Charlotte Head

20 Jan 2023

Blue Monday is over, make room for Fun Friday – too much?

You survived ‘the most depressing day of the year’ on Monday and now you’re here at the end of the week. Congrats! It’s cold again, the roads are icy but the days are finally getting longer, which is something to celebrate. And we’ve got another In The Drops for you, another thing to celebrate! You’ve been spoiled.

If you’re a fan of pro cycling, actually if you’re anyone even on the periphery of cycling news, you’ll have seen that Mark Cavendish has ended the months-long tease and announced his signing with Astana Qazaqstan for the 2023 season. Now to see what he can pull out of the hat.

Here at Cyclist, we’ve had an action-packed week as ever. We found out why we ride slower in the cold – hint: it’s not just because you can’t feel your hands and feet. We also got a full review of the Argonaut RM3 custom road bike from James and boy does it look nice.

You may have spotted an inundation of bottle cage reviews on the site too. A comprehensive guide is soon to follow, so keep your eyes peeled, but for now we’ve just updated our guide to the best winter cycling gloves

I had the pleasure of interviewing Boru McCullagh, who is cycling around the world to raise money for Mind, on his connection between cycling and mental health. To follow or support his journey, have a look at his live location and fundraising page.

Castelli Semifreddo DT bib tights

I’ve been testing out some different winter bib tights recently – see my review of the Castelli Sorpasso RoS bib tights – and while these Castelli Semifreddos didn’t get a full review, they were too good to not get a mention here.

My favourite thing about the Semifreddo bib tights is the comfort break feature. This means that, rather than having to take off all those winter layers to go to the toilet, the back of the bib tights can be pulled down without taking off the straps.

No more stripping down to your birthday suit in freezing temperatures to go to the loo.

They also have Castelli’s Nano Flex water-repellent fabric on the lower leg to help fend off some of the splash from wet winter roads, and use Thermoflex fabric on the main bulk of the body for added warmth and stretch.

Therabody Theragun Mini

Few things can beat good old-fashioned stretching and foam rolling when it comes to treating sore muscles, but massage guns are quickly becoming more popular amongst cyclists. They claim to deliver many of the benefits of full massage treatments in the comfort of your own home.

I, like many cyclists, definitely don’t stretch as much as I should, so was keen to try one of these out, using the Theragun Mini from Therabody.

The Theragun Mini’s big selling point is its size, with the brand saying that it ‘strikes a never-before-seen balance between power and size’. Therabody says that the Mini weighs 650g and can hold up to 150 minutes of battery life.

The Mini is designed to be pocket-sized – albeit large pockets – and has 3 different speed settings for different intensity treatments.

A nice feature is the use of Therabody’s QuietForce technology to reduce the noise produced whilst using the gun. It’s not silent but the overall effect is very quiet.

Tour de France Femmes newspaper by Tino Pohlmann

The launch of the Tour de France Femmes last year was very exciting and pretty emotional. It’s been a long time since we had a women’s Tour de France and I think I can speak for many in saying that it felt like a big step in the right direction.

Photographer Tino Pohlmann followed the Canyon-SRAM pro team throughout the race and has created a newspaper photo-story, Début, to commemorate the event.

The 44-page piece features photos of the riders before, during and after the stages, as well as quotes from the team and stunning images of the wider race. It also includes postcards with some of the stand-out images. 

The fact that it has been produced in a newspaper format feels like a well-placed nod to how long the men’s TdF has been going and the history that women’s cycling will now make with its own event.

It’s a limited edition so head over to the Collected website if you’re keen to get your hands on one.

What we’re into this week: Happy Valley

Spoiler alert: it really isn’t a happy valley. It’s not as bad as the town from Midsomer Murders but it’s no Balamory either.

The central force in the show is the main character, Catherine Cawood, played by the excellent Sarah Lancashire. To say that Lancashire’s acting is the highlight of the show would be an understatement.

Her character is a rough-and-ready rural police officer who is trying to make sense of the fallout from her daughter’s death many years prior and the effect other people’s actions can have on our own lives.

It covers emotionally complex matters deftly and Cawood is one of the few characters that I’ve seen on TV that I can genuinely imagine out and about in real life, walking, talking and smacking idiots round the back of the head with her hat (okay, she didn’t do that but she could have done).

The show broadcasts on BBC1 on Sundays at 9pm and is available to stream on BBC iPlayer (UK only).

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