multiple choice


though i've mentioned it on several previous occasions, i still don't quite understand the commercial model to which eurosport/gcn have attached themselves. on return from yesterday morning's sunny, yet breezy bike ride, followed by a shower and a change of attire, i grabbed a quick cup of green tea, before settling down to watch the live coverage of liege-bastogne-liege, with around 76km to go, by the time i switched on.

with no subscription that allows me to watch on the tellybox, i have a monthly subscription to eurosport player, which i can view on my macbook air. when logging in, i simply click on the first item of coverage on the page, at which point, i am asked whether i'd like to watch from the start, or join the live broadcast, the latter being my usual choice. more often than not, this live coverage option is bereft of commentary, and helpfully void of any advertising, meaning uninterrupted racing until someone crosses the line in first place. in this case, that was the almost forgotten, remco evenepoel, who, single-handedly, has probably saved quickstep's classics campaign. their jerseys have not been seen in the winner's enclosure too often this season, particularly after alaphilippe had to abandon following a heavy crash earlier in the race.

should you be of a mind to do so, broadcast coverage such as this offers an excellent opportunity to learn whether one has missed one's true vocation as a cycling commentator. i do recall being particularly arrogant in thinking that pretty much anyone with even a basic knowledge of cycling could commentate on anything set before them. of course, to be fully accurate, it would be handy to have a list of teams and riders participating, along with the numbers on their backs, but that is surely only elaboration; an augmentation of those inherent commentating skills.

however, as with many situations, theory differs greatly from practice, and when attempting to offer something akin to coherent commentary to an empty room, i'd be fibbing if i said i was up there with the very best. in fact, as it transpired, i doubt i was even up there with the very worst. on listening back to my rudimentary recording, there were far more 'aaahhs', 'ems', 'buts and 'errs' to have any chance of being signed to the eurosport/gcn roster.

that said, even some of the best have a habit of being somewhat irritating in their delivery, however accurate and fluent they might be. i'm sure every one of you could bring to mind a particular commentator or two, whose voice or style has you reaching for the mute button. that makes matters considerably worse if you've sat down to watch one of your favourite events of the year, only to discover that the very voice you'd hoped to avoid, is principal commentator for the race. sheer agony.

yet there are several members of the commentary/punditry team who seem to conspicuous by their absence these days. individuals who can rhyme off the first three across the line, but forecast from about 50km out. folks whose knowledge of cycle-race strategy is seemingly second to none and who can add a whole 'nuther dimension to any race of which they are a part in the broadcast booth. but perhaps there might be a modern-day solution to that.

if the recent pandemic has taught us nothing other than the availability of alternative means of communication, it is indeed a silver lining on a very serious cloud. with microsoft meetings and zoom as well as non-video means of communication, it's possible to broadcast essential meetings to many individuals no matter their location across the world. therefore, would it not be an ideal and possibly technically feasible solution if freelance commentators or pundits were able to offer their services alongside broadcast services such as eurosport player?

take yesterday's liege-bastogne-liege for example; were i to have switched on only to discover that the commentary team was a pairing less to my liking, what if i could select any others willing to offer their services. to make this an economic reality, i could make a paypal payment direct to their bank account to make it professionally worth their while. assuming this sort of thing happened all across the planet, or region of broadcast, their remuneration would at least justify a salary for their expertise, while they commentated on the very race coverage seen on my macbook air.

and through the magic of the interwebs, i and others could table any questions we might have about team strategy or individual movements, some of which could be answered by return. i'm no communications expert, so i might be praising pie in the sky, but i have little doubt that the technology exists to achieve something similar to that which i have described above.

no non-fungible tokens were harmed in the writing of this article.

monday 25 april 2022

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

single minded


saturday 23 april was obviously 'drive like a frickin' idiot' day, but somebody forgot to send me the memo. i was overtaken three times on blind corners, once by a car with two bikes on a rear rack (i thought we understood the rules?), a car pulled out from the junction at foreland road when i was but two metres distant, yet smiled and waved as they did so, and on returning home, a motorist decided to perform a three-point-turn in front of me in shore street, causing me to come to a complete halt.

i well know that such happenstances are regular fare for those living in mainland urban and city districts, but it's the very fact that they are not entirely regular occurrences on the island, that makes their amalgamation on a single day, all the more noteworthy. yet, we're still a few weeks away from the deluge of whisky aficionados descending on the isle from a great height for this year's whisky festival. and that's when it becomes considerably worse.

