So, there she goes. The occasion of the vernal equinox last week signalled the end of the British spring and we welcome the summer months with even wider out-stretched, welcoming arms.
In what has been a truly wonderful spring and one of the warmest on record, it has also signalled great change here at RCUK towers.
New owners, new office, fresh ideas, better coffee and the prospect of our first RCUK event to look forward to – the double century weekend, which we hope will bring the community even closer together this summer.
So, it’s little wonder we’ve been smiling like Cheshire cats recently and today, one more thing made me smile.
I received a box in the mail with a hand-written address, the type your auntie sends you for your birthday when she lives abroad – you have an immediate feeling this is going to be good and inside said box might be possibly something your friends won’t be able to get their grubby mits on. “It’s from Paris, darling” – you get the picture.
I carefully unwrapped the well-taped package. In it lay a paper-wrapped item with an emblem-emblazoned seal holding the paper sheeting together – the emblem reads Telegraph Road and is in a striking gold colour.
Now, I don’t usually get too excited by packaging – its not a fetish of mine [So you say – ed.], but, hey, 10/10 for effort, I thought. Finally, someone who cares.
Anyone who has ever handed over £100 of their hard-earned for a Paul Smith sweater will have an idea of the feeling you get when the assistant wraps said sweater up. Quality finish to a quality product, even if you are a few sheets lighter.
The jersey itself celebrates the greatest bike race of them all. Its central band echoes the Tour de France race leader’s Maillot Jaune while red and blue bands either side carry the names of every winner of ‘le Tour’.
The fabric is of sweat-wicking quality that stretches to provide comfort while on and off the bike. A rear hem that grips to the jersey also prevents draughts setting in and the seams are even cover stitched to maximize give, which I noticed was a neat addition when on the road this evening, thus, making the jersey very comfortable.
As the days get warmer (hopefully), the jersey also has a handy bite tab on the collar so I can maintain bike balance. There is even a compass on the end of the zip!
So, so far – quite a few boxes ticked for functionality.
However, function is function – do they look good. Well, in a word – yes. I think so.
But it’s the ‘white-ness’ and style I really like. The jerseys have a feel and look to them which I like – perhaps even respect. A sense of the here and now with traditional values in the mixer. Clearly they have had a talented designer close to the spokes, and yes… I’m going to go back to the box – quality product and a sense that these jerseys aren’t mass produced (at least not yet).
The products are available at the following stores and expect to see a few more added to this list soon I suspect.
Telegraph Road Le Tour Jersey – £49