aero fairy nonsense


i mentioned only the other day, that i had converted the ritchey from its campagnolo bora wto wheelset to something more mundane, but definitely more pragmatic, from derek mclay's wheelsmith. i say more pragmatic because, at the time of writing, i have not long returned from the sunday morning ride which took place in far stronger winds than the forecast had advised. though you'd think there would be little to distinguish between winds of 60kph and nigh on 70kph, there is, not to put too fine a point on it, a world of difference.

had i retained the boras, i would either have had to opt for my specialized crux, with its more standard wheelset, or i fear i would be hoping the islay lifeboat would collect me from colonsay, an island between here and oban. though deep-rim carbon wheels ostensibly allow for more speed in a forward direction, due to having smoothed out the airflow at the front end, the corollary of their approach is that they present a large(ish) flat surface to any crosswinds. i have managed to ride reasonably safely in winds above 50kph on the boras, but once we reach 60 or 70, it's just asking for trouble.

and despite the professed advantages of deep-rim carbon wheels over their less aerodynamically inclined brethren, i would be fibbing if i said that advantage had been conferred on yours truly at any point over the last two years. granted, i am several years the senior of my sunday morning compatriots, but at no time have i ever left them trailing in my wake, other than perhaps on the descent at foreland. and that, i'm sure. has a great deal more to do with the lowered friction of campagnolo's bearings, than any perceived aerodynamic advantage.

so where does that leave us with regard to so-called aero bikes? i'd be the first to admit that the hebrides is hardly the poster boy for calm, windless days, and therefore any purported advantage of an aero frame may be completely lost in our less than standard meteorological situation. but that said, everywhere suffers from windy conditions at sometime or other, and though those large, flattened tube shapes may present a narrow profile to any headwind present, in the absence of any straight roads that last forever, at some point those aero framed bicycles are going to turn in a direction that puts them anything up to 45 degrees to oncoming winds. at which time, those slab sides are going to prove something of a disadvantage.

it is glaringly obvious that i am not an aeronautical engineer, thus putting both feet firmly into waters of which i have little direct understanding. however, i do have considerable experience in riding in winds well above 60kph, and i can tell you i'd be less than keen to do so on an aero-framed bicycle. aside from which, once all and sundry in the peloton are equipped with aero bikes, featuring internal cables, aero handlebars and teardrop-shaped seatposts, the playing field has once again been levelled. and as has been said many a time by others better versed in such matters, the last person you should take advice from on choice of bicycle is a professional cyclist.

to a man or woman, they are required to ride whatever the sponsor provides, and it is in the bike sponsor's nature to continually release something new, something that might well benefit the professional rider at the speeds at which they can ride, but which will likely confer no advantage to you or me, whatsoever. the jury is out on whether disc brakes on road bikes are as effective or necessary as the manufacturers would have you believe, but unless the bike you own is made of steel, there's not a chance you could have the necessary brackets attached to your existing frame. thus, assuming you like to emulate the professional classes, the only way forward is a new frame or bicycle. and guess who that benefits most?

in the 1950s and 60s, it was not uncommon for club cyclists to order a new frame in the same colour as their existing model, thus disguising the fact from her indoors. the story may be apocryphal, but the fact that the new frame differed not one whit from its predecessor provided the story with some credibility. it would be a lot harder to achieve the same upgrade today without notice. however, should you either find yourself in need of a new bicycle for whatever reason, or simply have the financial wherewithal to buy what your heart desires, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with doing precisely that. nobody can judge but you.

however, should i find myself in either of those positions, it would serve me considerably ill, were i to opt for aero, simply because it is proving fashionable so to do. however, when such design becomes ubiquitous, it is then a tad harder to avoid, because marketing has dictated it to be so. if you think i exaggerate, take the cervelo 'cross bike currently ridden by wout van aert. when that becomes available to the rest of us later this year, you have no option but to use discs and no option but to employ an electronic groupset, which sidelines campagnolo's well-reviewed ekar groupset, because it is mechanical only. for those who do not race, and have no intention of doing so, the shop floor is beginning to guide (narrow) your choices to the point of exclusion.

no, the situation is not as drastic as i have perhaps portrayed, but i fear we're beginning to lose our options as customers. choices are being made elsewhere before convincing us they were ours in the first place.