a timely reminder of this impending doom was highlighted yesterday afternoon as i headed west towards kilchoman distillery, meeting a total of nine oncoming vehicles in less than 500 metres, presumably returning from either the distillery or machir bay, only a kilometre or two past the distillery. the perimeter road surrounding loch gorm (the water of which was a very impressive dark blue yesterday), is of the single-track variety, punctuated by designated passing places and a few field entrances that have become, by default, alternative stopping places.

tattoo'd on the inside of my eyelids are the positions of every passing place within stopping distance, and my colleagues and i have become experts at pulling over, when safe to do so, to allow vehicles to pass in either direction. occasionally the more decent amongst the motoring public will return the favour, but it makes more sense to anticipate no such niceties. as i have maentioned on several previous occasions, whether i'm out cycling solo on a saturday, or we are out en masse for the sunday ride, we're only riding round in circles, before heading home for a shower and to change into our secret identities. it is therefore of no real consequence to stop frequently at the behest of motorised traffic.

however, we will very soon be into the season where much of that traffic is formed by folks on holiday who, quite frankly, are no more in need of being someplace at a particular time than are we. yet many drive as if they were apprentice formula one drivers, even in the almost ubiquitous motorhomes that are the bane of many a west coast location. the majority have holidayed in the hebrides to get away from it all and experience the much-vaunted slower pace of life that we apparently enjoy. yet the general lack of courtesy, combined with a pathological inability to reverse, is a sad comment on the strictures of modern-day vacationing.

so for those intent on visiting this, or any other west coast town, village or island, allow me to offer words of sage advice, based on over thirty years of practical experience (not all of it good).

firstly, whether being tailed by a tractor, or meeting one heading in the opposite direction, whether you're in a car or on a bicycle, get the heck out of the way. very, very few farmers use their tractors to pop into town for the daily newspaper or some shopping. there is every chance that they are working and you, quite patently, are not. find the nearest place and stop. farmers have a hard enough time as it is, and are very unlikely to look favourably on a cyclist or motorist who ignores every passing place on the road. you may well have every bit as much right to the road as do the local famers, but there are times when it's appropriate to assert those rights, and now isn't one of them.

most importantly, learn to reverse, particularly if you're visiting in a hired motorhome. a few years past, i followed a motorhome up the hill towards the rspb centre at aoradh, when they met a gleaner's oil tanker heading in the opposite direction on this narrow, single-track road. rather obviously, the gleaner driver was intent on carrying out his daily work and expected the motorhome driver, who must have seen the tanker approaching well in advance, to reverse to the passing place he had just driven past. there were a few minutes of standoff, before the visitor became reconciled to the fact that he was the one who would have to move. both the tanker driver and yours truly could barely contain our laughter at the complete mess he made of reversing into the passing place.

it's probably also worth my pointing out that many of the verges bordering those single track roads feature often quite deep drainage ditches which should be avoided at all costs. i have already met one elderly couple this year who put their hire car well into the ditch on the very same stretch of road, and which had to be pulled out by a tractor from a nearby farm. that's another reason why you don't want to piss off the farmers by failing to get out the way.

i might also mention sheep. unlike mainland practices, there is no legal requirement for islay farmers to keep their sheep behind a fence or drystone wall. even on the two-lane road passing islay airport, it is not uncommon to come across sheep lying on the road after dark, encouraged by the heat retention properties of tarmac. and at the moment, following the recent lambing season, those sheep are usually mothers to at least two lambs, which may not be seen in immediate proximity. but you can bet your bottom dollar that, as you pass on your bicycle, mum will attempt to join her kids, or vice versa, and if that means runnning across the road in front of you, then so be it.

these white, fluffy animals can be every bit as dangerous to motorists, for they appear not to view motor cars as likely to cause them any harm, and will cheerfully and fearlessly traipse across the road, with lambs in tow, in front of oncoming vehicles. the occasional dead sheep or lamb at the roadside on uiskentuie strand is witness to this..

if you're holidaying by bicycle, for goodness sake, enjoy the alleged slower pace of life over here. if you have to stop to let someone past, so be it; think of it as a feature, not a bug. but always be aware of your surroundings and particularly of motor traffic on single track roads. if the latter is heading towards a distillery for a booked tour, they're quite likely to pass as if you weren't actually there. believe me, i'm an expert at this.

