hutchinson tundra 700x40c gravel tyres

hutchinson 700x40c tundra gravel tyres

i am, as previously advised, a vegetarian, a dietary state of affairs that has existed since i was a tender 14 years old. if anyone else harbours intentions or desires of dietary change, i can recommend having your grandmother come to stay while your parents are on holiday, telling her that you no longer eat meat. on return of both parents, it's a simple case of informing them you haven't eaten meat for two weeks, and you've no intention of changing the situation.

hutchinson 700x40c tundra gravel tyres

in the early years, it was a choice that was often hard to survive, with hotels and restaurants intent on feeding me prawn salad, or simply the main course without the meat. on moving to the hebrides over thirty years past, health-food stores were few and far between, soya milk was almost non-existent, and the local averagemarket featured not a single veggie meal; at least, not one specifically aimed at those inhabiting a vegetarian lifestyle.

hutchinson 700x40c tundra gravel tyres

the difference arrived with the onset of veganism, a more extreme version of vegetarianism behind which the rationale doesn't always stack up. that said, one should scarcely look a gift horse in the mouth; veganism appears to have accomplished in a matter of minutes, what mere vegetarianism failed to achieve in decades. now it is possible to acquire a wide variety of foodstuffs that appeal to both vegetarian and vegan customers, though i'd be inclined to think the former outnumber the latter by quite some degree. it has, to put not too fine a point on it, offered increased versatility to those wishing to live a meat-free lifestyle.

hutchinson 700x40c tundra gravel tyres

though it's admittedly a bit of a stretch, the much-maligned gravel fad (mostly maligned by yours truly, to be fair) has now provided a remarkably similar level of versatility to the intrepid, gravellous rider. yes, we've all seen the youtube videos, showing velocipedinal stalwarts in the far corners of the globe, trekking through remote regions on their state-of-the-art gravel bikes, festooned with oddly-shaped bikepacking luggage, achieving pretty much what the crane brothers achieved, documented in their 1987 book, journey to the centre of the earth, except they did so on road bikes.

hutchinson 700x40c tundra gravel tyres

however, few of us, if any, have that level of derring-do, content, in most cases, to travail the uneven ground that once was the playpark of the mountain biking set, only now, this can be undertaken with bendy bars. of course, this could easily have been achieved on the already available, cyclocross bicycles, but why let truth stand in the way of a decent marketing campaign?

but uci regulations dictate that the maximum tyre width for cyclocross rests at 33mm, quite possibly more than adequate for any offroad excursion by the likes of you and me. but that hasn't prevented the gravel set from differentiating themselves by way of increased tyre width, rubber that, in many cases, will comfortably fit the cyclocross bicycle you already own. i do not own a gravel bicycle, and with luck, that is a happenstance unlikely to alter anytime soon, but i do own a brightly coloured cyclocross bicycle which, if i'm being very honest, is more likely to be found wearing gravel width tyres than 'cross's more minimal treads.

hutchinson 700x40c tundra gravel tyres

hutchinson tyres are distributed in the uk by windwave, co-incidentally, also colnago's uk distributor. they very kindly supplied a pair of the latest to emerge from the hutchinson factory in the shape of the 700x40c tundra. these tyres sport a tread pattern reminiscent of my long-past mountain-biking days, with a directional tread claimed to offer excellent traction on both gravel and mud, sufficiently open in design to easily clear the latter, even in the face of the gloopier variant. aesthetically it is a tyre that's very pleasing to the eye, with a brownish tan sidewall. i should mention, however, that clearance at the chainstays was minimal, to say the least, but in practice, proved no problem at all.

hutchinson 700x40c tundra gravel tyres

the tundra is tubeless ready, and windwave were generous enough to include a pair of tubeless valves to aid the review. however, i have had my fill of the tubeless genre, one that i find provides a great deal of unnecessary faff for no perceivable benefit. much like my dislike of the band runrig, i find myself in a minority in such matters, but nonetheless, i fitted both tyres with inner-tubes for my own peace of mind. your mileage may vary.

