Friday, November 7, 2008

Go Get Some

There is no doubt that the buzzword in cyclocross this past year has been "embrocation". And there is also little doubt in my mind that before most of us discovered BKW we had probably never heard of Belgium Knee Warmers or knew what a true "hardman" was.

Let me tell you this, if you value your lower extremities as much as I do mine, then you owe it yourself to go grab some embrocation. The product that I have begun using is from Qoleum Sports Care out of Belgium. And lets not forget how nasty the weather can get in Belgium during the Spring Classics Campaign. The true hardmen of our sport scoff at the idea of using lycra or even wool leg warmers in favor of a good layer of embrocation. And boy does this stuff work.

The weather last night was unfavorable to say the least. A combination of pouring rain, brisk winds and cool temperatures are enough to sap the strength out of any ones legs. Before rolling out for what was supposed to be an hour long 'cross session, I applied a nice layer of the embrocation to my otherwise bare legs. I immediately noticed a warming sensation, especially as my legs became more wet. However, it almost seemed to me that my legs never actually were wet, I attribute this to the combination of petroleum and paraffin wax. These ingredients served as a water proof layer giving me the sensation of actually having dry legs.

While the temperatures were never too cold last night, neither were my legs. In fact, had I not been thinking about them the whole time and determining how the embrocation was working, I wouldn't have even given them the slightest thought. I guess this stuff works then. Maybe the Belgians have known all along that a good quality embrocation not only protects the legs, but also invigorates them with the capsicum and peppermint.

The weather for this weekends Chicago Cyclocross Cup in Northbrook looks like it will really test all of our mettle. With predictions in the low 40's with a combination of rain and snow, the winner of the day might be the one who battles the elements the best. Cold wet clothing robs the muscles of heat, so with that, if you can eliminate the amount of clothing required you may just have an advantage. Using embrocation on the legs cuts out the need for full tights or leg or knee warmers, and the waterproof capabilities forgo the need for any of this additional clothing.

Therefore, you can stay warmer by wearing less. Quite an interesting concept actually.

If you have time go out and get some your knees will thank you for it. There are many products available like this, or this, or this, or this, and finally this.