even when we think the roads on islay are busy, by mainland standards, they quite plainly aren't. but there's a knack to riding or driving on single track roads, one that you're unlikely to acquire before it's time to leave on the next available ferry, and one that the motoring public appears to have no interest in acquiring whatsoever. try and leave the place as you found it, enjoy every distillery you visit, never over imbibe in their world-renowned produce and be courteous to everyone you meet, even if the sentiment is not reciprocated. in fact, print out on a piece of paper, the word 'courtesy' and stick it on the stem of your bicycle or in the centre of the steering wheel.

then we'll all get along just ginger-peachy. you're welcome.

sunday 24 april 2022

twmp .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... a handcart

colnago non-fungible token

at one time, cyclists would torment each other by stating "if it's not on strava/youtube/zwift (delete as applicable), it didn't happen.", an accusation that might not have been exclusive to the world of the bicycle. claims likely to trigger this response were probably the velocipedinal equivalent of the fisherman with his arms wide apart, attempting to impress the size of fish that, unluckily, got away. thus, on returning from a particularly hard ride (or even a particularly easy one) trying to convince others in the club or peloton of a rather eye-opening average speed was once so much simpler, given that there was often little option on behalf of the interlocutor but to accept the proffered exaggeration with a pinch of salt.

i am not to be found on any of the above mentioned digital platforms, and can therefore only rely on my good reputation for convincing others of any particular exploit. unless they happened to be accompanying me at the time, there's really no means of verifying any of my outlandish claims. the mitigating factor, very much in their favour, is my advancing years, which in and of themselves, are likely to undermine any speed claims in excess of about 24kph. but while several of my colleagues do subscribe to both strava and zwift, so doing is already so last year and likely to date them quite substantially.

nowadays, to have any chance of being viewed as contemporary and as close to the cutting edge as its safe to be, one has to possess at least one non-fungible token (nft), irrespective how fast you might think you are on the bicycle.

non-fungible tokens are non-interchangeable units of data stored on the blockchain, usually relating to digital files such as photos, videos or audio. the worst aspect of their existence is the ever proliferating number of the blighters, despite the fact that very few people (self included), have the faintest idea of the whole point. for the bizarre aspect is the principle of ownership. if i, for instance, pay substantial amounts of money for a digital image in the form of a non-fungible token, the blockchain will record that i am the sole owner of that image, and though you, or anyone else can download the image and apparently do whatever they like with it, only i have the right to possess it, though i might not actually own the copyright.

if this seems a rather weird subject for discussion on what pretends to be a cycling blog, i couldn't agree more. however, the song and dance made by what was once one of the more traditional italian frame builders, concerning the release of their latest eye-wateringly expensive bicycle, has been made all the more intriguing by its association with non-fungible tokens and the blockchain. i am, of course, talking about the launch of colnago's c68, the carbon-frame of which, according to the press release, "...thanks to the blockchain technology, it's possible to maintain and guarantee its value over time."

if you didn't understand that quote, then you're probably not alone. do they mean that the c68 will be worth whatever you paid for it even in ten years time, when there's probably a peloton of c70 colnagos riding about? do they perhaps mean, as stated later in the same release, that the tag installed on each frame safeguards "the information relating to the bicycle, to which the blockchain data is associated in an unequivocal and unalterable way."?

stricty speaking their assertion is true. the blockchain consists of a series of blocks stored on computers, each of which contains data relating to the previous block and subsequently the next in line (almost like a raid back up disk). thus, were anyone of a mind to try and circumvent the process, they'd need to alter each and every block in the chain, a virtually impossible task. however, quite how this "...guarantees its value over time.", is truly beyond any logical comprehension. and when colnago announced this technology in relation to a previous frame, many commentators pointed out that it shouldn't be too hard for bicycle thieves to remove the frame tag, effectively making the frame untraceable on the blockchain.

and no-one has so far explained what happens if the bicycle is sold. how simple is it to alter the blockchain and transfer the associated nft? and then, as if to potentially undermine their own assertion, colnago have said, "(the) NFT (Non Fungible Token) file of the purchased bicycle, associated with the blockchain wallet, with the same fundamental characteristics of the bicycle (model, colour, description and components). There will therefore be a 1: 1 association between the physical asset and its NFT, available only and exclusively for bikes designed on the Colnago app / website. NFT will not be available for stock colours purchased without going through the design process (Colnago Studio)." that presumably means that any colnago c68 purchased from an authorised colnago dealer, from stock on the shop floor, will not offer possession of the above gobbledygook.

