Wherever they are, find them, they serve the best brew in the city. Although I have a sneaky suspicion they will be positioned somewhere nice and convenient for the prologue, and maybe even up on the Glens for the road stage (I hope that H Van can make it up the grade). There are the usual coffee chain suspects all over Belfast now, but there are a few speciality brews worth searching out if you take your coffee seriously. ATTRIDGE AND COLE have been around for a few years now and have established themselves in the community and amongst the cycling community. Presented in a beautifully converted Citroen H Van they serve up Bailie’s Coffee freshly roasted and ground alongside their home made pastries. Believe me it will become your morning and afternoon brew as you drool over the carbon and team buses during the Giro.
The previous Richard Sachs identity was maybe one of the most established identities in the sport of cycling, so no small task to take on the redesign and make it equally iconic. Time is the only thing that can decide if a piece of design becomes an icon, but the guys at House Industries (one of our favorite font makes here at HUGE) have done a really beautiful job. Right down to the color mix by Joe Bell the red is special to the brand. It is a finely considered piece of design done by people who understand the nuance of the sport and the intricacies of frame design. Shame they have to cover that frame and kit in mud.
These photographs on the Billy Kirk site are almost like pieces of art. They are renowned for the quality of their hand-crafted leather products, and here they have applied that to the classic Toe Strap. The rugged design is made from 7 oz. genuine bridle leather sourced in the USA, and made to last. They also offer a variety of color options that allow you to match the straps to your saddle and grip tape. A no frill design with dull nickel plated brass buckles for adjustment. You can get them here.
Loving this film from WELLPLASTIC Films on the Moulton Bicycle Company. Beautifully put together, it tells the story around one of Britain’s most iconic brands and still to this day one of the most architecturally beautiful bikes ever made. Watch it in full screen with headphones on, it is well worth it. I love the quote from from the founder and designer Alex Moulton “We have to get your face out of the computer“, while he designs with a Sharpie and a notebook.
“Do what you love, and love what you do” – is the motto of the Pave Culture Cycliste shop tucked away in a suburb just outside of Barcelona. It is something Javier the owner has really taken to heart. Every inch of their space is a considered design decision with no compromises, a true labor of love. From the on-brand purples flowers that great you at the door, to the collection of classic rides, everything that is there fits with Javier’s unique taste. All of these things together have created one of the best bike retail experiences I have had the pleasure to visit. The shop has a lot of the usual suspects, Rapha, Assos, BMC, Parlee, and Time but it is how they have been laid out in the Pave space that makes the difference. It is a big space, in fact they could double their stock and they would still have more space left over than most shops. But instead they carefully curate what they bring to the shop and lay the products out with room to breath, like their special anniversary Tour display by Le Coq Sportif. They also carry a few brands hard to see in the US, like frame makers Pasculli and Milani. Like all good bike shops they become a magnet for the local ride scene. Every day at noon a lunchtime ride rolls out, down the coast towards Sitges, up into the hills at the back of the shop, or towards Barcelona. Demo bikes are taken out and tried, and the in-shop showers and lockers are usually pretty full from the local ride scene stealing a few hours off work in the afternoon. If you are lucky enough (or unlucky, depending on how the legs are feeling) you will see friends of the shop like Juan Antonio Fleche or Johnny Hoogerland roll out as well. Although I have a feeling that by the looks of Javier he might put a few people in the red on the way back to the shop. If you are ever in Barcelona it is a must visit. You will be greeted warmly by Javier, get a coffee, and I guarantee you will spend money.
Note: Thank you for the bottle of wine Javier, currently half way through.
Walking around Madrid today it was obvious somebody hut the mother load of vintage bicycles and parts. Every commuter that passed was aboard classic lovingly brought back to life and adorned with vintage parts. Two favorites above. An immaculate purple Alan and these beautiful gold brakes from Mafac.
Probably some of the slickest shoes you could wear on the way to the office (or pub, or park, or coffee shop…). My first pair of racing shoes were drilled leather uppers with leather soles and nailed on cleats. The “Fixed” shoe above takes what was the best of that era of shoe design and updates the design with a few modern additions. The uppers are a natural tan leather and the soles are made of rubber (not disimilar to those on Camper shoes). The backs of the shoes have a nice reflective stripe. These are the sort of shoes that just get better with age as the leather gets used to your foot and starts to shape itself.