rule #14 quite plainly states that shorts should be black, capitulating only to the extent of allowing the side panels to match the rest of a team kit. since very few of us are members of a team, it seems only right and proper that we adhere to the first diktat of rule #14. though this rule may at first seem uncompromisingly dogmatic, i feel there are mitigating reasons for adhering to henry ford's colour sense.
though contemporary garment technology has all but solved the problem relating to lycra transparency with relation to certain colours (you know i'm talking about white, don't you?), when wet, there is still an inherent danger of being pulled over by the traffic police for indecent exposure, to say nothing of the potential embarrassment experienced in the coffee shop. which is precisely why your shorts ought to be a solid shade of black at all times.
however, even if adhering to rule #14, there can still prove to be moments of impropriety. i well recall my own early days as a cyclist when, having plucked up the courage to wear cycling shorts in public, it seemed a stage to far too dispense with my usual undergarments. comfortable it was not. however, lycra cycling shorts, when blessed with a material sheen, can be every bit as revealing as the world champion's white bibs, leading once more to potential exposure at ardbeg's old kiln café when stopping by for a lunchtime panini.
in touring mode, a pair of over the knee length baggy shorts would not seem out of place, but if dressed in such a manner when parking the colnago seems potentially to risk breaking at least one other of velominati's rules.
jerseys, on the other hand, are pretty much guilt free. though i have yet to see a member of the peloton careering round the averagemarket of a saturday morning, laden basket in hand while dressed in team sky kit (as appears to be de rigeur for the average football supporter), there is no shame whatosever attached to consuming soup and home-made granary bread while sat wearing a long-sleeve movistar jersey. and few of the civilian population will look askance if your companion is dressed in a tinkoff jersey.
well, maybe not.
as you can imagine, as a world famous member of the cycling media, i have more than just a few drawers full of cycling jerseys. it would read a whole lot better if i could append the phrase 'of all shapes and sizes', but in truth they are all the same size and with the exception of the sleeves, all are pretty much the same shape. my collection, however, bears scant comparison to the great venn diagram of the world's cycle jerseys, even if we restrict ourselves to those employed in the professional peloton. and when it comes to jerseys of the peloton, past and present, there are really only two gents whose names spring to mind.
one would be prendas' mick tarrant and the other would be prendas' andy storey. which is more than convenient, because the latter has just compiled a book of "over 200 of of the most iconic, memorable and stylish racing jerseys ever to grace the peloton." as the subtitle says, the book is 'a celebration of the cycling racing jersey'; and the man is not wrong.
each jersey, commencing with santini's bianchi ursus replica jersey made specifically for the 1995 film, i'l grande fausto' is accompanied by brief text placing it in context, with which rider it is most associated, the manufacturer and which bicycle accompanied the jersey in its particular peloton. if nothing else, it demonstrates the wide-range of superb designs to have made it to a cycle jersey. it pains me to admit that, when perusing richard mitchelson's grand tour earlier this week, i quite literally drew a blank when presented with a jersey outline to colour in.
there are pages and pages of inspiration to be seen in andy storey's book.
the format, production and printing are quite impeccable, presenting a small format coffee table book that will not only provide hours of reverie on sunday evenings after tea, but potentially settle one or two historical arguments. with over 200 jerseys included, it would take from now till bedtime to list them all, but some are just too good not to mention. bartali's legnano/pirelli from '1952; luis ocana's 1970 orange bic jersey; eddy's 1972 molteni arcore; 1976's ti-raleigh campagnolo jersey; robert millar's 1984 cycles peugeot chequerboard jersey and the 2012 jimmy mccallum king of scotland champion's rapha condor jersey.
yes, that is a highly erratic compendium culled from the book's 200 plus pages. if it was you writing this review, possibly none of these would have featured. but always remember: i'm right, you're wrong.
this is superb, and if you order a copy direct from prendas, andy storey will even sign it for you.
saturday 30 april 2016..........................................................................................................................................................................................................