Friday, 9 July 2010

Sound advice for the stylish

From "Cycling" by The Right Hon The Earl of Albemarle, and G. Lacy Hillier, 1896.

The more luxurious of our tricycling tourists go even farther in the matter of changes which they carry, as they not only take a complete suit of underwear, but also a complete change of outer garments; this is of course the acme of sybaritism, but it is doubtless a great comfort to a good many riders. Some take a pair of trousers made of the same material as their riding suit, but without any linings, and they generally choose a cloth hat of the same stuff, constituting the traditional "suit of dittoes" of the British tourist. The advantage of making the wearer inconspicuous as a pedestrian is gained, although the cycling uniform is now so common an object in all towns during the riding season that it may be worn without annoyance almost anywhere.

Others, again, have a suit made for the purpose of carrying with them whilst on tour. This suit will pack up into a very small space and is very light, and, if put on immediately on arriving at the hotel, it will soon lose the creases due to close packing.

A pair of woollen socks, a dry flannel shirt, and a pair of shoes, complete the costume.

The extra shirt should in most cases be of flannel, preferably a thin flannel, but in the heat of the summer and for short trips the lounging shirt as distinguished from the working one may be of light cashmere or stockingnette, some of the garments of this type being excellent.

Whatever may be the class of shirt chosen, these points should be insisted upon: it should open down the front, come well up to the throat, and have a good-sized lie-down collar as a part of the shirt.

A long stocking cap, or sailor's cap, of knitted material is a very useful addition to the kit. It can be used for night riding, being drawn down well over the ears, whilst, should the tourist entertain the slightest suspicion of the dryness of his sheets at night, he can obviate cold in the head or worse dangers by sleeping in this cap. For campers, whether it be a hot summer's night or not, the stocking cap, which is light and takes up very little space, is almost a necessity.

For those who when touring will insist on carrying an immense amount of luggage there is no excuse, as any amount of baggage can be sent on to various points through the usual channels, and a rider is not supposed, even by the most punctilious of his friends, to carry an elaborate wardrobe with him.

If a host really expects this, the guest had better either go by train himself, or forward his portmanteau before him. On the other hand, it is not necessary for the cycling tourist to be always carelessly dressed ; a very small amount of forethought will enable him to appear carefully and appropriately attired, if nothing more.

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