The venue: Rapha's very fine pop-up shop on Clerkenwell Road in London's famous London. (Trois Vs still favours LMNH has its official hang-out, but they do cool stuff there, including good coffee and nice-but-pricey kit. The other members of the team will be posted there after their laps, awaiting my return to the capital before making their way to the pop-up shop.)
The event: the briefing for Sunday's inaugural UK Rapha Gentleman's Time Trial, in which your correspondent will be participating as a member of the Tweed Run Team. And this is where a recent post comes in. The question, you may recall, is how should a gentleman be shod for such a feat.
It was a question that puzzled me. The following look is the exemplar (more such photos over on http://www.doozzi.com/):
but not so practical with my Shimano SPD-SL pedals; the race is 120 miles after all.
Condor had very kindly almost offered me a loan of a fine-looking Classico for the jaunt (alas, the demo model is out with Cycling Weekly), so it occurred to me that now was the time to make use of Trois Vs' global reach and readership, and do a review for the fine firm of Dromarti, who import hand-crafted Italian leather shoes, like they used to make, along with a sole for cleats (the shoes are by the firm of Marresi, sold in Italy as the Eroica). Shoes with soul, comfort and style.
A review pair was sourced on Thursday, and is now being cleated up, ready for the big test tomorrow. In terms of comparison, they will have to live up to the comfort and performance of my beloved, but very bling, white Sidi Ergopower 2 Vernices, and the practicality of my old Shimano touring shoes. So far, they look very promising: they fit like a glove, seem well-ventilated, and not too heavy given that they are leather with a composite sole (700g for a pair of 45s: these are quite long and slim; normally I have 44, but wear 45 for Sidis. As these are leather, the relatively slim fit will probably stretch suitably, so you may want to opt for your usual size).
Here are some photos. They are, I think you'll agree, rather lovely. Did I mention that they look great?
A full review to follow, assuming I make it back from Brighton, along with further information about Trois V's global reach.