gravel tyres, particularly these, offer the itinerant rider a level of versatility with which a pair of 28mm road tyres just can't compete. i have demonstrated a predilection to ride my 'cross bike on saturdays, partly because i've no need of trying to keep up with anyone, and partly because i can take advantage of any brief offroad excursions that might present themselves along the way. despite the contentions of gcn's messrs beaumont and hank, islay is hardly awash with lengthy gravel tracks, or to be blunt, many lengthy offroad tracks of any description, but i do enjoy the options that tyres such as these provide.

hutchinson 700x40c tundra gravel tyres

not so very far from the croft exists a highly variable gravel track constructed to enable logging, just off the abattoirenberg road. logging has long since ceased, but the track's still there, in all its unadorned glory, mixing large, jaggy rocks, with the sort of gravel that regularly features in magazine articles. out and back, it possibly extends between four or five kilometres, offering a brief package of gravel fun, and on which the tundras excelled, despite my somewhat inept gravel-riding skills.

but just to be sure, i rode the tundras through mud and across wet grass, with nary a skitter from front or rear, as i channeled my enormous power through the sram rival cranks (a little hebridean humour there). when channeling that power over a short, sharp gravel climb, there was a noticeable lack of grip on the small, loose gravel that persisted at the edges. however, this only occurred when standing to climb; placing my bum back on the saddle, the grip was reinstated.

hutchinson 700x40c tundra gravel tyres

the only surface on which the tundras disappointed was, believe it or not, tarmac'd roads. though they were almost completely silent, entirely comfortable and ate several cattle-grids for breakfast, i cannot deny that they were a bit of a slog. it pains me to admit that the aforementioned enormous power could only return an average speed around four to five kph less than usual on the 'cross bike. however, given that smooth roads (more humour) are hardly their designated playground, i believe we can perhaps forgive them their one apparent demerit.

it would be foolish of me to think that i have already explored every trait available from the tundras, so this will likely be a two-parter punctuated by several weeks, but i have to say, it's looking good so far. if, like me, you're looking only for a smidgeon of versatility, or even if you're already completely down the gravel-sized, bike-packing hole already, on initial acquaintance, as a singular choice, these are very much what i believe is described as a 'no-brainer'.

hutchinson's tundra gravel tyres are available in 700x40c tan wall at a retail price of £49.95 each. | hutchinson tundra gravel tyres

monday 18 april 2022

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showers pass basecamp merino hoodie

gartbreck distillery

you can tell when someone has experienced pangs of velocipedinal guilt, when they feel compelled to mention that, as youngsters, they were never off the bike. it's a plaintiff cry that cuts no ice, for, well past middle age, i'm still riding mine. in fact, bereft of a motor vehicle (by choice), the bicycle and a pair of feet are my only options. but, of course, when we were young, everybody had a bicycle, and we'd no problem grabbing it from the shed or garage and cycling farther than many people drive nowadays. and were that not enough, unless you were particularly sports obsessed, there was no defined dress code for so doing.

gartbreck distillery

if someone were to suggest cycling anywhere in particular, i cannot recall ever asking them to wait while i popped inside to choose a pair of bibshorts and jersey to match. nor, indeed, checking the weather forecast to decide whether i might require a breathable, stowaway jacket. just in case. a sweatshirt, jeans and whatever footwear had been insisted upon by my mother were just fine, with no restrictions due to the make of clipless pedal appended to my raleigh twenty bicycle. those were indeed, the halcyon days of yore, when summer holidays were warm and sunny each and everyday and punctures were all but unheard of because the roads were well maintained.

oh, how things have changed.

