Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The Service Course: Embrocation
My favorite brand is Mad Alchemy. Pete and Jan have kept me warm and protected for the better part of a year now and I absolutely love their products. But the often asked question is how do you use it?
Mad Alchemy is making two different styles of embro now. Their traditional embrocation and their newer pre-ride oil. Both are available in warming and non-warming blends and both will help protect and nourish your skin.
Traditional Embrocation - I use three different blends, the non-warming ECJ team issue and the Mellow and Medium warming blends. The ECJ non-warming is great for summer rides when there's a chance of rain or I've been using it lately for post ride massage.
When the temperature dips below 60 though I turn to the warming blends. Embro not only provides warmth but it also protects you from the elements, especially wind and rain. This past weekend on Saturday I forgot my leg warmers AND knee warmers. It was only 29 degrees with winds gusting up to 30mph. Fear not. I put on a double layer of Medium heat embro and I was good to go.
Pre-Ride Oils - The pre-ride oils work great when you're applying it under clothing or when there is no threat of rain or heavy wind. I use the non-warming oil pretty much daily before heading out on a ride. More for skin health than anything else. However, when the weather turns nasty I grab the warming oil. The warming oil is great if you're pairing it with leg or knee warmers. The thinner viscosity makes it easier to pull the warmers on than if using a traditional paste. And with the added protection of fabric you don't need the added protection that a paste provides. I used this technique on Sunday when I actually had my leg warmers.
The one question that always arises is how do you clean it off. I've had instances where that warming sensation has hung around for 12+ hours when I haven't been able to shower and am driving home from a race. Mad Alchemy is now making an Unbrocation for post-ride clean-up but I've yet to try it. My technique is to first wipe off any embro with a dry wash cloth. Next wipe your legs down using unscented baby wipes. Then follow it up with a final wipe down with a fresh dry wash cloth. This usually does the trick. I also grab my Seventh Generation dish washing detergent on occasion and scrub it off with that in the shower.
Bottom line, embrocation can make riding in nasty conditions (or nice conditions) much, much better. And it smells awesome!