02 January 2009

T'was Xmas!

Yes, it's over. I'm back at work. And back on the bike, after 10 days of almost complete exercise-less, home-based overindulgence (OK, did a couple of very short walks in freezing cold). Must remember: 2nd January is a great day for cycling - and for working. Hardly anyone out. Today, the weather while cold was very dry... and gave me the opportunity to try on Santa's gifts.

Yes, the man who 2.5 years ago vowed not to wear 'specialist' gear, has succumbed, caved in, become another lycra-wearing statistic. To add to last year's Altura trousers, this Xmas I got short and long sleeves 'base layers' (glorified t-shirts), a micro-fleece top and an ultra-reflective cycling rain jacket. Apart from the latter, all items were good-value and on offer. Only on the jacket did I really splash out, an Altura number, bought from Evans mainly because I wanted to try it on and make sure it fits - sorry, CTC online shop!.

About my change of heart from my early days, let me just say I've taken my time. Yes, there are good arguments to promote a kind of cyclo-commuting that is about getting to work as you would by any other means - fully clothed and ready for the day, riding a bike designed to protect one's clothes, provide comfort and enable a genteel journey over well-designed dedicated cycle lanes. I'm all for that... but not for me. My commute is also my 'gym', and while I'm not into performance (believe me!), I do aim to stretch myself a little, trying to build the foundations for bike touring - I made a start on this last year, and hope to cultivate it further in the future.

Plus, I have been going through cotton vests like chainlinks over chainrings (hey!), the house looking like a launderette, sweatie t-shirts making the wash basket smell. The new tops, I hope, will be less of a problem - what with their antibacterial coating, evil-eye shielding treatment and what have you. It all makes sense. Next stop will have to be footwear... and pedals?


town mouse said...

If you don't want to go the whole hog down the lycra route, you could try merino wool base layers - the one I have from Howie's is stylish enough to show up my 'real' clothes and performs pretty well...

coco said...

Thank you. Too late for me, Santa's already done the deed. Previously, I wore a cotton t-shirt (cotton, I know, I know), an old merino wool waistcoat, and if very cold a thin woolen jumper - topped with an old rain mac, adequate but a bit heavy for the purposes of cycling.