showers pass basecamp hoodie

yet for many, the inspiration behind those far-off days still persists, and not just amongst those of us who now grow long in the tooth. cyclists clad in matching bibs, jersey, jacket, socks and shoes, with drop bar carbon bikes are, believe it or not, in the minority. there are far more excluded members of the club, who think nothing of riding their bicycles in 'normal' clothes, and for purposes other than impressing fellow strava users, or hoping to be mistaken for refugees from the peloton.

however, though i once rode with a fellow who insisted that a cotton t-shirt was the last word in baselayer technology, inhabit the saddle for any appreciable length of time, and it becomes readily apparent that one's velocipedinally sartorial choices could undoubtedly be improved, if only for the sake of comfort. and rather than adopt the way of the lycra lout, it may be prudent to retain some degree of street credibility by adopting less ostentiatious garmentage. i've no doubt several will see where this is heading, but it's hard to deny that the wonder fabric ticking the majority of boxes, is that of merino wool.

showers pass basecamp hoodie

though scarcely the cheapest of quality fabrics, merino does offer particularly welcome thermal properties as well as offering a sturdy defence against malodourousness (which may not be a real word). the structure of a single fibre of merino features no crevices in which bacteria might gain a foothold, meaning that even after a strenuous commute or weekend bike ride, people will still be happy to be your friend. added to this is the pointed fact that the fabric can operate in stealth mode, leaving innocent bystanders totally unaware that the merino hoodie you happen to be wearing, was produced by one of the world's finest cycling apparel manufacturers. in this case, portland's showers pass.

showers pass basecamp hoodie

perhaps better known for their wide range of waterproofs which gave rise to the company name, in recent years, they have branched out to offer clothing that does actually get wet, the latest of which is this basecamp merino hoodie. arguably more pertinent to the gravel or mountain bike rider, the jersey features a hood with two drawstrings, a quarter-length zip and one full-width pocket accessed from two zipped openings on the front, ideal for keeping your hands warm on chilly days.

the fabric is breathable, comprised of 95% merino wool and 5% elastane, offers decent sun protection (less of a problem on scotland's west coast) and is impossibly light for such a cosy jersey. the hood can be worn under a helmet if you're into that sort of thing, but is every bit as fashionable if you never pull the hood over your head. i spent a very pleasant afternoon thundering (a guy can dream, right?) up and down the gravel track between washingmachinepost towers and the site of gartbreck distillery, now more of a forlorn hope than a potential addition to islay's single-malt future.

showers pass basecamp hoodie

but, just to prove the hoodie's versatility, i also wore it for two nights' worth of gigs in one of bowmore's favoured hostelries, simply rolling up the sleeves and lowering the zip when the music got louder and room became hotter. at the end of the eve, it warmed the cockles of my paradiddles on the way home. the fit is, in apparel parlance, relaxed, with a generous length to the sleeves and torso. it's practical enough to wear on the bike, but stylish enough to be worn out of the saddle without ever clueing those around you that you watched all of paris-roubaix today. believe me, you need one of these.

the showers pass basecamp merino hoodie is available in clay (as reviewed) and harvest, in sizes ranging from small to xxl (medium size reviewed). all this is priced at £98. looked after, it ought to last for years. | showers pass basecamp merino hoodie

sunday 17 april 2022

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jamie muir

trying desperately to recall the name of the drummer who accompanied the inestimable bill bruford in the 1994 double-trio version of king crimson, i'd to do as we all do under such circumstances, and resort to google. of course, the fellow whose name had slipped my mind, was pat mastelotto, a drummer who continues to be one of three in the current incarnation of the band. three drummers in king crimson would appear to be somewhat of an anomaly, given that band founder, robert fripp, has expressed himself to be frustrated by the actions of the band's various percussionists over the decades. and now he has three of the blighters with which to contend.

however, in the process of searching for this specific gent, i came across a relatively recent image of jamie muir, whose presence graced the band when bill bruford joined from yes in the 1970s. bruford credits muir as being pivotal in his education as a drummer/percussionist, citing muir as the man who taught him that he existed to serve the music, rather than the other way round. apparently muir effectively disappeared overnight, without so much as an adieu, reputedly surfacing at the buddhist enclave on the holy isle off the coast of the isle of arran in the clyde.