monday 28 february 2022

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five things we learned from omloop

omloop het nieuwsblad 2022

of course, that's a completely misleading title, because i'm not altogether sure that i, or anyone else, for that matter, actually learned as many as five things from saturday's omloop het nieuwsblad. however, my perusing of the interwebs has taught me, if nothing else, that such is the manner in which one ought to introduce the day's meanderings, a device presumably employed to attract readers or viewers to the opinions on display.

what i did learn, and i know that there are many in agreement, is that i much prefer kop van de wedstrijd and achtervolgers in place of the uci's enforced english translations. where is the point in my heading into the office come monday morning, proudly proclaiming that someone called wout van aert won omloop het nieuwsblad, if the uci is going to undermine my carefully crafted allusion to belgian obscurity, with on-screen declarations of front of the race or chasing group?

i also learned that applying either the suffix 'berg' or muur to local topography offers a level of satisfaction that may have been missing over previous years. for instance, ascending the little hillock at blackrock is scarcely the stuff of which tales of derring-do are made. but ascending blackrockenberg adds a frisson that i fear was missing altogether. and though the hill that rides past the rspb visitor centre at aoradh (pronounced 'oo-rig') can satisfactorily be referrred to as the col du rspb, as i believe it has been named on strava, it sounds far more flandrien at this time of year if re-constituted as aoradhsberg.

omloop het nieuwsblad 2022

and while watching omloop on eurosport/gcn, the cobbled ascent of the kapelmuur, with the 'kapel' at the summit, surely demands that bowmore main street, leading as it does to the round church, could be conveniently cast as roundsmuur? naturally, unless the council leader of argyll & bute council also happens to be a studious fan of the spring classics (he isn't), such nomenclature will simply exist within these pixels, and perhaps in the deluded minds of the sunday peloton. i can't see the rest of the island's population giving two hoots.

but brief mention above of gcn brings to mind the fact that they have recently released a documentary on the rise and rise of rapha cycle clothing, the trailer for which currently occupies space on youtube. disappointingly, the lack of joined up thinking between gcn and eurosport, means that, while i have a long-lived subscription to the online eurosportplayer, it seems that this does not confer access to gcn+, which, insofar as i can discover, would not only offer the selfsame coverage i receive from eurosport, but added extras such as the rapha documentary. perhaps if discovery communications, owner of both eurosport and gcn were to offer a migratory subscription, i could find my online velocipedinal status a tad more to my benefit. but for now, i can but derive the gist of their imperial works portrayal from the trailer.

omloop het nieuwsblad 2022

though that which i have seen appears in full colour, i do wonder if gcn+ thought to encapsulate rapha's early days of monochrome, when the majority of their clothing occupied the colours black, white and the occasional tinge of pink. though the subject of more than a few parodies at the time, and very likely more if resurrected today, i was a great fan of the black and white imagery purveyed by imperial works in the mid 2000s. and not only the monochromacity of it all, but the unique film-grain of ben ingham's early work, preferring actual film as opposed to the convenience of digital.

perhaps that's something else i may have learned from omloop (though it brings me nowhere near five); that 'd like to have watched the race in black and white, just for that extra thrill as van aert crossed the line around thirty seconds ahead of the achtervolgers.

omloop het nieuwsblad 2022

sunday 27 february 2022

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the wheel truth

ritchey logic with wheelsmith race 24s

in july 2019, campagnolo were kind enough to send a pair of their bora wto (wind tunnel optimised) 45mm carbon wheels for review, a set on which i have ridden my ritchey logic since their arrival. that has included two hebridean winters, notable for their tendency to create something akin to belgian toothpaste on islay's rapidly disintegrating roads, a material that is not renowned for allowing longevity of bicycle components. the wheels began life in the hebrides shod with donnelly strada lgg 28mm tyres, subsequently replaced with a set of rene herse chinook pass 28mm rubber folowing a tyre-shredding puncture on the donnellys almost as far from home as it was possible to be.

i cannot deny that i had cause, late last year, to contact campagnolo guru, graeme freestone king, on discovering that the brake track on the rear wheel appeared to be in danger of reaching its lower limit. graeme pointed out a fact of which i was previously unaware, that dual-pivot brake calipers exert more pressure on one side than on the other, explaining why the wear factor on the non-drive side appeared to be a smidgeon greater than on its opposite number. and meanwhile, the front wheel seems to have got off scot free, with very little apparent wear.

