Saturday, 26 July 2014

Review: Après Vélo Casual Apparel

The name of this blog gives an indication of what cycling culture is about; 'Life In The Saddle' is not just enjoying the culture of cycling whilst you're on the bike, but also when you are away from the bike, in a casual environment.

Part of that culture is the clothes you wear, the coffee you drink and the places you visit. Après Vélo is all about the first of these; providing cycling casual wear that identifies and shows you as a cyclist in a cool and comfortable way.

The Australian brand produces a wide range of casual tees, as well as hoodies and some select riding apparel. All of the range has a classic and unique style; kit that will make you stand out, whilst also being comfortable and well made.

In this review I take a look at the Le Tournesol tee: a new top that is made to commemorate this year's version of Le Tour.

The tee features a collage of the roads that the riders face on this year's edition of the race; cobbled roads, fields of sunflowers, picturesque mountain roads and of course the finale on the Champs-Élysées. The route of this year's edition has caused a lot of discussion and certainly a lot of excitement, I think this tee is just what you need to commemorate the iconic route.

As with a lot of kit, it is the little details and high quality that usually win products over for me. The Le Tournesol tee certainly has some cool details; the La Grande Boucle (the French name for sunflowers and the nickname for the yellow jersey) features through a neat badge on the sleeve. The fabric is a 100% cotton, with a stonewashed finish, to make it look like a "classic" tee. Even the V-neck is a unique style, which adds a touch of class to this top.

In terms of fit, I opted for a size small (I'm a 37 inch chest), and the fit is really good; with a tailored cycling style cut.

The tee is washing well too, and continues to look great.

From the classy packaging to the neat looks, this is a top that will be worn well after Le Tour I think, and sets a really good impression of the Après Vélo brand.

Check out their range at AprèsVé

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Review: SUNDRiED Cycle Tee and Aire Sunglasses

SUNDRiED are a new brand on the block, with a range of eco-inspired and produced casual clothing and accessories. If you're an active person, with a passion for the outdoors, this is kit well worth checking out.

The SUNDRiED brand came into being on a surfers' beach in Peru, and since then it has grown into a global network across countries such as New Zealand, the USA and the UK. Epitomising the word casual, this kit is about kicking back and making the most of what nature has to offer.

The brand cropped up on my radar because of their new Triathlon inspired range of tees and hoodies; a set of clothing that focusses on Cycle, Swim and Run. The guys sent through the very nice Cycle tee to test, and a set of their Aire sunglasses; I've been enjoying them in the summer heatwave...

The tee is 100 percent organic cotton, and has that quality soft and strong feel to it. It's got an athletic cut, so that it fits well and doesn't look like a tent; it's also putting up with some heavy usage and washing well, fitting in with its rugged outdoor branding.

The Aire sunglasses are a unique pair of hand finished specs. They look the part and do a great job of shielding your eyes from the sun's glare, as you kick back on your days off or at the café after a ride.

This is kit that's got the sun, sea and outdoors spirit in its fabric, and it would be a great choice as a gift to any cyclist, runner, triathlete or outdoors fan.

Check out the range at (Link) 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Hints and Tips: Treating and Recovering from Road Rash

For road cyclists, road rash is an unfortunate reality that you are likely to encounter at least a few times during your riding. Icy lanes, dangerous drivers, greasy roundabouts and tyre blow-outs are just a few of the potential hazards that could leave you with the painful red abrasion to your hips, elbows and knees.

I've had my fair share this season, as I mentioned in my 'Mid-Season Update' (Link), and I've learnt a few things that significantly help the healing process...

1) Get it clean straight away - Tarmac is not a hygienic or sterile surface, and getting bits of grit in your road rash and cuts will prolong the healing process and potentially lead to infection. It hurts like hell, but wash your cut out thoroughly in the shower after the accident, and use antiseptic wipes to really get it clean before you do anything else.

2) Apply Sportique Road Rash Remedy - Unfortunately, with experience of road rash over the last few years, I've also had fairly extensive experience of different remedy creams and lotions; this one from Sportique is quite easily the best.

It is a natural remedy that is infused with antimicrobial and antifungal Ozone, which helps to avoid infection. It is also a naturally oily consistency, which tends to stay put and avoid abrasion on the wound; this seems far better than more water based antiseptic creams, which tend to be absorbed into dressings or clothing. Keep the wound slightly moist, clean and free of abrasion, and it significantly aids skin healing and reduces scaring.

3) Use fresh dressings - If dressings look like they are getting soiled either by bodily fluid or from dirt on the outside, take them off and add a fresh one, cleaning up the wound and re-applying the disinfecting balm as you do so. This will help to avoid infection and aid the healing process.  

Road rash is an unpleasant and painful side-effect of bike riding, but with careful treatment it doesn't have to last as long, or be as painful. I hope these tips help you heal up quick. 
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