photographs from the seventies era crimson show him less to be sat behind what we might describe as a drumset, more a collection of objects designed to be hit and produce sounds less expected from a bona-fide drummer. bruford appears to have wholeheartedly adopted muir's approach to noise-making, retrieving a bent, trashed cymbal from the recording studio bin and making use of its short, sharp white noise during the recording of the seminal album, 'red'.

bruford's subsequent setups featured hayman toms, a ludwig bass drum and snare, before replacing the single rack tom with three rototoms. his hybrid kit with 1980s king crimson, comprised octobans, a gong bass drum and several simmons electronic pads. nowadays, browse any online music store, or step inside a bricks and mortar music shop, and drumsets have become ubiquitously standardised, either in plain colours or exotic wood veneers, with drum sizes matched across each and every brand. in other words, the spirit of adventure has been well and truly stamped upon by the industry, supplying two-up, two-down sets to their endorsers. and perish the thought of mixing cymbal brands on one setup.

the bicycle industry is really no different. yes, there are still bespoke builders who will create a bicycle according to your requirements, but for the majority, it's a standardised carbon frame, or an aluminium frame designed to look remarkably similar to its carbon big brother. disc brakes have become de rigeur, dropped seatstays are everywhere, and almost certainly either shimano or sram will have supplied the groupset. a long way from purchasing a made-to-measure or off-the-shelf frame before choosing which gears, brakes, seatpost, saddle, bars... you get my drift.

of course, drums are an entirely different kettle of fish than bicycles, but the encroaching ubiquity of contemporary living seems to have sucked some of the life out the equation.

with the advent of the gravel bike, marketing would have us believe the intention is to ride the road less travelled; to cycle until you no longer recognise where you are. but for that purpose, rather than grabbing a pair of heavily worn denims and a baggy sweatshirt, there is carefully coutured garmentage for the purpose, in colours deigned as suitable for the great, (offroad) outdoors. it seems that adventure pertains to the ride, but only if all else has fallen neatly into place.

is it possible that cycling needs a jamie muir of its very own?

photo of jamie muir: cosmikfukc

saturday 16 april 2022

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how much?

sram brake pads

last saturday, following receipt of a pair of gravel tyres for review, i finished breakfast, dragged the spare wheels from the bike shed in order to remove the existing gravel tyres and start afresh. thankfully, my thumbs were spared the grief of having to strain when fitting the last few centimetres of sidewall, for the pair in question (initial review soon) attached themselves to the rims with far less hassle than their predecessors. and that despite the packaging advising that the tyres were tubeless ready, frequently a guarantee of endless hardship.

fitting completed, i removed the existing wheels bearing strade bianche road tyres to replace them with the new kids on the block. i doubt there's a bicyclist in the world who hasn't experienced the frustrating and irritating scraping noises engendered by disc rotors, particularly when swapping or replacing wheels; precisely what happened on this occasion. however, the noises emanating from the caliper were a tad more strident than is usually the case.

i went through all the usual processes attempting to minimise the noise, only to discover that the spring-clip retaining both pads had become bent inwards and was scraping on the rotor. to effect a repair, i'd to remove the pads from the caliper, probably a fortuitous happenstance on realising that one pad was almost worn to the backplate. no doubt checking those pads is a task that ought to have been undertaken on a regularly, but, along with many others, i'm inclined to leave well alone, on the basis that, if it ain't broke, don't attempt to fix it.

and there's also the fact that removing the pads from a sram rival caliper is not without a concomitant amount of faff.

on my ritchey logic, with its campagnolo record rim brakes, it is but a simple matter to take a look at each brake pad to check for wear, aided and abetted by the wear-slots that indicate when it might be prudent to have them replaced. yet another example that suits my purposes to show that technological progress rarely seems to result in improved simplicity.

