Friday was International Messenger Suit day, which I’d been looking forward to for months. I have a bit of a thing for pinstripes, and hadn’t had the chance to get properly suited and booted for almost three years (I used to work in a suit – every day felt like dressing up). My suit – and my favourite blue Austin Reed shirt were still folded up in the bag from when I last picked them up from the drycleaners, back in 2007.
I was very interested to see whether tens of thousands of miles on the bike had changed the way they fit. Turns out the trousers were a lot looser, and the jacket a bit tighter, especially round the shoulders. I looked a bit like Olympic rowers do when they wrestle themselves into suits to accept ‘sportsman of the year’ awards. Or so I like to think.
And I was even more interested to see how people’s reactions to me would change, when they saw me in pinstripes instead of lycra. Would I be able to blag my way into all the swanky receptions, where usually I’d be ignominiously sent round the back to the loading bay?
As it turns out, the whole thing was a bit of a disappointment. It was one of those days where I barely saw any other messengers – and those I did cross paths with weren’t wearing suits. And most of the places I delivered to were the ones where they let you in the front anyway, so the most I got were a couple of slightly puzzled double-takes. The best reaction was from the chaps in the control room, when I went in to get a new battery (they probably thought I had an interview for another job or something). And my feet were still hurting horribly by the end of the day, so I went straight home, rather than admiring the view at the Foundry.
But I think everyone else had fun.
(Photo stolen from Liz (and may be removed if she wants it back).)
But never mind that – something faaaaaaar more exciting happened yesterday. I went to Lidl (exciting in itself), and came across a whole pile of super-cheap cycling kit. They had shoes for under a tenner (which I tried not to look at, and thankfully they didn’t have my size anyway), and this Performance Cycling Top, for only £6.99.
Never mind all that overpriced SIDI nonsense. This is the real thing. You have no idea how many special features this humble £6.99 top offers me. Well, you will shortly, because I’m about to tell you.
Not even Assos offers this much. Not only do I have
- a Dry Zone for underarm ventilation
- Heat Spots to release excess warmth from my chest
- a Humidity Regulator to keep my stomach area properly irrigated
I also have Kidney Protection – apparently the kidney area is “very sensitive to temperature” and it is “extremely important” to keep it insulated. I had no idea! To think I’ve been riding round with uninsulated kidneys all these years. Thank goodness someone told me.
What’s more, the Anti-slip Belt promises to ensure that I am “securely seated”. I have no idea what this is all about, but I suspect it means I’ll be able to stay in the saddle, no matter how drunk I am, or how recklessly I corner.
Lidl be praised! Put that in your Rapha and smoke it!
And it even makes me look as rugged and chiseled as the gentleman on the box. Well, give or take.