Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Putting on a well-loved cycling garment reminds me of my favourite rides

Post Thumbnail

I have a favourite jacket that I wear when I am cycling. I can’t quite remember when, or even where I bought it, but I do know I’ve had it a long time.

The washed-out colouring of the blue material and orange piping is testimony to its life cycle. There is a small rip on the elbow, that I have always had the intention to repair, but never got around to actually doing it.

That tear was a result of a mountain bike tumble where the only injured party was my jacket. At the time I was devastated that I’d damaged my favourite jacket, but now that hole is part of my cycling story. I do, of course, have other jackets that I wear that still retain their water resistance, and don’t look like they’ve done 15 rounds, and lost with a washing machine.

And no doubt, they will slowly make their way into my heart as my favourite cycling jacket, but despite my blue “rag” departing the autumn of its life I am going to squeeze in a few more rides with it.

Obviously extending the life of our clothing is good for our finances, as well as the environment. As consumers we are constantly enticed to buy new items of clothing, each espousing a new technology that will enhance your riding and way of life.

Over many years I have come to understand that investing in well-made garments in good quality fabric will make them last, but don’t be fooled into believing that expensive means quality.

Often the lifespan of garments can be extended by following the manufacturers guidance for cleaning and aftercare. I used to be in the habit of chucking all my cycling kit in a pile in front of the washing machine after a ride.

All the items got washed at the same time, so all were subjected to the same temperatures. Velcro fastenings and zips were left open and would often damage more delicate materials. There were even outer-garments, such as overshoes, that could just have had the dried mud brushed off, were thrown in the mix.

There are times when you have to admit defeat; when clothing becomes ineffective for its intended purpose. I had a pair of cycling shorts that I had been wearing for many years. They were still comfortable, but I cringe now when I think of the riders who sat on my wheel behind me staring at my backside and who didn’t utter a word.

It wasn’t until I was pedalling hard into a head-wind one day and my wife, sheltered behind me commented that my backside was clearly visible through the thin, worn and almost transparent lycra. It was enough for her to move to the front and take the brunt of the wind while I sat in behind red-faced.

Another way of extending the life of clothing is to re-appropriate items for other uses. I still wear those old shorts under my mountain bike shorts, or, sparing my modesty, when I am training indoors on my turbo trainer.

Much of my cycle clothing has an emotional durability. It is sustained by my love for it and it represents the journeys and adventures I have been on.

I like when I buy a new item of clothing, but there is nothing quite like putting on a jersey and remembering it was the one you were wearing when you reached the summit of the Col du Tourmalet.

Where to ride: Belles and Buns Women Only Road Cycle Event – Coupar Angus
When: Sunday May 10
Distance: 64 miles, 32 miles and 16 miles
Description: With the emphasis on a fun and sociable ride this event with three distances to suit all abilities has been running for several years. The well-loved format of the ladies only event with cake and refreshment stops will take place in Perthshire and Angus on beautiful, quiet roads with a mixture of gradients to suit all abilities.
Enter at SiEntries

 

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]