there is more associated nonsense associated with the blockchain that appears to be available simply because it can be. and almost guaranteed to lessen the effect of the release of a new colnago frame (machinery that was once released and ridden by a prominent rider of one of the world's foremost colnago sponsored teams at the giro d'italia), the lengthy press release states that "digital development has been key to the overall c68 project".

maybe if there was a way whereby the nft of your new colnago could be transferred to zwift so that it could be ridden in a pretend, animated world, the circle would be complete?

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

saturday 23 april 2022

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

whisky ventures ride

port ellen distillery

as previously intimated in these very pixels, rob richardson will soon be on his way around scotland by bicycle, visiting each and every single malt whisky distillery in the nation. while the very thought of doing so may produce feelings of envy in cyclists and non-cyclists alike, rob isn't just undertaking the ride purely for his own benefit, though there will no doubt be many an enjoyable moment along the way. the principal point of this extensive bike ride is to raise mountains of money for the charities 'cash for kids' and scotland's 'charity air ambulance'.

the accommodating provision of currently nine working distillereis on islay, plus the sole representative (though categorised under island distilleries) on the neighbouring isle of jura, means that, calmac ferries willing, mr richardson will alight upon the hub of the whisky universe on the day prior to the start of this year's islay whisky festival, being held as a 'real' thing in 2022, following two years of online only. as i have pointed out on several occasions to the intrepid fellow, were he to think of repeating the exercise in a couple of years, it's highly likely that he'd have another three, possibly four islay distilleries to add to his itinerary, one of which can be seen under construction in the photo atop the page.

in fact, two of the additions to our generous array of distilleries and ludicrous numbers of warehouses are currently reaching for the sky in the village of port ellen. the photo is of the revived port ellen distillery, owned by diageo, ostensibly closed for good in 1983 and all but demolished earlier this century. but due to the continued upsurge in demand for islay malts, not only has its resurrection been sanctioned from above, but the existence of ardnahoe in the north and the other under construction at farkin on the road to laphroaig, lagavulin and ardbeg, are both at the behest of an apparently insatiable desire to join the islay single malt club. this does mean, however, that eventually the cycling distance between four separate distilleries will be around 1.5km each.

if islay ales receives planning permission, their brewery/distillery opposite the airport will offer a mid-ride stop between port ellen and bowmore, making it harder to take in all in a day, but reducing the amount of puffing and panting to cycle from one to t'other.

however, for now, we'll accept that the nine are all there are, that riding to each and every one in a single day is doable, but scarcely leaves time to appreciate their wares. therefore, the planned ride as a part of rob's whisky ventures, will take place on friday, 27 may, meeting at ardbeg for 9am for a grand départ at 9:30 with photo stops along the way at lagavulin and laphroaig, before heading in the direction of bowmore, where we'll make another brief stop. it's then a case of follwing the road around loch indaal to bruichladdich distillery and a possible coffee stop (time permitting) at debbie's.

the final push will be the 8km leg to kilchoman distillery where we'll collapse in a heap, favoured with more coffee and cake.

given that this takes place right at the start of the whisky festival, if any of you are planning to visit for the latter by bicycle, feel free to contact rob or myself if you'd like to join in. it's all for a worthy cause, features more distilleries than at which you can shake a mini-pump and will likely offer a few hours of headwind training. and while we're enjoying our cycling, kids and the air ambulance will benefit.

what's not to like?

you can contact rob at and follow his exploits on

friday 22 april 2022

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

hidden talents

campagnolo - dream bigger

for those who have seen the holywood movie 'the devil wears prada', you may recall the scene in which meryl streep's character, miranda priestly, condescendingly explains to andrea sachs (anne hathaway) why her supposition that catwalk fashion has little or nothing to do with day to day living and the clothing that can be purchased from the coat hangers in the nearest department store, is laughable. granted, it's a fictional situation, doubtless slightly exaggerated for dramatic effect, but it's hard not to have some sympathy for andrea's notion. for reasons best known to the guardian newspaper's editorial team, there are regularly published reports from the world's fashion shows, demonstrating, to the rest of us at least, that today's fashion designers are not only patently off their chumps, but inhabit a world that is not our own.