in truth, i think many of us appreciate the aesthetic provided by a pair of deep-carbon rims, irrespective whether we have the puff to take advantage of their purported aerodynamics. i once read that such rims offer little advantage below 35kph, a speed that i confess, for me, only displays itself on descents or when pushed along by an atlantic galeforce wind. as a result, i cannot truthfully testify to the efficacy of a wheelset that lightens the bank balance to the tune of £1700. however, at times, i have believed this to be a small price to pay for giving the impression that i am a great deal quicker than is actually the case.

the wear factor, though hardly accounted for in advance, should hardly come as a surprise. as mentioned above, i continued to ride on the boras throughout two winters, a season that tends to last a bit longer out here than it does elsewhere in the uk. and, as a predominantly agricultural island, there is no shortage of mud, cow and sheep sh*t to act as transferable abrasion material on such finely woven carbon fibres. according to mr freestone king, a customer of his who lives in the sandy region of arabia, goes through a pair of boras once a year, something at which, i can assure you, my bank balance, if faced with, would turn a whiter shade of pale .

however, despite vicenza having apparently done a fine job of tweaking the profile in the wind tunnel, there comes a time when 45mm of flat carbon simply acts as a sail to a gale or stormforce crosswind. i have managed to ride the boras in winds of up to 70kph, though i cannot deny a certain pervading nervousness when doing so. i therefore had my specialized 'cross bike outfitted with 33mm road rubber as an alternative when the north wind doth blow. recently, following storms dudley, eunice and franklin, the ritchey logic has had to sit complacently in the bike shed, while the crux carried out all the heavy lifting.

as a result, i decided that, since the record groupset was due a new chain and accompanying cassette, i would take the opportunity to revert to a pair of wheelsmith handbuilt wheels with more or less regular aluminium rims (race 24s), spoked wheels that would fare far better in breezy conditions. these were aboard the ritchey for several years prior to the arrival of the boras, and seem every bit as good now, as they were when new. i have waxed lyrical on several occasions concerning this procrastinated process, but it finally happened and yesterday's paper run to bruichladdich was the proof of the pudding, so to speak.

the wind blew only at 50kph, a draught that is really of little consequence hereabouts, so i cannot realistically compare the handling of shallow rims v deep rims, but physics would tend to indicate a distinct advantage for the wheelsmiths. what was rather immediately noticeable was the improved braking, having reverted to standard campagnolo brake shoes in place of the carbon compatible swisstops they succeeded. in point of fact, the braking, even in the wet, on the boras, was reasonably impressive, but it can't really hold a candle to aluminium.

however, what i wasn't quite prepared for was the impressive improvement in comfort. as an ageing member of the peloton, i am not one in search of lateral stiffness; i like to remain both unshaken and not stirred. as a direct comparison, this is surely as good as it gets, given that the wheelsmiths are also shod with rene herse chinook pass, 28mm rubber. though i cannot claim i was unduly disturbed by the stiffness afforded by 45mm of carbon fibre, i did rather like the alternative. and gone is what was once the notionally impressive roar of carbon, replaced by a serenity i hadn't realised was missing.

i plan to clean up the boras and fit them to my campag equipped colnago c40, a bicycle that has seen little use over recent years, but which can still provide a little frisson if ridden during the summer months, when the winds are less onerous, and the roads a tad cleaner. however, the change has proved, if nothing else, that a pair of quality, handbuilt wheels are probably still a veritable holy grail, well worth considering in place of an aesthetic that holds the potential to have you blown sideways.

wheelsmith handbuilt wheels

saturday 26 february 2022

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electric bike shop

though it is part of cycling mythology, i cannot deny that i have experienced it at first hand: discrimination. not on any personal basis, you understand, but on one specific occasion, due to the bicycle on which i pedalled at the time. in 2018, i was invited to play drums at arran distillery's whisky festival on the isle of arran, an island only two ferry journeys distant from the croft.

misunderstanding the timetable of events (the gig was on saturday eve, not friday eve), i arrived in lochranza on a thursday in preparation for a rehearsal that same evening, due to this being a pick-up band comprised of members hailing from several disaparate locations. it transpired that friday evening played host to a celebratory dinner at which my presence was not required, meaning i had a friday on which i could essentially, do as i pleased, and one for which i was not prepared.

