Last year, the Mr. requested one thing when I went to Portland, some embrocation. What’s that you ask? It’s a lotion that heats up your skin – cyclists use it to keep their legs warm when the weather gets cool. Think of it like fire in a jar. I successfully located some Mad Alchemy Embrocation which the Mr. used for early Spring riding and is now using to prolong the season of mountain bike shorts.
Last night, after watching a movie, I crawled into bed with the Mr., approximately 2 hours into a wonderful deep sleep, I felt an insane burning on my legs, like someone had snuck a blow torch underneath the covers and was attempting to weld my hamstring to the Mr’s quad. In a sleep induced haze, I had a mini panic attack – what had caused my legs to suddenly burst into flames? Thankfully, before my imagination took over and I ended up in the Emergency room, unnecessarily draining precious health care resources , I realized the problem – the Mr. had applied embrocation before his ride and I was suffering the consequences.
Applied incorrectly, embrocation is a swarm of fire ants hell bent on revenge. The first time I used it, I followed the Mr.’s application instructions – spreading a thin layer onto my legs before an early Spring road ride. After I’d successfully coated my legs, I applied my chamois cream and HOLY SHIT!!! I have my suspicions on how Lindsey Lohan acquired the moniker firecrotch, but this was the real deal. With no choice, but to suffer through the agony I went on my ride – which changed from a relaxed road ride, to a power workout featuring 100% standing. To add insult to injury, I had also filled my water bottles post-embrocation, so my gatorade had taken on a nice cayenne flavor – imagine gulping jalapeno juice post intervals…not good.
Since that experience, I’ve learned a couple of key things; the first being that you should always apply embrocation last. The second (and a very key piece of information that the Mr. never explained), embrocation does not come off with water, so washing your hands makes no difference. The desperate shower post-ride when you are trying to cool your legs off is an exercise in futility – embrocation is stronger than sweat and dirt and requires rubbing alcohol for relief.
If you follow proper instructions, embrocation can be that extra boost that keeps you in shorts for a little while longer. The Mad Alchemy Embrocation comes in different levels of heat, I can only stand the “Mellow” and I wish I had the Gentleman’s Blend or Warm Weather variety. All of the embrocations smell delicious like cinnamon and cayenne, and definitely produce results. My reaction is much stronger than the Mr’s, so I do suggest testing it out on a small patch of skin, before slathering yourself in a fire bath. As a more experienced embrocator, I asked Mr. to contribute to this review. His professional opinion is: “It’s f*(ing awesome and the afterglow is the best part”. Not sure if by afterglow he means torturing his wife in the middle of the night and then laughing at her in the morning.
The only place I’ve found embrocation is Portland, which seems weird given that Portland is not actually cold. Maybe northerners just aren’t willing to admit they need some help. In any case – if you need some assistance with Rule #5 – HTFU then:
“Two, four, six eight, better start to embrocate” – GO TEAM!