and though the majority would think of the word 'fashion' as solely referring to clothing design, fashion is a concept easily applicable to anything, from motor cars to sofas, wallpaper to garden furniture, or from dietary choices to bicycles. yes indeed, the world over which we constantly obsess is every bit as fickle as that of milan's catwalk. if supporting evidence were required for that opinionated contention, witness the wholesale adoption of disc brakes on road bikes, the entire gravel thing, and the dropped seatstays that have broken out throughout the peloton. for the latter, i have been unable to find any technical evidence that would demonstrate this is anything other than an almost universally adopted fashion statement.

in the grand scheme of things, cycling's investment in fashion as pertaining to velocipedinal matters is nothing over which to become too heated. assuming a disc-equipped aero bike with fully internal cabling and dropped seatstays will deliver a sufficient number of professionals to the finish line or mountain summit, complaints will be minimal. it won't be too long until another fashion statement rears its commercial head, contradicting those currently foisted upon us. for instance, though it may inflict itself upon either mountain biking or cyclocross first, who would bet against twin disc setups, like those seen on performance motorbikes, becoming yet another 'thing' sooner, rather than later.

there will be no convincing engineering reason behind this, but it will mean that adopters will have need of at the very least, a new front fork and wheel. forget not the sole reason behind fashion is to sell more stuff to more people.

however, there are facets of the current bicycle market, while fashionably designed, (like electronic gearshifting for example), that are subject more to supply and demand than whether they look different from last year's model, or force eager customers to acquire something on which they hadn't planned. for instance, the majority of brands to be found on the bike shop floor are outfitted with either shimano or sram componentry. the commercial reason behind this has everything to do with location, location, location.

most of the world's road, gravel, 'cross and mountain bikes are fabricated in the far east. predominantly taiwan. it's perhaps no coincidence that the manufacturing facilities of both shimano and sram are concentrated in the same area, thus reducing the shipment times and costs of building complete bicycles for sale. the obvious loser in this equation has been italian based, campagnolo, who, rather than follow suit, continue to design and manufacture their products at vicenza in italy, as well as nearby romania. i'm sure i need not explain that shipping container loads of campagnolo products to taiwan would not only incur greater costs, but add to the lead times imposed upon the bicycle manufacturers.

if you ever wondered why an entire shop floor of road bikes is bereft of italian trinketry, now you know.

but, on the basis that every cloud has a silver lining, the two years of covid pandemic which seriously interrupted far eastern manufacturing, seems to have been a tad kinder to vicenza. campagnolo's original equipment partnerships (oem) are projected to represent 45% of its turnover by the end of this year, a 500% increase since 2019, achieved almost entirely due to investment and vicenza's insistence on keeping manufacturing close to its homeland. all this while the likes of shimano and sram have struggeld to maintain production in the far east.

as a result, campagnolo has increased staffing by 30% over the past two years, while manufacturing capacity has been increased by 75% to meet the demand. vicenza has also registered more than 100 new technology patents since 2020.

in recent years many headlines have been seen across the industry, asking whether campagnolo can survive, how it can remain relevant in today's market, and whether, indeed, it might be subsumed into the portfolio of a company with no specific place in the cycle industry? for instance, pinarello is owned by louis vuitton moet hennessy (lvmh), while colnago is now in the hands of abu dhabi based, chimera investments llc. many industry commentators and analysts have suggested that campagnolo seriously missed a trick by not fielding some manufacturing capability in the far east, a move forcefully resisted by valentino campagnolo. it would appear he was right to do so.

as a result, campagnolo has announced its 'dream bigger' brand positioning, though quite what that entails is still a tad on the fuzzy side. according to vicenza, 'the dream bigger brand position is backed by a multi-year global campaign, connecting the long-standing company to a broader cycling audience", whatever that means. as evinced by my comments over the years, if i was one of those blokes with a penchant for tattoos, i'd have the flying wheel tattoo'd on the back of my left hand for all to see. if there's choice available, i'd pick campagnolo every time. and while i'm as pleased by the above reported situation as i was when apple bucked the trend and survived against all odds, i've no earthly idea just what it is that campagnolo intend to do to capitalise on their strategic good fortune.

