Today was new kit day. I went to Forever Pedalling, a shop run by an erstwhile Bristol hipster (Bripster? Hipstol?) friend which has lovely things in a range of modish colours. It has no white socks; I had to get these via Prendas. I picked up my Das Rad Klub jersey; it’s understated by their standards; I have a previous iteration I like with a bright pink arm. I missed out on the DRK vs GTA megamix, but liked this one. Like most new cycling jerseys it seems to have grippers on the arms, which I like. It feels quite ‘pro’. I also got a new Giro Synthe helmet after noticing my previous 5 year old, 4 x crashed (at least) lid had several cracks running all the way through. New jersey, socks, helmet: new kit day.
It seemed to make me go much faster than usual; but that could also be the weather and the slightly quieter 2 weeks after 8 weeks of fairly relentless training.
It’s quite reassuring to be upping the average speed, even if I did reduce the amount of elevation I’d typically factor in. I felt I’d gone well on Chew Hill, it’s our club segment this month, only to see Dan B smash it up there a full 45 seconds faster. Still some work to do in the ‘riding hard’ stakes.
My new DRK jersey is made by Milltag. They make nice jerseys. I have a stack of Milltag stuff, including a Pixies jersey and a Boikszmoind jersey, neither of which I ever wear. The label has a picture of someone who shall henceforth be known only as ‘MilltagMan’. There’s something utterly modern and beikgeist about this picture. The only thing missing is an expensive full-sleeve tattoo.
The fact that he looks a bit like a bit like Zod adds to the panache, the aesthetic totality. It means business, it means lasers from the eyes and immense strength, it means immaculate beardage and the strength of a thousand weekend warriors.
General Zod is the touchstone for hipster decolletage as well. The line of neatly coiffed hair ascending from the V complements the precision of the facial trim. Maximum points here. This is modern cycling.
This weekend was also Bespoked Bristol, the ever growing and pulsating hand-made bike show which takes place at the engine shed. I missed it this year because I was faced with a fundamental and savage dilemma: go and see bikes vs ride bikes. The latter won, hands down. The Bespoked arena is increasingly serious high-end fetishism. There is some wondrous stuff there, beautiful and impressive, none more so that this beast from the Engineered Stable (Bristol based, of course):
Chris King was there. In the heroic legend stakes he’s second only to Tom Ritchey. And Mark Hamill, who Rob Borek thought it was.
It wasn’t him. Although there is a similar level of mythology surrounding both men.