I COUNT myself as particularly lucky, having the River Witham flowing not too far from my front door. Running alongside the river is a former railway line, today the Water Rail Way, a purpose-built trail linking Lincoln to Boston. This mostly traffic-free, off-road route is popular with cyclists and walkers. Start from Lincoln, and you are in the shadow of the magnificent cathedral. If you fancy covering the 33-mile route, you will eventually find yourself at the market town of Boston with the famous St Botolph’s Church, known as ‘The Stump’.
The route is reasonably flat throughout, and about nine miles from Lincoln it passes through the village of Bardney, with its heritage centre. This is always a good starting point for me to head back to my village, past vast open landscapes and expansive skies.
The reason for this preamble is that I have been trialling a pair of Track Pants from Showers Pass, a new manufacturer to Essential Journeys. In essence, the company makes technically engineered cycling gear for everyone from commuters to racers and your normal cycling enthusiast, such as myself. The company is based in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, where you are guaranteed challenging rides and variable conditions. With its roots in high performance waterproof-breathable outerwear, and born from the desire to make clothing that inspires people to be more active regardless of weather, the new, versatile Track Pants are a revelation. I have trialled them both on my bike and on a fast-paced walk, and have been well impressed.
The Track Pants feature a contoured waistband with draw cord, and 13-inch long ankle zippers, which makes it simple to pull over shoes. Scuff guards at the inner ankles protect against wear from the bike’s chain and crank. There are also two useful, zippered hip pockets. The pants come in a non-waterproof stretch softshell material with a light brushed fleeced lining, articulated knees, and a longer inseam for better coverage while you are on the move. If you are looking for a versatile pant that is warm, comfortable and durable, then I would highly recommend them. £69.95, www.showerspass.com