Have you heard the one about the man walked in to see his doctor wearing cling film shorts? When he demanded a diagnosis, the doctor replied: “well, I can clearly see your nuts”. Luckily for us, we know that the doctor was missing the point: waterproof, mud shedding, and skin tight? It’s like a cyclist’s tick-list for winter clothing. Cling-film boy clearly knew his stuff.
Forget carbon, graphene or even silly string, there’s one super-material that has the power to keep you riding this winter (not to mention looking fabulous). While you might be more familiar with its incognito appearance as a humble sandwich wrapper, cling film was actually developed in top-secret conditions during the war, as a lightweight weapon for spies. If you’ve ever tried to smother a guard or abseil a ravine using inferior quality product, you’ll know that only the best will do…
The astute modern cyclist can take advantage of our wartime heritage to keep the worst of winter’s bite under wraps. Stop dithering over whether it’ll be regular or light mayonnaise in your lunch tomorrow, and get yourself combat-ready this winter with our top ten cling film tips!
Enduro racers! Wrap a length of cling film round your head to make a gram-shaving alternative to goggles that will also keep that trendy beard clean. For bonus style points, save the yellow wrappers from a tin of Quality Street and enter ‘summer mode’ by using them as eyepieces! No, the green ones don’t produce night-vision mode – don’t be silly.
Don’t let bulky winter riding kit stop you from flaunting that toned cycling physique – cling film provides total weatherproofing when applied to bare skin without hiding those chiselled abs. Nobody wants to be a style victim though: carefully applied stickers add that subtle je ne sais quoi while avoiding awkward conversations with easily offended members of the public.
Many’s the time we’ve fancied a quick tipple of Single Malt at the top of something precipitous, only to find that the neck of our favourite alcohol receptacle is resplendent with a mucky redistribution of nature’s benevolence. It’s a simple matter to repeatedly wrap cling film around your hipflask before you set off, to keep your boozebottle clean and muck free! It’s rather more of a pain to remove the film to actually drink from the flask, but you’re riding a bike, for goodness’ sake – you shouldn’t be drinking in the first place. Who do you think you are?
Posh rainwear is expensive, but cling film has you covered. Using a compass, carefully perforate a length of cling film with millions of tiny holes. Voila, Gore-tex! Customise breathability levels while you ride by carrying a safety pin and some electrical tape in your pack. Especially handy for use on your helmet if there’s a sudden downpour (remember to leave a hole for your head).
Turbo training in winter? Stretch cling film between two trees and try to ride through it. It might feel a bit funny at first but soon you’ll wonder why you ever bought that £300 turbo. Expect funny looks from the neighbours unless you’re in Yorkshire, where such frugality will earn applause and sometimes a plaque from the local mayor.
For the ultimate retro winter ride, wrap your rear wheel in cling film for that authentic Tioga disc-drive look, and never have to clean gunk from your spokes again. Mind the crosswinds… Also works well around your tyres – keep them looking like new and keep your wife/mum/ward matron happy!
Still using paper maps? Wrap them in cling film to stop them getting wet. After cling film application, they may become hard to open, so memorise as much as you can first!
Phones are expensive. Can’t afford a waterproof case? Simply wrap it up in cling film when riding. This has the added benefit of preventing you being distracted by unwanted calls – the clingfilm conveniently muffles the speaker so you can’t hear them, and the plastic film repeatedly wrapped over the screen prevents you from replying, even if you wanted to! And as for making calls – emergencies are bestowed with an even greater sense of urgency as you attempt to unwrap your phone with a broken arm, before calling the emergency services. This provides a keen lesson in Moral Rectitude, and strengthens all-important Moral Fibre – even more win!
One for the ladies and ‘jollier’ gents: sports bra still in the wash after your last ride? Strap ’em down by wrapping cling film round your torso. This one can also be used to tame errant nipples on those colder mornings. Remember, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye!
It’s a common bugbear in mountain biking in the winter – cold, wet feet. Waterproof socks aren’t particularly comfortable either, and they’re expensive. But wait! A couple of wraps of Morrison’s finest around your shoes, and you’re laughing! Warm, dry, and functional (as long as you cut a hole in the bottom for your cleats). Plus your feet will stay perfectly preserved for days in the fridge.
We hope that we’ve given you a few small ideas for ways to hop-up your riding with the inclusion of a few simple wraps of chemically enhanced plastics – so what are you waiting for? Get wrapping and proceed to shred.