athlete you see before you now. however, my velocipedinal confidence is still prone to the occasional blip, a fact made plain with the arrival of tubeless tyres.

snek lifeboat tyre lever

though this variant on the humble clincher has been around the offroad fraternity for a number of years, 'tis only recently that it has begun to enter the road-going psyche, stretching even as far as the professional milieu as a viable alternative to the raceworthy tubular. it was, therefore, only a matter of time before such rubber made its way onto thewashingmachinepost review section; i am always willing to suffer for your art.

to complete the tubeless set, it is, obviously enough, necessary to not only have requisite tubeless tyres, but a certifiably compatible pair of rims, capable of providing a transport of delights. in my case, those wheels were provided by the inestimable derek mclay at larbert's wheelsmith, while the tyres came originally from schwalbe and latterly from mavic. this french rubber arrived with neither the valve stems required for inflation and the gloop poured in through those valves to effect a proper seal, should the odd pinhole affect the tread or sidewall.

snek lifeboat tyre lever

however, as witnessed by a colleague of mine, fitting tyres to tubeless rims is not always the velocipedinal walk in the park that you'd hope it to be. let's just say that copious amounts of fairy liquid can help lower the stress levels. you will also note from the above brief introduction to the world of no tubes, that there is mentioned gloop having need of being poured into the tyre after fitting; the only way that's going to happen is via the valve stem after removal of the core. by implication, once again, that necessitates having an appropriate, easily lost, tool to hand. what we all require is a helping hand that covers most, if not all of the bases. something uncannily like jonny hintze's snek cycling lifeboat tyre lever (or tire, as he spells it).

snek lifeboat tyre lever

launched on kickstarter yesterday, the lifeboat tyre lever is designed to alleviate, at the very least, the case of the disappearing valve core remover. "My valve core remover was hard to keep track of and always seemed to be missing," said Hintze. "That's when I thought, why not just have a valve core remover as part of the tire lever? That way only one tool would be required to service tubeless tires instead of two separate ones."

The result is his inclusive lever, capable of servicing modern tubeless tire systems.

"In addition, the lever includes a bottle opener for the post ride beverage. It was time for a tire lever that kept up with cycling trends and technology."

i'll willingly confess that the bottle opener is the one feature that is likely to remain untried and untested on washingmachinepost croft; all my preferred tipples arrive with either a screw top or a ring pull. however, the inclusion of the valve corer strikes me as a stroke of potential genius, particularly when far from home, though i've a notion that the saddle pack is unlikely to enclose a bottle of gloop. for those intent on touring, however, it's a major box ticked.

and to briefly refer to the previously mentioned consternation over the reluctance of certain tyres to play nicely with the wheel rim, jonny's tyre lever is composed of a plastic outer, reinforced with a metal interior, a factor that makes it less likely that the lever will break during the fitting process. to reinforce this potential indestructability, the lever is made in the usa and comes with a lifetime guarantee. perhaps the best bit is that the lever is tyre agnostic; it truly couldn't care less whether the tyre about whose person it is being manipulated is tubed or tubeless, a compatibility that is rare in the world of the bicycle.

snek lifeboat tyre lever kickstarter page

snek lifeboat tyre lever

thursday 7 june 2018

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full gas: how to win a bike race: tactics from inside the peloton. peter cossins. yellow jersey press hardback. 314pp. £16.99

full gas - peter cossins

there should have been a manual handed out at school, pointing out that blokes and girls like you and me could actually race bikes while we were still teenagers, that speed and competition were not the sole preserve of the professionals. in my case, i seriously doubt it would have made a great deal of difference; i was born without a competitive bone about my person, but others may have followed the way of the numbered back pocket, ultimately swelling the amateur or professional ranks. life could have been so different.

but that manual would have had need of further explanation. there's no point in saying "go west young man", without pointing precisely in the direction of west. therefore, should any of us have entered the competitive realm, then the uci, british cycling, or the local council would surely have been honour bound to provide a manual advising how our potential speed might be used to arguably greater effect. in a single word: tactics; how to reach the front and stay there till the end.

however, with the realisation that none of the above institutions have seen fit to produce such a publication, we must turn to the latest output from the pen of esteemed author, peter cossins. he has been using that selfsame pen in the furtherance of velocipedinal writing since 1993, during which his acute observational skills have dissected the intricate ways and means in which members of the professional peloton augment their prodigious natural skills. these observations have been encapsulated in this manual masquerading as just another cycling book.

except, it's anything but.

'full gas' features a total of nineteen chapters, each concerned with a particular strategy practised by our modern-day heroes. and most commendably, though professional cycling is predominantly populated by the male of the species, cossins has not ignored the faster of the fairer sex. and perhaps appropriately enough, the chapter entitled a tactical showcase opens with a quote from mark cavendish.

"I hope I'm not alone in thinking the Pro Women's race in #Bergen2017 was the most exciting of the whole week. Perfect way to showcase."

however, before asking in chapter one 'what are tactics?', cossins, perhaps unnecessarily, explains just what he means by 'full gas'.

