These are three pieces of clothing that I am really glad I bought! Most of my clothes come from charity shops, but occasionally I splash out on something which I want mainly for cycling. I say mainly because in the case of these three only the Torm jersey is specifically for cycling and even that I would be happy to be seen in away from the bike.
So, here we go -
Torm TL8 full zip jersey
I came across these when I was looking at the Cycling UK heritage wool range of jerseys, which are made by Torm. They are made from Merino Sportwool, which is a blend of merino wool and a synthetic fibre. I have got other merino wool garments which have all got moth holes in - I'm hoping that the addition of synthetic fibre might prevent this happening. Hopefully the little blighters will not be so attracted to it. I bought it in the week before my ride home from Derbyshire, panicking slightly that I had no other layer like this (it's both mid and outer) to give me some warmth in the chillier weather. It proved invaluable - it's warm but lightweight, the sleeves are plenty long enough for my long arms, and the three back pockets were really useful. I bought the small size, equivalent to a size 12 although I'm really a size 10, hoping that this would mean I'd have room to wear something underneath, and it's perfect.
I think my only criticism of it is that the zipped pockets are waterproof lined, which I think is a bit unnecessary for a jersey which isn't really intended for wearing as an outer layer in the rain. On one occasion when I had overdressed and got too warm these waterproof linings in the zipped pockets actually got wet with sweat...!
Rab Kinetic Plus jacket
Rab describes this as a "waterproof, lightweight, breathable stretch softshell".
Earlier in the year when my very outdoorsie cycling/running/swimming Elder Son and Daughter-in-Law came to visit, Daughter-in-Law had with her one of these jackets, and Elder Son has one as well. I tried it on and thought it was just what I needed as a lightweight outer layer for perhaps three seasons of the year. They both said that it is the jacket that they wear most, for all activities.
I already had a softshell that I bought from Aldi a while ago, but it is considerably heavier than this Rab one, which folds up into its own stuff sack and weighs a mere 270g (I've weighed mine, and that figure is correct) as opposed to the Aldi one which weighs 350g and takes up a lot more space in my panniers.
Again, it has proved invaluable, both on that trip and ever since. In fact so far this autumn it has been the jacket I have worn on almost every ride; even in pretty cold weather it has given me enough warmth, with appropriate layers underneath. I bought mine from Cotswold Outdoor, where I can get 15% discount as a member of Cycling UK, although I see that they no longer have the lovely sulphur yellow colour I chose. I could have got it cheaper if I'd settled for a colour that wasn't really me, but........I love this colour and it makes me feel cheerful whenever I put it on! Regarding size, my DIL's was a 10 and did fit me, but I decided to order a 10 and a 12 to see which size was best. I settled on the 12, under which I can get more layers, and it is perfect. It doesn't look or feel too big. And once again, the sleeves are plenty long enough for me.
Equetec Dressage Briefs
I can't remember how I came across these but I was probably searching for some padded knickers that were mainly cotton. So many of them are synthetic, and although my other pair are not, being merino wool, they too have suffered from the moth, and also were a lot more expensive. I don't wear padded knickers on all bike rides - it depends how far I'm going and which bike I'm riding. My Trek has a dip in the front of the saddle and I can ride probably 40 miles on that with no padding and without any discomfort, although I don't usually do that sort of distance on it since getting my Koga.
The Koga, however, has a Brooks B67 saddle on it, which has no front dip, and although I can also go a decent distance on it without padded underwear, on longer journeys, or when riding on consecutive days, I like to have some padding. What I particularly about these briefs is that you can choose whether to have the padding just at the front (the Primo version) or at the back as well (the Plus version). I chose the Primo version as that was where I wanted the padding, although if I were riding on consecutive days I would probably alternate between all round padding and front only padding.
One problem is one which, as a seamstress, I could foresee when I got them, and that is that the side seam is beginning to come undone. The seam is not as well sewn as it should have been. I'm going to email the company, with photos, to see what they say. I bought them in February this year.
If you want to read an excellent and very in depth article on female saddle soreness, I would highly recommend this one here on Cycling UK's website. It's wateringly eye-opening!!
And also, on the sock front - I have recently had a couple of enforced trips to Oxford, which doesn't happen very often. Normally I have no desire to go window shopping as it just makes me want stuff I can't afford, or don't need. However, not having been for literally years, on one of these trips I did quite enjoy doing precisely this, and in Uniqlo I discovered these lovely men's socks - there are 99 colours online!!! Guess which colours I picked, thinking of the colour of my Rab jacket..... And although in theory they'd be too big, they fit perfectly, particularly after a wash, whereas I usually find women's standard size 4-7 socks shrink to too small.
I have been doing lots of ordinary cycling too, and in fact tomorrow I am riding with our local CUK group on our usual mid-week ride, and leading it for the first time! I hope we all survive....