Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Ride Essentials

Much as one should never contemplate leaving the house in the morning without a bloody mary or two under one's belt, is utter folly to think about setting out on a bike ride unprepared. What follows is a guide to some of the preparations that you, dear reader, may wish to make before setting off on our expedition.

While anyone attending the Vintage Velo ride in lycra runs the risk of being summarily ejected, a modicum of cycling specific clothing and accessories are recommended.

For the ladies (or those in Highland dress) a skirt guard is a sensible idea. Of course you could always don culottes, or a divided skirt, but these may well attract unwanted male attention.

If you're wondering where to get a skirt guard, the answer is, get an old Dutch lady to crochet you one. Yes, really.

The route features some unsealed surfaces, so in the event of bad weather, we would suggest protecting one's Oxfords with spats.

The dilemma of how to smoke while riding must have occupied many a fertile mind during the later years of the 19th century. Luckily in 1904 Mr Alfred Dunhill solved the problem once and for all with his patented Shield Pipe - described in this 1906 advert as "indispensible to the cyclist". 

1970s catalogues are awash with ghastly soft-focus photos of couples enjoying picnics, having ostensibly just bicycled to their destination. It's never clarified how the picnic essentials are actually transported, but thanks to diligent research we now have the answer - a honking great basket, full to the brim with suspiciously unbranded crisps.

Luckily we will be supplying food on the Vintage Velo to avoid this unpleasant rigmarole. We'll also be supplying refreshments en route, perhaps via a similar device to the one pictured below.

Although ours will of course be filled with a fine Madeira, or the vital Oolong, rather than Mr Starbuck's corporate brew.

It's always advisable to have a good supply of spares. Here we see how one enterprising father has delegated his young son to carry tyres for the entire equipe:

Finally, wear a helmet if you must. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

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