"And why Full Gas? It is the in vogue term for riding flat out, giving absolutely everything left in the tank. It is the most fundamental tactic of all." of course the very basis of his following exposition is all but undermined by the quote from comedian billy connolly: "Ally MacLeod thinks that tactics are a new kind of mint."

explanation of the various means by which professional cyclists enhance their chances of victory are not, in fact, left solely to the philosophies and conclusions of the author. in the course of investigating the myriad means of arriving at the finish in front, cossins has interviewed a veritable phalanx of practitioners. the previously mentioned mark cavendish is joined by thomas de gendt, nicholas roche, david millar, julian pinot, teejay van garderen and several others well-versed in the art of "chess on two wheels"

in keeping with the contemporary nature of the narrative, cossins has not excluded the possibility of a technological enhancement of those strategies. in a chapter entitled 'is technology killing tactics' cossins states...

"Once it was derailleurs, tri-bars and helmets, now it's disc brakes, radios and power meters."

in this chapter, the author quotes team manager cyrille guimard bemoaning modern day racing as 'a PlayStation game' and claiming that 'radios and power meters are preventing [riders to think and improve], and is far from alone in saying so." but the likes of team sky riding tempo with eyes glued to their bar-mounted srm displays, can quite probably be also considered a tactic (of sorts).

and then there's the tactic we'd all like to learn, own or otherwise acquire: 'how to bluff your rivals'. arguably one of the earliest riders to practise the art was the colourfully named 'hippolyte aucouturier' during 1903's inaugural tour de france, after illness had forced him to withdraw from the first stage, aucouturier was allowed to continue in stage two, a stage that he subsequently won. the autocrat, henri desgrange, rather miffed at this state of affairs, then decreed that, although hippolyte would be allowed to begin stage three, he and others would begin one hour behind the gc contenders. an outraged aucouturier, claiming he would thus be forced to race with 'lesser' riders, stated that he "...wasn't going to bother going flat out on the road to Toulouse. What would be the point, he whinged?"

of course, this was a bluff; aucouturier went flat out from the start of stage three, the subterfuge placing him atop the stage podium once more.

discussion of tactics, strategies and cunning plans will always run the risk of being as exciting as maths homework, a risk confidently avoided by mr cossins. i have long practised the thoroughly objectionable habit of folding the page corners of review copies, those to which i may wish to refer when penning discourses such as this. however, the more absorbing publications tend to have me forget so to do, evidence for which is the number of pages in full gas remaining in pristine condition.

now that itv4 and eurosport are in the habit of broadcasting entire tour stages, if you've every wondered why riders do what they do or even why they don't do what it seems obvious they perhaps ought to do, full gas is probably the manual you need on the arm of the chair. either that, or memorise its nineteen chapters before next you pin a number on your back.

full gas by peter cossins is published on 7 june. thanks to the generosity of yellow jersey press, i have one copy to give away to the chosen sender of the correct answer to the following question.
'in this context, what is the meaning of 'full gas'?
please e-mail your answers, along with a full postal address to closing date is monday 11 june.

wednesday 6 june 2018

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positive proof

brooks proofide

the mighty dave t is not a man particularly in thrall to the leather saddle, such as that featured on the brooks england website and in their 1866 store in london town. his reasoning, however, has nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of such seating finery, but is entirely the result of them having permeated his early cycling career as pretty much the only perch in town. we, on the other hand, are nothing less than spoilt for choice.

to reference brooks once more, they currently offer no less than 22 different cambium models, a range which eschews any hint of leather, both promising and delivering comfort and joy to those who find themselves unimpressed with the potential faff incurred by long-term sitting on suspended leather. a godsend for the vegans amongst us. however, since there are any number of saddles on the market that sit under the heading of fit-and-forget, the mighty dave t prefers to be a modern-man and renounce the rigours of hide.

it is true, however, that the brooks leather saddle has enjoyed over one and a half centuries of varying popularity, though, since its heyday in the 40s and 50s, possibly none more so than in recent years.

according to recent market reports, the long-playing vinyl record has enjoyed sales that distance those of the once ubiquitous compact disc. i, myself, even own a small, duck-egg blue portable record player, all the better to enjoy my buddy rich, miles davis and art blakey vinyl in the manner originally determined by producers such as rudy van gelder. none of your pristine naim sixteen-speaker audio for me (though i should point out that the latter has a great deal more to do with the eye-watering price of those sixteen speakers, as opposed to an inherent disdain for audio clarity).

closer to home, the once dear departed steel frame is now every bit a part of the bikeshed as it once was some 25 years ago. carbon may rule the roost in the professional realm and in velocipedinal credit card debt, but the perennial draw of ferrous metal has yet to dissipate completely. in the percussive realm, vintage all but rules the roost, many a drummer rueing the day they sold that rogers or ludwig drumset, while perusing e-bay for any sign of a gene krupa slingerland radio king snare or mid-fifties k zildjian cymbals. it seems that modernity is not all it's cracked up to be.

however, to be quite blunt, how many of today's plastic-based saddles conform to your posterior's profile over time, even if they ride like a concrete coal bunker for the first few weeks? but such potential uniqueness does not come without its own associated faff, beginning with that tensionable nose-bolt. and cowhide needs a tad more care and attention than man-made faux-leather. but brooks have sufficient savvy and customer awareness to provide assistance with the protective process, something that arrives in a small 40g tin of proofide.

at one time, there would scarcely have been a bikeshed in the country that did not have at least one small green tin of proofide sitting in a box or on a shelf. i've even seen empty tins stored purely on the basis that they're cute, despite having ended their days of service some considerable time in the past. yet, though the invention of john boultbee brooks has a heritage most saddle purveyors would die for, even they have the perspicacity to realise when it's time to add a touch of modernity.

should you doubt the veracity of that statement, witness the new style proofide tin shown above.

brooks proofide

tuesday 5 june 2018

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