Monday, 29 November 2010

...bloody brass monkeys!

Good Gracious it's cold at present, which got me to thinking...... how does a chap stay warm on said velocipedial form of conveyance?

Well for me the most important part is keeping the hands warm....thick leather gloves (with a quick spray of WD40 to keep the rain off them) are much better than the new fangled nylon...or kevlar ...or other rubbish. I dare say there may be new inventions that are perfect for cold and wet, but honestly I've never found a combination of the two that works better than leather.

On ones swede I suggest a good moleskin flat cap....snug fitting, warm....none of this plastic or polystyrene nonesense which must be the worst refuge from the cold yet invented.....I think plastic protective lids are a bit like loft conversions, they seem a good idea at the time, cost a bloody fortune, but in truth you either freeze in winter or bake in summer.....seems they are incapable of delivering a happy medium.

For the body you cannot do better than a 1950's swiss army woolen coat.......they know a thing or two about the cold them Swiss chappies and their coats (especially the short ones made for bicycle troops) are bloody amazing. Made of wool, they keep you warm (I often only wear a shirt and tie beneath mine), are windproof, and the quality of the wool means that rain droplets just ball up on them and then fly off.......absolutely superb...often available on ebay....bag one soon...sizes come up a bit small....but they have a suprisingly modern cut to them and a number of ladies have stopped me in town to say how much they like my coat and where did I buy it? Praise indeed for I am, at best, an ugly bastard. I normally also wear a scarf which can be tightened or loosened as required to regulate ones body tempreature.

Legs?...trusty moleskin.....bloody marvellous stuff. Footwear....again a good leather boot with lashings of mallard grease upon a treat....water off a ducks back what!! The real secret to keeping the legs dry and warm is good mudguards and best invention of all ....a mud flap. The mudflap is probably the most misunderstood piece of equipment in cycling. Most of my fellow cyclists look down their noses at me for having a big....heavy duty.....rubber mudflap on the front mudguard which almost touches the road. "Oh the drag co-efficent of that must be simply awful!" ..."OMG.....whats that? A bloody flattened mole hanging onto the front wheel?"

I make my mudflaps from Halfords rubber car mats. You can buy the mats for £3.99...cut them to the required "rowing boat oar blade" shape (you can get two from each mat if you do not care about the esthetics...but I do so I only get one) and fix them to the mudguard on the inside....They work a water on the grime or muck on the bottom bracket or chain water on the legs........just happy cycling in the pouring rain......bloody marvellous!

So there you go fellow Gentlemen Cyclists.......tog up for winter and get out into that freezing weather....good for the "sang" they tell me....even if the jolly old wedding tackle takes some thawing out!


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