The Emperor’s Old Clothes?

It’s a funny old world and we’re some funny folk inside it.

Cycling is a part of this. A lot of it seems to be trying to get people to spend money, renewing kit, re-inventing more expensive shoes, jerseys, shorts etc. But I’ve always liked old stuff, and not just for cycling. Some of my stuff is probably 10 years old and still going strong. I turn up for club rides and a lot of the group are smartly dressed head to toe in club gear, while I’m usually in a mismatched hotpotch of clothing.

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Haddington CC, mostly smart (though hell to keep clean!!)

If a piece of gear on the bikes fades a bit I usually try to coach it back into life if possible.

But when I need to replace something I usually research it thoroughly and eventually buy something I think will last. I’ll then wear it till it’s about to fall apart on me.

I got a new bike last year, after my old bike started foundering somewhat, I got the old one second hand 8 or 9 years ago. The new bike seemed to be my ideal bike, and in many ways it is. But things have failed on it over the year and a half that I wouldn’t have expected. It seems the Scottish winters are a bit too harsh for it. So my old bike will have to cope when the weather isn’t the best.

I nowdays do only a couple of events a year. It was the Tour of The Forth earlier on (complete with 3 punctures and slipping gears), but the next one is coming up at the end of August. It’s “The Tour of Tweeddale” in the beautiful Scottish Borders and this year is 93 miles (150 km) in length. However it is going up “The Wall of Talla” twice, “The Devil’s Beeftub” and finally “Paddy’s Slack”. So it will be fairly challenging. It’s run by the Peebles Cycling Club and is very friendly, informal and amazing value with great soup at the Gordon Arms food stop. I’ve done it for the last five years so it’s always great to roll up at the start line.

Lastly it’s been an amazing summer here, plenty of good, dry weather, not too many bugs and some lovely rides in the warmth. Made a real change from the harsh winter we had, though a bit dry for the fields and gardens.

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Keeping the bugs at bay

And then there’s the raspberries and strawberries picked from the garden plus visits from friends a relatives. Just excellent so far.

And now a selection of sartorial inelegance from the last few years:

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A work day for a school’s challenge

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Up in the highlands, that jacket had been with me in the Himalayas as well

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Almost co-ordinated

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Not co-ordinated

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Up on the moors again

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Winter on the moors with pretty pink overshoes

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B-Spokes, design by committee, threadbare but still in action

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Climbing in the French Alps

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The Monster Challenge

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A wee ride round the park with my step daughter

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Patriotic get-up

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Descending from Galibier – who are you calling a striped bum?

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Monster Challenge again

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First Bike? Better dressed then too?

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