having friends who operated a cycling café at lagg in the south of the island (sadly now closed, i believe), i was able to borrow a rather shabby mountain bike from the field centre at which i was staying, to ride the 50km south. unfortunately, the bicycle suffered from badly adjusted gears, a fact only discovered en-route, and for which i was not mechanically equipped to adjust. thus frequent bouts of chain-suck brought me to a halt on more than one 21% gradient.

however, the mechanical difficulties were not the sole iniquities of that particular bike ride. given that i had not expected to be riding a bicycle at all, i had brought no bike-specific shorts, nor jersey, nor tools. thus the trip was undertaken it what we might call 'civvies'; to all intents, a waif or stray aboard a less that pristine velocipede. on the following day, a cycling event was due to take place, for which training was evident during my solo ride on friday. being the courteous fellow that i am, on meeting several cyclists aboard skinny wheeled carbon fibre along the length of the parcours, i waved to all and sundry in the manner of 'hail fellow, well met.'

sad to relate, very few, if any, returned that wave, the majority continuing on their way without even acknowledging my grinding presence. aside from thinking this to be somewhat rude, i had long hoped that such discrimination had evaporated into the ether. whether i was ignored because i was on a decidely not state-of-the-art mountain bike, or simply because i did not identify as a 'roadie', or even a 'proper' cyclist due to either my borrowed bicycle or lack of lycra, i know not. but i rather hoped that anyone riding a bike would qualify no matter what; those of us in the islay velo club quite cheerfully wave to any cyclist, no matter the genre of bicycle or sartorial choice.

i should perhaps mention that the following year on a return trip for the same musical reason, i took my bright orange and green specialized crux cross bike, and everybody waved. long has there been this unwritten barrier between those of the road persuasion and those more inclined towards offroad, a subject about which i have written previously. in some places, it appears it still exists and possibly even prospers.

the one ray of sunshine during my first arran cycle was a young lady aboard a road bike who cheerfully returned my wave. yet women have also been discriminated against in the realm of competition. until recently, women's events received no television coverage whatsoever, and even when they did, the prize money was but a portion of that available in the comparable men's event. after many years of campaigning by both men and women, that situation is thankfully, but slowly changing for the better. it will surely be a sign that the revolution is complete when we simply refer to cycle-racing without prefixing it by gender.

but the insidious discrimination secretly taking place in plain sight can perhaps be flagged by the announcement that the electric bike shop has recently opened its ninth store, with a tenth in the planning. rather obviously, a bike shop with the word electric in the title is unlikely to be found selling analogue bikes. there are many bike shops all across the country selling a mixture of analogue and e-bikes, allowing the customer to compare and contrast prices, suitability, compatibility and a number of other factors, at the same time. those choices are unlikely to be available in an all-electric bike shop.

undoubtedly there are many who have been attracted by the arrival of the e-bike, seemingly undeterred by the often considerable difference in price, and the promise of 'exercise jim, but not as we know it.' but the physical separation of the two genres of bicycle should surely be viewed as nothing more or less than discrimination? is it not possible to simply sell bicycles, without such disparity? this sort of separation can only widen the gap between those of us who provide 100% of the effort and those who self-admittedly 'cheat'.

next thing you know, the two distinct velocipedinal persuasions will avoid waving to each other as they ride around arran.

the electric bike shop

friday 25 february 2022

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how did that happen?

omloop het nieuwsblad

january, if i'm being perfectly honest, was a bit of a surprise. after the annual build-up to christmas, the two-week break was a welcome relief from a busy december. but even while pondering the thought of a new year, while undertaking my own festive 250, the arrival of january seemed a bit forced, when i'd not quite finished with december. however, as they say, 'time waits for no man' and after the first few days back at work, it felt as if i'd never been away. according to the few folks with whom i spoke, it seems that most felt pretty much the same.