however, despite my chagrin over this additional layer of bureaucratic faff, there was no denying that the disc pads were in need of replacement, precisely what, in the absence of a nearby bicycle shop, online velocipedinal shopping is for. demonstrating that the bicycle industry has not a dicky-bird of an idea what the word compatibility actually means, clarks cycle systems lists 42 different options, frequently available in three different formats, none of which any of us comprehend. for instance, what's the difference between an organic pad, a sintered pad and a competition pad, and should i choose a steel or alloy backing plate? and should i keep a straight face on learning that a front and rear set has lightened my bank account to the tune of £45.

the price would be less of a tear-jerker were the pads not so incredibly small. what exactly am i paying for, and why is there such a variation in price between alternative component brands? it transpires that i could purchase disc brake pads for a campagnolo record caliper for as little as a tenner, though a set of carbon compatible rim brake shoes could also set me back over £50. what is wrong with the world?

at the time of writing, the replacement pads have been with me for only twenty-four hours, and i've yet to fit them in the rival disc calipers, but when completed, i'd better be able to stop on a sixpence by merely sneezing on the lever, or there will be trouble brewing. i have no qualms over the effectiveness of disc brakes; they work, though they do have a tendency to squeal a lot when wet. however, i'm still inclined to think that 'regular' brake shoes on alloy rims are perfectly adequate (if it was good enough for eddy, etc., etc.) but, based on the last time i'd to undertake this process, i foresee a great deal of pain and mental scarring.

more than ever, i think ned ludd was absolutely right.

friday 15 april 2022

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just when you thought it safe to go back in the water...

bosch e-flow

we were, to a greater or lesser degree, happy enough to suffer split-ends in our hair, quite probably (and i speak from personal experience) blissfully unaware that they were even there in the first place. the introduction of a shampoo that promised to fix split ends, only served to highlight the previously unrecognised (or unacknowledged) problem. shampoos have scarcely sat still ever since, with mathieu van der poel's sponsor, alpecin, adding caffeine, and the people who are worth it benefiting from a gluten-free variant, despite the knowledge that gluten really only causes problems if ingested. the majority will be aware that most of this originates from marketing departments rather than science labs.

the same affliction can be observed across many strains of contemporary life, including that of the bicycle. like many, i rode bicycles in the age of the quill-stem and the square-taper bottom bracket, during which time i cannot recall a single day when i felt either were failing my velocipedinal aspirations. both the latter have since been relegated to the back cupboard, while their presence on a bicycle is now almost universally seen as a guarantee of economy, as far from the cutting edge as it's possible to get.

i have bored on about this aspect of endless improvements for longer than most will recognise as seemly in polite company, yet still it persists. how many of us realised during our teenage years, that we were being held back by a lack of aero tube shapes? but modern western society is not built that way; we now expect new stuff on a regular basis, and the industry is there to supply it without question. but where progress has, till now, mostly occupied the realm of tangible improvement, a digital footprint has begun to leave its marks all over the flower beds.

the fork in the road that has provided this particular avenue of 'progress' has arrived at the behest of the ubiquitous e-bike, a street just ripe for technologies that can be proffered whether necessary or otherwise. unsurprisingly, there are new kids on the block with names we may more readily recognise from those emblazoned on the front of household appliances. in this particular case, i'm looking at you mr bosch.

the makers of much admired kitchen products also build e-bike motors, with spin-offs just ripe for the picking, for which the current nomenclature is 'smart system'. you can tell that it's time to hide behind the sofa, when ceo of bosch e-bike systems, claus fleischer confidently asserts, "With the smart system, we have created the basis for tomorrow's e-bike mobility." perhaps even less surprisingly, the potential of the new system generation involves not only an app, but the very smartphone i thankfully do not possess. mr fleischer continued to eulogise, " functions are continuously being added to the e-bike - and the physical experience on the e-bike is thus increasingly linked to the digital one."

