Readers may still recall how we disclosed plans on the Brooks blog in November regarding our intention to start production of some clothing items, under the auspices of our new label, John Boultbee.
As one of cycling’s great innovators, were John Brooks alive today he would doubtless have been a visitor, if not exhibitor, earlier this year at Eurobike in Friedrichshafen. And chances are, his first port of call would have been the “Inventors’ Corner”, where those of inquisitive disposition frequently have ample opportunity to muse upon Plato’s truism regarding necessity’s maternal nature.
As the Festive Season hots up, many shoppers will around about now be falling prey to the age-old twin afflictions of Buying-Useless-Nonsense-Out-Of-Sheer-Desperation, and Having-Some Christmas-Song-Or-Other-Stuck-In-Their-Head.
Oil spillage, the ubiquitous spectre of global economic chaos, a collapsed Chilean mine shaft and that sheaf of mildly embarrassing diplomatic documents have all vied with each other this year for column inch supremacy throughout the world’s news media.
But as the curtain falls on another twelvemonth, we can say with a measure of confidence that 2010 will be best remembered in terms of big news stories by generations to come as the year in which the hateful epithet “Bike Dandy” was finally reclaimed by its adherents for the badge of honour it undoubtedly is.
If our report last month on the Race Around Ireland has whetted anybody’s appetite for a go at Endurance Cycling, an enterprising Englishman has devised a race that could ease newcomers into the discipline.
Picasso’s “Head of Bull”, above, conjured from a saddle (no, sadly it wasn’t a Brooks) and handlebar, both of which he removed from a supposedly derelict bicycle in 1943 somewhere in Paris, arguably qualifies as an early prominent example of at least two types of art; scavenged art, and bike art.
Nowadays, of course, it’s much harder to define “art” than it was when Pablo ruled the roost, or at least to distinguish it from everything else that isn’t; and we could probably say something similar about the term “artist”.
This year, the discerning urban cyclist has really been spoilt for choice in matters trouser. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that anybody hoping to cut a dash between waist and ankle could probably have buttoned on a well-thought-out-and-executed new cycling pant every single day in 2010.
Enthusiasm for the notion of urban cycling as a building block for one’s general personal style has probably never been so popular as it is today. As a company that has produced objectively beautiful saddles, bags and bikewear for a century and a half, there can be few others as sensitive to this fact as Brooks.