it is entirely possible that re-introducing the work ethic when already into the first week of a new year provides a false sense of the passage of time, for no sooner was work begun, than february already loomed upon the horizon. and, as we are all aware, with only 28 days between start and finish, it's one heck of a short month to get the hang of. i'm not sure whether this apprehension was enhanced or diminished by the beijing winter olympics. having initially experessed litte interest in those cold chinese hapenings, latterly, i found myself flicking to the tv channel offering lengthy snippets of one or two gruelling events, and just as many that elicited an 'i could do that' response (although obviously, i quite plainly couldn't)

during that period, i indulged in my infrequent twitter diversion of posting just how many sleeps it would be until paris-roubaix, more by way of placing myself in a specific timeline, than any need to indulge in nonsense. of course, at the time, sunday 17 april seemed a long, long way off, and technically it still is. but i still had in my head that the 'proper' season didn't truly start until the month of march, and that was a long, long way from the beijing olympics. only it wasn't/isn't, on two counts. firstly, 1 march arrives on tuesday, and secondly, this weekend will see not only omloop het nieuwsblad, but kuurne-brussels-kuurne the following day.

yet it's still only february. and my serious question would be, 'how the heck did that happen?'

i recall seeing mention of omloop on twitter midweek, but i assumed (incorrectly, as it transpires), that this event would not be taking place until saturday 5 march, and that its mention so far in advance was but a ploy to drum up some enthusiasm, by employing the word 'omloop'. for it is a well-known fact that this word alone is responsible for frenzied velocipedinal enthusiasm, no matter where in the world you read it.

so, in only a matter of two days, we can celebrate the beginning of the 'real' racing season. everything up till now has simply been training. you don't name a team quick-step alpha -vinyl solely to ride along lengthy open stretches of arabian motorway. and, in an odd sort of way, jumbo-visma does not translate into anyone's language until the classics have begun (cyclocross notwithstanding).

it's at times like these that the annual subscription to the eurosport/gcn player makes perfect sense. after a winter of apparent content, mrs washingmachinepost would be extremely reluctant to give up any portion of her netflix viewing time. so the opportunity to sit behind headphones and in front of a computer screen, hypothetically surrounded by cobbles and sectioned concrete paving, is one that's too good to miss.

and to turn the forthcoming weekend into one of complete celebration, it is the mighty dave-t's birthday on sunday. to those who have kindly asked, the great man is alive and well and doing his own thing from his port wemyss service corse, doubtless looking forward to the start of the season proper as are the rest of us. but having said and accepted all of that, i would still query just how we managed to be this far into the new year already? and only a matter of a week and a few days from strade bianche

this time last year, it was only 11 february.

thursday 24 february 2022

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cycling the elbe cycling route mike wells. cicerone publishing paperback. 269pp illus. £17.95

the elbe cycle route

mainland europe is literally infested with cycle routes, not all of which are achievable by the average pedallist in the street. for instance, the 21 hairpin bends of alpe d'huez might not be the ideal parcours on a folding bike, even if two of the sunday peloton intend to find out later this year. and a paris-roubaix sportive might not be everyone's cup of tea, particularly if the weather is less than favourable. and from my own experience, never mind the mountains, some of those french hills can be a drain on meagre physical resources.

the elbe cycle route

however, according to author, mike wells, the elbe cycle route, from the source of europe's third longest river (behind the danube and the rhine) from close to the polish border, to cuxhaven on germany's north sea coast, is possibly "the easiest long-distance cycle route in europe, with almost no hills and, except for a few short unsurfaced stretches in czechia, a good surface throughout." and, as author, mike wells points out, prior to 1990, the majority of the route was behind the so-called 'iron curtain', and thus out of reach for the majority of european cyclists. the fall of the berlin wall in 1989, changed pretty much everything, not simply the availability of picturesque cycling.

formerly known as czechoslovakia, a short-lived, easily crossed border was abolished in 2004, and now allows free access to a nation officially recognised as czechia on its membership of the european union. dresden, magdeburg and germany's second largest city, hamburg, are all visited along the 1200km route.

depending on your cycling ability, mr wells has thoughtfully portioned the route into manageable stages, allowing those delightful kilometres to be undertaken over 13, 15, 17 or 19 days. however, with the opening stages featuring names such as vrachblí, pardubice, láznê touŝen and litomêrice, you may wish more for a pronunciation guide than travel instructions.

the elbe cycle route

if travelling from the uk, the author advises that it's more pragmatic to fly to prague than to travel by rail. from there it appears a relatively simple matter of taking the train to the start of this endearing route at vrachblí. prior to travel instructions, however, mr wells offers a potted history of the region, includng the distasteful events of the second world war; the route takes the pedalling traveller past theresienstadt concentration camp. but, judging by the copious imagery accompanying the author's narrative, there is a wealth of stunning architecture to be seen, including the cathedral at magdeburg which took over 300 years to complete, prague's national museum, and dresden's impressive neo-rennaissance semper opera house.