there are but two reactions to this, but i'm fairly sure i've already given a clue as to which can be apportioned to yours truly.

it appears that riders of bosch equipped e-bikes now have the option of choosing whether they wish their intended ride to feature the standard kiox 300 (?) display mounted on the handlebars, or would prefer to make use of their smartphone. naturally, there's a bona-fide smartphonegrip which, in conjunction with the ebike flow app, transforms the phone into a display. the two devices utilise the same mount and interface, making switching between the two an almost seemless choice. i think i preferred the days when the word 'interface' had no application in the world of the bicycle.

the smartphone app can provide what bosch describes as 'all relevant ride data' such as speed, battery charge level and how much farther you can travel without recharging. and it transpires that the data display via an led remote, while keeping both hands on the bars. conveniently, the smartphone can be charged either wirelessly or by cable when riding. so the intrepid rider can now plan an ideal route to their destination, and is able to display city buildings in 3d orientation, just like the real ones you can see by looking straight ahead. and should you decide to record the ride data, the flow app can automatically transfer data to komoot, or strava, so that you can narcissistically share your ride with the 'personal community'.

remember when we just used to go for a bike ride?

thursday 14 april 2022

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never just a ride

never just a ride

the heading, i have to admit, is not mine. though it's a sentiment with which i am in agreement, the words coming straight from a rapha mailshot received yesterday afternoon. the e-mail, formed in a typeface not readily associated with imperial works asks, 'what does riding mean to you?' followed by the admission that, at rapha, 'we believe it's slightly different for everyone.' that may well be viewed as something of a tautological statement, but it's a marketing mailshot, so, to be honest, what else would we expect?

though happily i'm not in the habit of clicking proffered links in unsolicited e-mails (having no real desire to make the acquaintance of any ugandan princes), in this case, not only did i trust the source, but i was actually intrigued to find out more. very characteristically, the result of clicking said link returned a web page featuring a movie at the top of the page. very uncharactersitically, the image below featured some very poorly typeset text which i'm unsure was perhaps their attempt to emulate 'raygun' magazine, or simply the result of a very amateur attempt to set type. this is placed adjacent to a monochrome image of a bearded chap with a bead of sweat on his cheek. the wording might be viewed by some as verging on the pretentious, but there's no doubting its sentiment.

however, the question that persisted was not whether life actually is better by bike, but whether any of us think of cycling in such an existential manner. in other words, are we, as bona-fide cyclists, particularly guilty of navel-gazing? categorising our predilection of riding our bicycles as something inherently worthy of philosophising might solely be the preserve of the copywriter or author, both of whom frequently encapsulate something many of us accept as being quite ordinary, as representations of the extraordinary.

make no mistake, i am not attempting to join forces with rapha's marketing department, in fact, quite the opposite. on saturday eve, as i head off for slumber, i'm inclined to select the velocipedinal apparel for the following morning. there is little in the way of deliberation over my choice, which, to be honest, is more often made on the basis of what comes easily to hand, based on the weather prospects for sunday morning. rarely, if ever, am i guilty of considering any particular image that i may wish to portray to the phalanx of non-existent sunday morning bystanders. granted, the latter may vary for those who live in more populous areas, but i tend to think not.

but, at the risk of playing devil's advocate, are there times when it really is only just a ride? for instance, though weather and traffic conditions can vary from minute to minute, the daily commute to and from work may elicit considerably different emotions than that of the round the world adventurer. the latter could never be 'just another ride'. but then comes the question of whether we should adjust our expectations to embrace the more philosophical approach? maybe some bike rides should be only 'just a ride', in order that others aren't?

after all, the concept of 'chiarascuro' dictates that in order to make something appear light, it should be placed against something dark. and vice versa. if all our bike rides were 'never just a ride', however would we discriminate amongst them? the 'wow' factor would surely be lost forever. i have frequently said that my weekend ride around loch gorm seems substantially different when undertaken in the opposite direction, but that's simply an observation that occasionally arises post-ride, rarely something under consideration at the point of riding.

