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The insulation equation 
Greetings from the shed...
Days as short as dreams, filled with winter sunshine. A few more cold, merciless nights between us and the spring. If you want to stay warm, keep moving.
After cycling with a friend round the Isle of Wight, I returned home to a house of fever and lurgy. Thankfully everyone is on the mend. If you missed my trip, the posts are here… Vélo-flâneurs …where we get a feel for what the Brompton can do as we work our way around the island. And here… Beyond the woods and the water …where we make an interesting discovery at David Icke’s house.
I packed my smaller Fujifilm X100T for the IOW trip. But it got little use. I think I only took it out on the first day. The rest of the time I used my phone. Here are a few of the pics of the X100T.
Another hint at where we’re all going, and fast. HT: @uchujinphoto
I’m waiting for the email that says…
“Hi Christian, we’ve rendered these videos of you reviewing [insert thing here] and just wanted to get sign off on your likeness.”
Although, with A.I. rendered models and actors already a thing I doubt you would need to use the likeness of an actual human unless you plan to throw some live events into the campaign.
Now more than ever we need the Tim Berners-Lee’s ‘Oh Yeah?’ button. I’d also like a browser plugin that toggles on and off anything that is rendered or fake.
I experimented with travelling without my laptop on the bike trip. As far as writing was concerned it was miserable. I guess if I was on my own I could voice dictate and edit. But with company it was all I could do to tap out a few thoughts from the day into my phone. Due to the apps I use I’d be happy with updated 10-11” Mac.
It’s hard to make a decent portable cassette player today as this video will show.
Never have you seen so many ‘things’ in the Things section. Should you be interested in what kind of gear one might pack for a multi-day bike trip on a 3 speed Brompton bicycle in the winter, here is a list of what I took to the Isle of white. Some experience a melancholy when packing. A fear that where they’re going might not be as good as the place they left. Not me. A change is as good as a rest and I enjoy packing so much I probably over do it. The 8KG of gear I ended up with was loaded into the bag attached to the frame.
(There are some Amazon Affiliate links below. Skip this if you don’t want to be tempted by some epic kit.)
Things I was wearing:
On my head: Easy to wash and dry overnight if needed, my Buff merino neck warmer kept out draughts and soaked up sweat. Also made of merino wool I wore an under helmet skullcap. This was a must in all but the steepest sweatiest hillclimbs. On top of this was my Giro cycling helmet. Something so light and comfortable I’m rarely aware of it. For eye protection I wore my trusty RockBros Photochromic cycling glasses. Great quality for the money and better than some insanely high priced options.
On my top half: Next to my skin I have a Le Col pro mesh long sleeve base layer. This is the kind to ‘sexy clubbing top’ that gives MAMILS a bad name. It’s really warm but also ventilated and should be hidden at all times. I cover it with an Alpkit, ultralight longsleeve base layer. This packs small and really does feel like silk. It also has some kind of oder resisting properties. On top of all of this Aldi cycling jacket, currently a bargain at £5.
On my bottom half: On my legs I was going to wear cycling leggings but figured as we’d be in and out of pubs and shops I’d opt for my Alpkit Jeanius stretchy jeans. A great choice. Moisture wicking and warm, perfect for cold weather exercise. Underneath I wore cheap mens cycling undershorts.
On my feet: My favourite everyday socks are Bridgedale liner socks. These were perfect inside the thick Sealskinz waterproof socks. A recent purchase and worth every penny. Totally waterproof and although I washed my liners every day I didn’t wash the outer socks till I got back. Inside my Vivobarefoot walking boots this was the perfect combination both on and off the bike and my feet were warm the whole time. The Sealskinz are guaranteed for life. All in all a brilliant combination.
On my hands: For the whole trip I wore a pair of merino liner gloves with Silkskinz, waterproof gloves on top and fingerless cycling gloves over them. At no point were my hands cold until I lost one of my merino gloves on the last day. :-( Then they were chilly but bearable.
Things packed on the bike:
Hanging off the seat: Was a little pouch that normally holds the bike cover. But I left it empty and used it to carry my outer gloves and skullcap when it got warm.
On the handle bars: I had the Alpkit Deluge Stem Pouch to hold my camera and snacks.
On the luggage block: on the front I got the rest of my kit into the Brompton Ortlieb bag. Hard to find now and worth their weight in gold.
In the Brompton Ortlieb bag: I’m yet to find a decent dedicated cycle tool, till then I have got by with the Leatherman Skeletool CX (£59 when I bought it in 2009) plus the bit kit. I do pack puncture repair patches but not wanting to tempt fate, thanks to the Marathon Plus smart guard tyres I have only had one puncture (on the Brommie) since 2010.
Also in the bag I took a handheld amateur radio that got a little use. A small bottle of wet chain oil but didn’t need it. Same for my Petzl head torch. I also didn’t need a small 5000mAh usb battery I took ‘just in case’.
A much used and essential bit of kit sat in the right bag pouch was my water bottle. We refilled from taps fountains and coffee shops and didn’t need to buy any water. In the left pouch I had a Dare2Be waterproof jacket, unused, and a Ron Hill Core windproof jacket , also unused.
I took five energy bars and came back with two. A wash kit with plasters and painkillers. No adventure would be complete without some kind of Tom Bihn pouch or bag and I used their organiser cube to hold my usb wall charger, amateur radio, charge cable, a USB multi charge cable, a lightning connector card reader, and a usb card reader just in case. Also in there was an Apple Watch charger and mount and an Airtag.
As is happens I mostly used my phone and as mentioned above my Fujifilm X100T didn’t get much of a look in.
Also in the bike bag in a Tom Bihn packing cube was a Patagonia hoodie (fave) and some lightweight Craghoppers for pub use. Two pairs of Patagonia quick drying underwear a Patagonia long sleeve top. A Tracksmith long sleeve merino top and another pair of the Bridgedale liner socks as mentioned above. Some of this stuff is premium gear. I get it much cheaper in the States and much of it is guaranteed for life.
The year of the fact check (no, really!)
It was a record breaking year for dam removal in Europe.
Apple is upping its encryption.
The scent of flavour.
Thank you for reading. Especially to those supporting subscribers that pay $5/month to get all the content I share here. Perhaps you are able to gift someone a subscription to this dispatch? Every new subscription if a gift to me and if you would like someone to gift you a subscription but have no body, let me know and I can put in a good word with Santa. ;-)
I’m off to chop firewood, load the wood burner and open a book. All going to plan i’ll be back next Friday. See you then?
“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” ~ Amy Carmichael
See you out there.