perhaps it's a fashion statement?

thursday 21 april 2022

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rapha men's brevet s/s jersey

rapha brevet s/s jersey

it is a notable fact that the scottish government has devoted a whole page of its website to inform those north of the border about the possibility of a nationwide deficiency in vitamin d, a necessary component of bone and muscle development. this particular potential lack is due to scotland's well-documented shortage of sunshine, mostly at the behest of an impressive depth of rainfall.

rapha brevet s/s jersey

according to holyrood, scottish residents only gain the 'right kind of sunlight' for our bodies to make vitamin d from april to september, predominantly between 11am and 3pm. that in itself would perhaps give little cause for consternation, were it not for the fact that the majority of us spend those particular hours of daylight indoors, frequently with our collective gaze directed at computer screens. that particular reality was reinforced yesterday afternoon, when we suffered yet another power cut (for half an hour or so) during working hours.

you realise just how much our working lives depend on computer technology when having to sit twiddling my thumbs for thirty minutes or so in front of a darkened screen, unable to complete any further work. years ago, the majority of my particular daily grindstone was completed with pen and paper, before finally being transferred to computer. at least then, there was work that could be continued while awaiting restoration of mains electricity.

rapha brevet s/s jersey

however, i have managed to convince myself that my own vitamin d levels are more than sufficient due to the number of hours spent perambulating the estates on my bicycle, though based on the months and the hours of availability as advised at, i'm probably living in walter mitty land. however, the advent of spring and/or british summertime has offered a potential ray of sunshine, even if of insufficient strength to boost the vitamin d levels. as such, taking into account our purported reputation for rampant consumerism, while pondering the ramifications of potential vitamin deficiency, a new cycle jersey never hurt anyone.

rapha brevet s/s jersey

and should that new jersey (in this particular case) resemble the visual benefits of the sun, then so much the better. drawn from rapha's brevet range, this particular jersey is the veritable swiss-army knife of cycling apparel, bestowed as it is with more pockets than i've ever come across on one item of velocipedinal garmentage. but first things first.

though also available in black, stone/dark beige and dark navy, the review sample is described as dark yellow/brick/orange, though it offers a considerably sunnier disposition than the names of those colours would suggest. granted, its magnificence will be seen more by admiring bystanders than the wearer, but there's every possibility that the reflected glow provides lashings of vitamin d. and for those familiar with the building blocks of cycling jerseys, when imperial works says brevet, that invariably means sportwool, easily the most luxurious fabric to ever grace the pelotonese. it's the material that first gave rapha its success and, according to my opinion, it's layers and layers better than anything polyester alone can provide.

rapha brevet s/s jersey

that said, this particular strain of sportwool exists as a combination of 36% merino wool and 64% recycled polyester, so i should probably be generous in my disparagement of the latter.

but onto those pockets. we are, as a rule, expectant of three rear pockets, a common feature of cycle jerseys for more years than sean kelly has been commentating. more recently, those have been augmented by a zipped fourth to enable keys or coffee money to be safely carried without fear of disappearance mid-ride. but rapha has now raised the bar considerably, by adding a substantial fifth rear pocket, sited inboard of the main three editions, and accessed via a zip above the latter. it would be the ideal receptacle for a passport, coffee shop menu, laundry list or required documentation for crossing borders and the like. rapha suggest perhaps stowing a jacket or gilet within (perhaps the brevet paclite goretex, which conveniently, fits perfectly).

rapha brevet s/s jersey

but, if you're really, really hard to please, there's yet another small pocket at chest height on the front. if your brevetting is of the credit-card type, this is the very pocket in which to keep it easily accessible. and on the basis that breveteers expect to ride great long distances all at one sitting, several of which probably take place during the hours of darkness, for that reason, the complementary coloured hoops front, back and sleeve are of the reflective variety. in this particular colour option, it's now my new favourite jersey (along with my 2005, pink mortirolo sportwool jersey).

it may not really solve the vitamin d predicament, but it's seriously worth a try.

