Saturday, March 24, 2012

News in socks

I know, I know.  It's called Socksnob but in reality it's been Moansnob.  In fact, unlike my choice of hosiery, it appears that I'm not really that picky about what I moan about.   I don't really blog as often as I used to and when I do get the urge to log onto Blogger it's to whinge about something.  It reminds one, surely, of that line that depression is anger without the enthusiasm.  Not that I'm depressed, the DSM-IV criteria have not been pinged and besides labelling oneself as "depressed" when one is just mildly and temporarily unchuffed with life does a great disservice to those who really are depressed and dealing with Churchill's black dog every day in an effort just to get out of bed.

Anyway with the temporary return of the nice weather this week it was time to get out the short trousers, and with them, to open up the sock drawer, shoo away the moths and see what was lurking in there.  Although I believe in the flamboyant sock, there are degrees of flamboyancy and when in long trousers, one should sick to the zeroth degree of flamboyancy.  It's not the eighties any more, we don't need fluorescent flashes every time your hem hitches up slightly.

The albiet transient return of the sun meant we could finally eschew the sober sock in favour of something a little more fun.  I plumped for this one

The Crash Test Dummy sock.  It matches my Crash Test Dummy l/s jersey from Evans' Cycles I got a couple of years ago.

Is it tempting fate to ride a bicycle in traffic wearing the internationally recognizable sign of the Crash Test Dummy?  Perhaps yes, but also perhaps, is there something of a reverse psychological argument at work too?  If one is ordinarily a de facto crash-test dummy when riding whilst not wearing the crash-test dummy kit (in the sense of every car drivers is trying to see if their air-bags and crumple zones work during a low speed, low mass impact with a cyclist) then does dressing in the crash-test kit render you immune?

Sound logic or arrant nonsense I don't know, but I do know this.  When riding with la belle she constantly berates me for riding semi-aggressively i.e. a couple of feet out from the near-side curb whereas she has an almost fetish for riding in the actual gutter (great bike-handling though, she should ride the track!). I also know that at the end of a ride she will also comment how she was getting constantly cut up by drivers who didn't see her whereas I didn't.  I'm sure some of it is because she's tiny and I'm huge but is any of it due to our respective road-positioning?  Discuss.

In other sock news, Pat McQuack and the UCI just passed another tranche of "if it doesn't look like Eddy Merckx's then it shouldn't be" rules.  The lawyer-tabs thing is odd.  With all the crashes and, yes, deaths in pro cycling recently I've never heard anyone say an errant, independently mobile front wheel was at fault.  There's another one in the eye for bicichicular progress or as it's better known, just a regular day in Aigle.

Camelbacks, however, look just plain strange on the front or the back.  Finally legislating socks though, now that's a stroke of sartorial genius.  Will this herald a return to the short, white, ankle-high sock of the seventies?  We can but hope.  I know there are fanboys out there who will say this is directed at HWMNBN with his penchant for ridiculously high dress-socks on the bike, but I think we can all agree, this one is purely to protect our eyes.

In this respect. triathlon has been a world-leader, getting a ban on below-the-knee attire on the books several years ago. Never mind protecting the integrity of the sport, an unintended consequence has been to protect the integrity of our eyes.  Now all we need to to is run the gauntlet of getting on  plane with triathletes, 75% of whom are wearing compression socks/shinguards with shorts and sandals.  Arghh.

Socks, equal prize money for women, earphones, triathlon really nailed the rules when they first codified them in the eighties.  There was however one, rather obvious, omission which I'm glad to report has just been fixed.  That's right, in time for the 2013 season you need to be aware that this has just been placed in the books

"2:10 a) A race will be won by the athlete who has the shortest time from the start signal to the moment when the athlete finishes the race as defined in 6.2 a) and 17.8 a).

b) All the athletes will be ranked according to their times"

Any protests or appeals for last years' events concerning your rankings in the absence of such a rule will not be heard as the 15 minute window for lodging a protest or appeal has closed.  For further information, please contact the Executive Director: she has all the answers.


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