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postheadericon How to be comfortable, safe and look good when cycling in extreme events

How to be Comfortable, Safe and Look Good When Cycling in Extreme Events

Recently I took part in an organised cycling event called The Exmoor Beast.I managed to  complete the gruelling “short” course (70 miles of extremely hilly cycling over Exmoor) and during the 6 hours I was in the saddle, I had plenty of opportunity to observe what other cyclists were wearing and now feel well qualified to comment on appropriate wear for such an event. 

There were over 1000 competitors for this challenging event and so I had plenty of opportunity to see a vast variety of clothing worn by my fellow cyclists.  Being an Image Consultant I was interested in colour as well as the technical value of the kit on display.

Some of the elite athletes taking part wore specialist cycling clothing in an array of bright coloured jerseys. These outfits are designed specifically for cycling and make the rider more aerodynamic as well as warm and comfortable.  There is such a wide choice of colours that everybody would be in a position to find their perfect colour.  This type of clothing is available from specialist cycle shops and from the internet.

 The lesser mortals amongst us, such as me, were dressed in a variety of comfortable and heat efficient clothing and some were just wearing shorts and an anorak.  The single most apparent colour amongst the competitors was florescent yellow.  Although it is not a particularly flattering colour for most people, it does make the wearer highly visible. 

When competing in endurance competitions such as the Exmoor Beast, wearing sufficiently warm and comfortable clothing is essential.  Probably the single most important item is a pair of padded shorts!  The weather on Exmoor can change dramatically, but on Sunday we were lucky.  It was a dull day, but dry and not too cold, except when exposed to the strong winds.  I wore three thin layers, the inner one being a sports specific t-shirt that keeps you dry how ever much you sweat and the outer layer being breathable and waterproof.  The outer layer was the perfect turquoise blue, that suits my auburn hair and made me very visible, another essential on a dull November day as mentioned above.  I have to admit to my socks and inner two shirts being a perfect red for my colouring, even though they were not visible on the day, I just can’t help it! 

As I am an amateur cyclist, I was just pleased to have completed the course before it got dark and enjoy the comradely atmosphere of so many people enjoying a day out.  I can hardly express my admiration for the elite cyclists, who completed the 100 mile course in less than 5 hours and just hope that I can improve on my time next year.  My comfort is that I may not be the fastest cyclist but I was wearing colours that suited me!

Whilst safety and comfort are ofcourse essential, there is no reason why you cannot look good wearing flattering colours that suit your natural colouring.

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