It can surely be no coincidence that so many truly iconic bicycling brands hail from just one island off the north-west coast of the European continent.
The English relationship with cycling is perhaps best characterised by looking at something like the Brooks B17. A discerning cyclist’s mainstay for over a century, there is little during this time that has changed in the manner or material of its production.
It was conceived, like nearly all products bearing the Brooks name, as an elegant solution to a genuine problem. But then again, stylish problem-solving isn’t the sole preserve of Brooks. It might more accurately be described as the stock-in-trade of English cycling design.
The extraordinary, very real, and ultimately justified public affection for great English cycling names like Pashley, Brompton, Condor, Cooper, Moulton, and, ahem, Hendrick’s Gin would tend to bear this out, and recently set us thinking about ways in which we could somehow put a small series of exhibitions together in different locations around Europe. Simply put, a few low-key shows which would exemplify this shared, storied past, and this dazzling (yet tasteful) beckoning future.
So next Friday, March 11, in conjunction with the names already mentioned and one or two others, we will be on our way to our first stop in the legendary cycling city of Hamburg.
It is the first stop in a series of spring visits to a few carefully chosen bike shops in Germany and Switzerland. Something for most of you, we’ll be mixing the Tweed with Speed, and the Hendrick’s with Tonic and cucumber.