The guys over at Routine Leg Works over in the ‘other’ cycling hub state of Colorado were kind enough to send me a few samples of their product last spring of 2011. I had wanted to try some embrocation as the early race season approached for several reasons. Training and warming up for racing in the early season can be tricky. The temperature variation that a competitive cyclist is exposed to in the spring as well as fall and winter (for those who are brave enough to race cyclocross) makes clothing and gear selection complicated. A lot of times we complain about being either over dressed or under dressed. I’m originally from Utah and am usually under dressed compared to my fellow training partners and competitors here in Northern California as I have a wider temperature tolerance for both cold and hot weather. That being said, it seems that we would all rather race without leg, knee & arm warmers if we can avoid it. I had heard about embrocation mainly via social media during my winter training of 2011-2012 and was curious about how well it worked. Some of the main complaints I heard however made me nervous. I didn’t want to smell like a medicine cabinet nor did I wish to feel like my arms and legs were set afire as I started my bike ride or race.
My first experience with RLW’s Flahute had none of those nasty side effects. In fact, the smell was quite pleasant and its’ shea butter based formula made it feel more like lotion than a medicinal ointment. When I initially applied it however, I didn’t feel any strong warming sensation and so questioned whether my legs and arms would be warm enough in the chilly early hours of my long training ride. I wasn’t disappointed. It didn’t take more than a few minutes of ride time and I was completely comfortable. Additionally, as I got warmer during my training ride both through my effort and as the day warmed up, I never felt over heated. Not to worry though, they have several products for more temperature extremes and various needs. Another product they gave me was their Recover oil embrocation. I was hesitant to use it after my work out and shower as I had no desire to get ‘oily’ again as I tend to get from sweat, sunscreen etc. I found this product to be the perfect consistency and a little bit when a long way. It too has a very pleasant aroma. You might also be interested to know that their one bottle of recovery oil and jar of Flahute lasted from last spring to early fall as I started my training this October; and at their MSRP price, I don’t see why it’s not a quality competitive embrocation product.