nineveh_uk: Photo of Rondvassbu in winter (rondvassbu)
[personal profile] nineveh_uk
Many years ago, I read Tim Moore's account of cycling on Iceland, Frost on my Moustache. Other than it being gently amusing, I remember only two things from this book. The first being the dirty joke that gave him the title, the second one of the most useful pieces of advice in my adult life.

Anyone who was bought outdoor walking or other sports or exercise gear in the last few decades will know about 'layering'. Base layer - optional mid-layer - outer layer. It is the gospel upon which the well-dressed hiker's comfort is built. But almost all resources on this subject omit a really crucial piece of information about how to make the layering system work: that your base layer, i.e. your long underwear that clings mercilessly to your body, must be something that you are willing to wear, on its own in a public place with people looking at you. Because if it isn't then you can't make the layering system work.

Moore illustrated this with a vivid descripion of the cycling undergarment he had purchased, which he likened to an Edwardian fetish costume,* and the horrendous experience of trying to get out of it. I simply stood in Marks and Spencers and contemplated the black sports long underwear, and the otherwise identical white, and considered which I'd rather be wearing when I had to strip off my fleece. I bought the black.

And in short, that is why, 14 years later and thinking that maybe I am allowed a new set of sports long underwear and will go for an extra-warm set, I have once again bought the black. Admittedly the insulated downhill ski jacket I've just bought is in women's mountain purple, which I object to on principle because so much stuff is made in it, and also because it really suits me and I would like to be able to choose it, and not just have it because it is the Girls' Version, but because it is nice and also because outer layers should be colours that search and rescue can spot.**

TL:DR I blame the patriarchy for making me dislike pink. Also, I don't care how warm merino thermals are, I do not find them non-itch.

*Having years later seen a man walking up Vulcano in a cycling undergarment, I can only say that (a) Moore was right, and (b) I'm never going to forget that sight.

**Admittedly it is highly unlikely that search and rescue will need to, but you never know. Even so, my cross-country jacket is ivory, because the alternative was fuchsia pink, and I just couldn't.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-01-25 11:24 pm (UTC)
hunningham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hunningham
Some cycling underwaer has a bright red & padded crotch, rather like a baboon's bottom. I would not want to be seen wearing that in public. I am not sure I would want to be seen wearing it in private.

A downside to the long black thermals - if you go away for the weekend and it rains, then everyone hangs their kit up to dry and the next day you have cannot find your black leggings because all leggings look alike.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-01-26 11:51 am (UTC)
antisoppist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] antisoppist
People in Scandinavian blocks of flats with shared heated laundry drying rooms (now there's a thing) used to sew coloured thread into the waistband for identification purposes. Perhaps you could order name tags like for school uniform bearing an identifying slogan.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-01-26 09:51 pm (UTC)
hunningham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hunningham
Actually this is an idea .. I believe I have name tags left over from school uniform days at the bottom of my sewing box. I am going to sew labels on things.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-01-26 09:54 pm (UTC)
hunningham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hunningham
Seriously, if you have not seen the highlighted groin pants, go google cycling underwear.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-01-26 11:54 am (UTC)
antisoppist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] antisoppist
Not sure if pink is more patriarchal than all the Finnish men and women I used to encounter wearing matching ski wear. Or perhaps that was matriarchal seeing as I'm pretty much sure who was choosing them.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-01-26 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] caulkhead
I type this sat in a chalet living room wearing nothing but my thermals, with a token skirt in case the leggings have worn a bit thin, and i could not agreee more.

M has a running jacket in Women's Mountain Fuschia, because all the men's sizes were too big, and the sight never fails to amuse me.

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