An extraordinary mens blog for the ordinary man
I don’t know whether its because the weather has, finally started to turn spring like and the days are getting slightly longer or because we are being bombarded with Olympic propaganda telling us to find alternative modes of transport in the run up to the 2012 games, borrrring, or simply because Mrs Mc decided to get me a bike for my Birthday, but I can’t wait to get on the open road and try it out. Basically, it all started before Christmas when the aforementioned better half decided I needed a bike for my Birthday, what she trying to say ? Which unfortunately for me falls just after New Year, boooo.
Anyway, we started on the mission to find the right bicycle for me, we paid a very embarrassing trip to Evans cycles, where I had to sit on many bikes to see if I liked them and “more importantly, if the bike liked me”. (I’ll not buying a flipping Nembus 3000 or sommitt). Then we had THE moment, a friend of ours introduced us to MADE.com an incredible website where they stock wonderful designer furniture sold at much more affordable prices, as they deal directly with the suppliers, anyway check it out for yourselves, you won’t be disappointed. It was here I found the HOLLANDER (see image below) the bike of my dreams, something a little different without it being a penny farthing, if you know what I mean, I didn’t want a mountain bike or a road bike or a hybrid bike, in my mind a bike’s a bike and the Hollander is suitably retro but equally modern, modtro if you like.
This is where I think my obsession with my bike has started, recently when I either had appointments or meetings with PR agencies and the sheer mention of bikes arose, I’d go off on one, showing far too much interest in bicycle related paraphernalia. In Paul Smith, the great man is a true bicycle aficionado and could have easily turned professional, I seemed to be drawn to cycling products, declaring, “Ohhhh this is nice” and “ahhh how much is this ?”(See images below)
I have to be honest I think life would be far more interesting if grown ups were to wear helmets like the Tiger one above, which also comes in Dinosaur, shark and eagle !!!!! How cool !
Anyway, this was’t the end of of it, I later discovered John Boultee, who on researching a little further was actually J.B Brooks, a heritage brand and legend in cycling terms. Brooks had returned to their roots and had started to produce apparel for cyclists which you could equally wear for a meeting, a drink or urban cruising, OK maybe not the poncho. As part of this collaboration they had worked with Mr Timothy Everest OBE, he himself a like minded enthusiast and Brooks user, plus just so happened to be a tour de force from a little known street you may have heard of called Savile Row ???
These two British icons set about producing a piece of clothing where no details were too small to be discussed. Heated debate over design elements both large and small took place; from the construction of a shoulder joint, to the angle of a pocket, or the numbered nametag, a very Savile Row thing don’t you know. They adhered to a number of principles –
1) They must create showerproof garments using natural materials.
2) The garments must function flawlessly to meet the demands of our experienced Brooks Saddle customers, and live up to the reputable Brooks name.
3) The garment must be developed in England to the same high standards as their world famous saddles.
This passion and attention to detail wasn’t without its just reward and gave birth to The Criterion(see image below). This jacket challenges the convention that showerproof cycling apparel must disregard aesthetic considerations. The Criterion discreetly meets the demands of contemporary cyclists with reflective seams, a fold-out seat panel, concealed key pocket, stormproof flap pockets, and a host of other features. The Criterion is made from Ventile (provides protection against the wind, rain, snow and cold) and lined with Fox Brothers tweed (who has been supplying luxury woollen cloth to London’s historic Savile Row tailors, the military and exclusive fashion designers for nearly 250 years). Will this now fulfil my cycling hunger ???