the bicycle, whatever we may view it or want it to be, is essentially a mode of transport. many of us spend our sunday mornings riding round in circles, before heading home for a shower, rather than attempting to arrive somewhere specific at a particular time. yet, despite my misgivings and pathetic attempt to discredit the copywriter's earnest message, in truth, 'it's never just a ride'.

wednesday 13 april 2022

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up to date

twmp 1

something from which cyclists are currently immune, is the need to display any form of number or registration plate, identifying the bicycle in any meaningful way, and allowing the authorities to trace it or its owner, should they feel the need to do so.

with an ever increasing number of motor vehicles filling britain's road network (such as it was) at the beginning of the 20th century, in january 1904 it became a legal requirement for every motor car to be registered with a number plate, around five years after the dutch had already introduced the idea to the world.

earl russell was the first so to do, being accorded the honour of affixing an a1 plate to his vehicle, following an all-night vigil to acquire it. since those early years of last century, the registration system has altered four times to accommodate the perpetual demand for motor vehicle registrations. those issued between january 1904 and 1963 contained no date element whatsoever, the first three digits comprising a local council identifier code, followed by three random numbers. in the early 1950s, with ever more registrations taking place, the components of a registration plate had to be reversed due to running out of numbers.

prior to this, however, up until the 1920s, there were two distinct registers kept; one for cars and one for motorcycles, meaning the possibility of two vehicles featuring the same plate. this was decided to be too complex to administer, and the roads act of 1920 ensured the existence of a single register. the act also took care of the previous need to change the plate if moving to another area of the country.

modern day plates are issued every six months and allow identification of a vehicle's age. for instance, the plates introduced in march this year begin with two letters followed by the number 22. in september, that number will change to 72. of course, the predilection of the contemporary motorist to feature a personalised plate on the vehicle, has effectively interrupted that system. locally the number 15, followed by the letters, 'lay' is taken to represent islay, meaning the island is awash with such plates, and not only in the possession of those who live here.

but, as outlined in my opening paragraph, none of these requirements apertain to the intrepid cyclist, free as we are to purchase any number and genre of bicycles and have them identified solely by the name on the downtube. the bike racks in a canyon bicycle owners' club meeting could obviously offer the likelihood of a degree of confusion when it came time to leave for home. but were one to have belonged to mathieu van der poel on which he might exceed the speed limit on the way to his house, the police anpr (automatic number plate recognition) camera would be unable to identify to whom a speeding ticket might be issued.

in recent years, along with legalised helmet wearing, calls for bicycle owners to register their cycles and bear some form of number plate have become more frequent. whether this is a good idea or otherwise is a debate for another day, but it currently excuses velocipedinists from exercising use of their bicycles as a status symbol. granted, there will still be those who arrive at the sunday ride astride well-equipped pinarellos, colnagos or similar, indicating that their income is possibly a tad higher than your own. however, short of interrogation over coffee and cake, it's not readily apparent in which year the cycle may have been purchased.

but is that something that features highly in the cyclist's psyche?

i own a ritchey logic road bicycle in a colour that is no longer that advertised on tom ritchey's website. but does that mean that it's an older model, or that i was somehow favoured with a special, one-off paint job? and other than to those who are frequenters of said website, who actually knows? after all, the wheelset is from derek mclay's 'wheelsmith', while the twelve-speed campagnolo record mechanical groupset, though not brand new, is the current iteration available from vicenza. but to reiterate my original question, do any of us actually care? and would the imposition of a legal registration requirement actually change that situation?

personally, i'd like to think that we're less shallow than many motorists, but it would be interesting to know how this played out when car registrations contained no date component. perhaps there is a large, latent proportion of cycle owners, desperate for registration to be introduced for this very reason.

as an easter treat, why not introduce this discussion into next sunday morning's peloton?

tuesday 12 april 2022

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