rapha's short-sleeve brevet jersey is available in black, blue, yellow/brick and stone/beige, in sizes ranging from xs to xxl. price is a comfortable and, on the basis of my mortirolo jersey, excellent value at £130. | rapha s/s brevet jersey

wednesday 20 april 2022

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endura gv500 waterproof jacket

endura gv500 waterproof jacket

the word unreliable, when apportioned to the weather, takes on different connotations than when applied to something like calmac ferries, for instance, even if the latter has more to do with the age of the boats, than any timetable shortcomings. for example, it is none too long since i reviewed several items pulled from endura's gravel range of clothing, one of which was their gv500 waterproof jacket. in common with the commentator's curse, which ensures that praising any particular rider will become the precursor to his or her downfall, whenever waterproofs become part of the equation, i can almost guarantee that rain will be conspicuous by its absence.

such was the case with this paprika coloured waterproof at the time of its arrival.

endura gv500 waterproof jacket

but such unreliability then took on the other side of the coin following eager perusal of the easter weekend weather forecast. according to all reports, in common with the rest of the hebrides, islay was due to experience persistent and often heavy rain from sunday morning until well after nightfall. the ideal time to implement the cunning plan of attempting to get wet on the outisde, yet remain cosy and dry underneath. as a bit of a spoiler alert, i can confirm that an example of this hoped-for situation occurred, but not quite in the manner initially hoped for.

the unreliability factor made itself known after a mere forty-five minutes of pedalling, sufficient to test the veracity of the gv500's construction, but not quite long enough to observe its actions under prolonged duress. in other words, the rain went off.

endura gv500 waterproof jacket

the gv500 jacket consists of three layers: a waterproof outer layer, or exoshell (as endura like to describe it), a highly breathable membrane, and a mesh inner layer to protect the membrane from wear and tear. the latter is apparently impregnated with a compound designed to enhance moisture transfer. what differs the gv500 from endura's other waterproof jackets is both its light weight (70g) and packability. there is a zipped, chest pocket into which the entire jacket swallows itself, making for a handy pouch to stuff in a rear pocket or bikepack.

the majority of breathable membranes possess a somewhat intransigent constitution, often mitigating against allowing a jacket to compact to this degree, without some sort of compromise along the way. and i cannot deny that, having scrunched and stuffed the jacket unceremoniously into itself, i did harbour certain misgivings about it being able to fit it into a rear jersey pocket, or that of my primaloft thermal jacket. but on each occasion, fit it certainly did. in the grand scheme of things, sunday morning's rain was persistent rather than torrential, but the endless stream (pardon the pun) of little beads of water rolling off the sleeves and torso, is the very vision that warms the cockles of a cyclist's membrane.

endura gv500 waterproof jacket

the jacket features a built-in, adjustable hood, about which i would dearly love to offer the same comments, but as one with more than just a mild distaste for hoods in general, and cycle-jacket hoods in particular, i opted to fold it inward when donning the jacket to keep it out the way. unworn hoods, in an islay headwind, tend to exhibit similar properties to that of an aircraft drogue chute; it's hard enough cycling into headwinds without an anchor around your neck. and secondly, i find that hoods have a tendency to block out traffic noise, an undesirable trait on single track roads during holiday season. your mileage may vary, depending on preference. however, folding it inside the collar worked just fine for me.

if nothing else, basing a cycling apparel company in scotland brings with it the benefit of understanding the often more demanding needs of your customers. admittedly, endura are based on the east coast of the nation, a side of the country that tends to be colder but drier than that which sits upon atlantic shores, but at least we continue to be one nation dancing to the same groove. and in common with almost every breathable jacket i have ever worn, none ever breathe quite as much as you'd hope for, but the alternative is considerably less palatable. the gv500 does offer a commendable level of breathability, perspiration really only observable on my jersey sleeves after over two hours in the saddle.

endura gv500 waterproof jacket

but we are a demanding lot. if riding in dry weather even in a short-sleeved jersey, there's every likelihood of patches of perspiration at ride's end. yet, wear a breathable jacket, and there's the bizarre expectation that we'll arrive home totally dessicated.

the gv500 jacket's secret weaponry is not only its packability, but its light weight robustness. though road-riding is unlikely to unduly trouble a garment such as this, gravel riding, for which it was designed, can be a tad more rough and tumble. but why should that be my problem? assuming you don't want it to be your problem and you expect to remain dry no matter what, i may have found the very solution.

endura's gv500 waterproof jacket is available in paprika (as reviewed), olive green or black, in sizes ranging from xs to xxxl. it is priced at £159.99.
endura gv500 waterproof jacket

tuesday 19 april 2022

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