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In the Drops: Squeeasy Dual Fuel bottle, Alejandro Valverde and Bikepacking Scotland books, WIT Fitness Sports Bra and more pain

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Happy Friday and welcome back to another edition of In the Drops. Before I deliver all the new and wonderful cycling-related gear and books, let’s recap another week at Cyclist.

I wrote about the 2023 Giro d’Italia won by Jumbo-Visma’s Primož Roglič and Chris Auld provided a stellar gallery of 21 snaps from the race. We also had shots of this year’s epic RideLondon Classique from James York and there’s also the Critérium du Dauphiné coming up to prepare for with our guide.

The legendary Jenny Graham was on the latest episode of the Cyclist Magazine Podcast, the Raleigh Chopper returned, and Graham Willgoss spoke to the man behind the West End musical about Gino Bartali.

Campagnolo finally released its Super Record Wireless groupset with no thumb shifters and Will reviewed the Specialized S-Works Evade 3 helmet while Matt Buckley reviewed the best bar bags and Paul Norman compiled the best road bike upgrades for every budget.

Oh, and don’t forget, it’s our final Track Days event at Castle Combe on Sunday. Let’s get into another In the Drops.

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Squeeasy Dual Fuel Bottle

This invention from Squeeasy feels pretty game-changing as someone who used to struggle with opening gels without being left with a sticky residue in my pocket. The Dual Fuel bottle allows you to put gels into the pouch, which then screws into the base of the lid. The rest of the bottle works as normal, so you fill up the bottle with water (or your substance of choice) and the switch mechanism on the bottle lid controls whether drink or gel comes out. Isn’t engineering great?

To wash, hand clean the pouch with warm water and put the bottle and lid in the dishwasher. You can buy the Squeeasy in two sizes, either the PES Elite which can hold 750ml (which is the bottle shown) or PES Pro with 550ml.

Green Bullet by Matt Rendell

A polarising figure, Alejandro Valverde was a force within professional cycling, winning the Vuelta a España in 2009 and the Road Race World Championship in 2018. He also served a two-year doping ban.

As I grew up watching cycling off the back of Operación Puerto, I spent my placement year at university working with the Anti-Doping and Sporting Integrity team in Leeds. It was incredibly interesting. As is this book, The Green Bullet by Matt Rendell – no spoilers, but don’t worry, he does retire at the end, kind of – which is out now.

WIT Fitness Sports Bra

London-based WIT Fitness has released this soft square neck sports bra in a cute purple shade. Some might say blue, but I don’t want to restart the dress debate. It’s light support, so for those with biggest chests I’d wear it for any yoga or stretching activities and not heavy exercise.

It’s nice to not feel as restricted as the heavier support sports bras. They also come with a matching pair of shorts which look quite snazzy. The shorts don’t have padding inside though, so reach for other ones when heading out for a bike ride.

Bikepacking Scotland by Markus Stitz

As someone who can’t head into town without popping into Waterstones, I do have quite the collection of books. Just added is Bikepacking Scotland by Markus Stitz, which showcases 20 different cycling routes around both Scotlands mainland and islands alongside stunning photography. There’s a delightful-looking stretch around the Argyll Islands that features our latest podcast guest Jenny Graham, and an opportunity to head west to east coast though Falkirk and Edinburgh via the John Muir Way bikepacking route.

My dad and grandad are from Perth and the book features a 97.4km ride towards the south of the city before heading for the beautiful Loch Leven next to Kinross. The book is vey detailed, providing maps and profiles, terrain details and route conditions – like this one being 17% singletrack/56% road – and the recommended bike.

What we’re into this week: More painting!

There’s something so relaxing about putting paint on a canvas board for me. Recently I’ve been painting a LOT more and find it so therapeutic. It’s not often I get my brain to keep quiet for a bit. I also opened my own Etsy store (!!!) and shipped off my first three orders this week. It’s crazy to even think about. I’ve recently shifted from acrylic paints to gouache and I’m looking forward to testing them out. You’ll be the first to know. You can also check out my friend Hannah’s amazing artwork on her Etsy account too. <3

Go forth and paint, my friends. And don’t forget to get your Track Days tickets.

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