We all know that looking good on the bike is something to be strived for but we shouldn’t forget about smelling good too. I overheard a good tip this weekend at my Sunday run cafe stop at the Ide Hill Community Shop for helping keeping leather cycling gloves smelling sweet.
“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer fear for the human race” – H.G. Wells
For quite some time I have thought that bicycles have semi-magical qualities. Riding one can make you happy when you are otherwise sad and they can make you believe that you are someone else – usually someone far better at riding a bike. They can make you fitter and more sociable and, as Mr H.G. Wells says in his wonderful quote above, they can change the destiny of the world. It’s a given then that they are wonderful things. But, until this weekend at the sublime L’Eroica Britannia event, I had not realised that they are also capable of enabling time travel. Perhaps that’s why old H.G. (who knew a thing or two about Time Machines) loved them so much.
What happens when coffee and cycling come together? Normally it’s just a pacier run on the training ride but occasionally it can conjure up an entire event.
SPIN teamed up with LCF (London Coffee Festival) for a free-wheeling, free-grinding, blend of coasting ‘n’ roasting in Shoreditch this weekend. Catching the Christmas mood (and the Christmas trade no doubt) was a big part of the reason for these happy bedfellows to put on a show together and each was equally represented with about 40 exhibitors each. Alongside these were a good bar, a couple of food stalls and Rollapaluza. Entry was £1.75 in advance (just the booking fee) or £5 on the door.
First Place. Peugeot
An all time classic. From Tommy Simpson to Robert Millar, riders wearing the iconic chequered flag jersey have looked the business. It was the first kit I wanted as a kid and I still wear one most weeks. Best matched with plain black shorts and a Peugeot cycling cap – with the peak turned upwards, of course.
Second Place. Bic
Love the sparseness here. Bold colour, simple logo. Job done. Not quite so well known as some other teams of the era but Luis Ocana won the 1970 Vuelta and 1973 Tour in the orange of Bic. Best paired with jet black hair and an epic tan.
Third Place. Renault /Renault Elf / Systeme U
The hint of the Hacienda’s famous black and yellow warning stripes helps this one into third spot. The design morphed subtly into the Renault Elf jersey and then more radically into the Systeme U jersey, both of which are great in their own right. Best paired with a matching headband a la Fignon.
Honourable Mention – La Vie Claire
Hinault. Lemond. ’86. Enough Said.
Jersey Illustrations courtesy of: www.davidsparshott.com
“It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.”
Nigel Tufnell. Spinal Tap.
The recent news that Cannondale’s new 2014 kit design will be a mainly black affair has been greeted by cycling’s fashion watchers with barely more than a raised eyebrow. ‘Copying Sky’ is the main criticism that most can muster and, given that nearly all pro teams are seeking to reproduce the British team’s training programmes or marginal gains techniques in some shape or form, that in itself is hardly a withering accusation. But, after years of what has often amounted to an arms race of garishness, is there more to this latest rejection of what has been termed elsewhere as ‘Euro Gaud’ than simply aping the most successful team around?
Colour Me Bad.
On one level Cannondale’s rejection of bright colour is an obvious way of turning their back on the team’s most recent incarnation as Liquigas. Constrained by the corporate colours of the Italian energy company, the team’s lime green kit was up there with the lurid pink of Lampre and the Day-glo yellow of ViniFantini for eye-watering loudness. Indeed, some lesser Italian races – when the finishes were often contested between multiple members of these three teams – were such a visceral assault on the eyes that they should really have carried some kind of warning for viewers of a sensitive disposition.