according to mike wells, it's perfectly possible to complete the route using only the considerable number of maps peppered throughout all 269 pages. but there's also the option to download gpx files for installation on your bar-mounted gps device. and with several of the pathways along which travel is indicated constituted of gravel or unpaved surfaces, there is warning that several may turn to mud in wet weather.

but it's not all endless directions and functional prose that inhabits the pocket-sized pages. the author helpfully points outplaces and sites of interest along the way, several contained within amber coloured box-outs. "The Baroque palace at Troja was built in 1691 for the Count of Sternberg. Its central axis lines up with St. Vitus cathedral which can be seen on hill-top 3km SW. Inside, the walls and celings of the main rooms are highly decorated."

mike wells, according to the inner rear flap, has been a keen cyclist for over 20 years and has written several guides for cicerone press, a few of which i have previously reviewed within these pixels. his attention to detail is second to none, while his narrative has an envious ability to encourage even the armchair traveller, to get off his or her butt, and, in this case, take a flight to prague. travel to and from the european union may no longer offer the simplicity of yesteryear, but this guide to the elbe cycling route promises to make the effort well worthwhile.

cycling the elbe cycle route

wednesday 23 february 2022

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is it me, or is it you?


a few years ago, following a funding investment by the local council, a little used blaze pitch adjacent to bowmore primary school was earmarked as the site of a brand new, state-of-the-art, all-weather football pitch. personally, i'm unsure as to the requirement for such facilities, since football, rugby, shinty and the annual village sports activities have taken place on regular grass for many a long year without, as far as i know, undue complaint. why it should now have been found necessary to cover an oblong of hard, gravellous surface with artificial astro-turf, i know not.

during the first months of the pandemic, when the facility lay quiet due to covid restrictions, previous re-seeding of the adjacent rugby pitch saw real grass growing midst the plastic alternative. i contacted a previous editor of the local newspaper who was a specialist in both real and plastic grass surfaces about this state of affairs to be told that this was a situation that would need to be remedied sooner, rather than later, if serious damage were to be avoided. as it transpired, the necessary work was eventually undertaken, but on my last perambulation of the surroundings, there were still a few pockets of grass to be seen.

however, now that restrictions have been largely relaxed, the pitch is seeing regular, daily use, usually in the hours of darkness in early to late evening, when the investment in six floodlight pylons is put to excellent use. and though i still wonder why ordinary grass was deemed inappropriate, i cannot deny that both adult and junior football teams can be heard, if not actually seen, on cold, wet and rainy nights, when i put the rubbish in my pair of wheelie bins after tea.

and that state of affairs is one that leaves me in something of a quandary.

in a determined effort not to let the winter weather keep me from my weekend cycling, i have a tendency to go out in pretty much all weathers, come rain, hail or shine. provided i'm not in danger of being blown off my bicycle in front of traffic - and i like to think i have sussed what's rideable and what isn't - i'll go out cycling at any opportunity. in the last week, the country has been subjected to three named storms: dudley, eunice and latterly, franklin, all of which have caused upset and damage in several corners of the land, and all in which i rode at some point or other.

the most vehement from islay's point of view has been franklin which cancelled the ferries, blew over a tree or two, removed part of ardbeg distillery's roof and allegedly took the top off a caravan. yet midst the wind-blown carnage, the loganair flight from glasgow still managed to land at the diminutive islay airport, despite an apparent lack of shelter from across loch indaal. it will surprise very few locally that the sunday morning peloton of three still held fast to our professed duty, easily making it to debbie's for toasties and froth.

but, despite our collective tenacity, approbations have been largely negative, considering us possibly to be not in full possession of our faculties, visibly indicated by a motorist who stopped to allow us safe passage on sunday morning (in the nicest possible way).

my problem is with the apparent lack of parity. why is it thought to be perfectly acceptable for adults to coach youngsters on the all-weather pitch in the foulest of weather, yet of questionable sanity for three aging cyclists to be out in the teeth of an atlantic storm on a sunday morning? surely at primary school age, those little darlings ought to be curled up on the couch in front of the tv, with mummy and a mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows, than subjected to the rigours of fouls, tackles and the offside rule on a wet, stormy evening?

is football so invasive that it obscures all rational thought?

tuesday 22 february 2022

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