Before Dr B did the Paris-Brest-Paris Audax ride in 2011, I made a musette for him. It was quite a tidy piece of work, though I managed to twist the strap (he said it didn’t bother him, so we left it that way). I was reminded of it yesterday when he brought home a freebie from the Tour Down Under village. I pointed out that it wasn’t in the same league as the one I made. He agreed and said that having that made-by-me musette around his neck gave him great comfort on some of the longer, lonelier stretches when he wondered what the f*^# he was doing there. Aww. Ain’t it nice to be appreciated?
The one I made is a linen/cotton furnishing fabric, slightly less deep though the same width, is french seamed, has a metal snap fastener and the straps are sturdy cotton. The freebie is lightweight and there’s not a french seam in sight. I was interested to see that the TDU musette, which I’m sure we’ll be spotting everywhere for a while, also has a snap fastener, albeit plastic. We have another (a 2012 Tour de France freebie from a friend) with a velcro fastening and I remember being surprised by that. Dr B and I had had lengthy discussions about why velcro might not be such a good idea in the dark when you’re fumbling about trying to get food out of a bag. YoungB concurred. We reckoned it would stick to everything you didn’t want it to, probably mostly to your cycling gloves! I do understand that perhaps a snap fastener might not always be the best, either, but on balance we thought it preferable to the velcro. It seems that whoever designed this TDU musette was of the same mind.
The TDF one, however, had straps applied in the same way as mine – I don’t claim it was deliberate on my part; I couldn’t possibly have sewn through the french seam AND the cotton tape, so it was a matter of near enough having to be good enough and because the musette is worn crosswise, the offset straps were perfectly all right – but the TDU one has them coming out of the sides at a right angle. Hmm. All food for thought while carrying food for riders.
Tomorrow, when the Bupa Community Challenge takes place, I dare say there’ll be heaps of those spotty musettes about the place. I don’t imagine Dr B will use a musette at all, but if he did use his own, would you reckon I’d be quite safe in saying he’d be the only rider with one like that!?