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I’ve always liked to mine vintage garments and interpret the designs into something fresh. This is especially true of athletic and sporting apparel. So when long-time cyclist Bill Humphreys published “The Jersey Project” I nabbed a copy for my design library.

The Jersey Project is a visual tour of bike racing in the U.S. and Europe over the past few decades through hundreds of images of club and team cycling jerseys.  Each page is filled with jerseys and bits of racing history. From page one I was hooked as I was swept back into the era when I first discovered bikes and the world of bike racing. I would never have dreamed then that the wool jerseys worn by the U.S. riders I rode hip-to-hip with on training rides would end up in a historical compilation!

I’ve been working on my own jersey design project for a client this summer and this wonderfully rich book has been a source of endless inspiration. (I’ll show my work when I get some decent photos!)

For a sneak peak of my most recent jersey design for Marczyk Wine & Spirits check out Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook here.

 

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It’s hard to throw away a race number. That high-contrast piece of Tyvek symbolizes a lot of work, preparation and the commitment you’ve made to your sport. Maybe you had a good result; maybe your goal was just to finish. Maybe things didn’t work out. But you made it to the starting line and pinned on a number and that means a lot. It means that you participated, be it a century, a bicycle or ski race, a 10K or something else.

It occurred to the clever folks at Elevengear that it would be very cool to be able to re-use these symbols of significant effort for a new and noble purpose. After several iterations they’ve come up with the “Race Number Cap”.

It takes five numbers to make a cap – five less numbers that will end up in the landfill. Send them your numbers and they’ll stitch up a memento that will look better on your head than tacked to the wall above your workbench. For more information about ordering click here.

Don’t forget, Friday is National Bike to Work Day. See you on the road!

For more 2-wheeled inspiration click here.

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Note the spare tire laced around the cyclist’s upper torso and the double waterbottle holster on the handlebars in this official 1965 poster for La Vuelta a España stage race. The bulls add a nice Spanish touch. German cyclist Rolf Wolfshohl won the race that year.

The 66th edition of the race begins today in Benidorm, Spain.

Vuelta 1965

For more two wheeled inspiration click here.

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258716 - TOUR DE FRANCE

A picture is worth a thousand words.

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Man Tows Airstream Trailer on Bicycle

Man Tows Airstream Trailer on Bicycle

Vintage Paris-Roubaix

Vintage Paris-Roubaix

Vintage Cycling Toys

Vintage Cycling Toys

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130 year old legendary French sporting brand Le Coq Sportif has something to crow about at this year’s Tour de France. Once again they are providing the prestigious Yellow, Green, Polka Dot and White jerseys for the race. Le Coq made jerseys for Le Tour starting in 1951 until 1988 when Castelli moved onto the scene. Nike was involved from 1996 to 2010.

maillot jaune

1951 Tour de France winner Hugo Koblet’s wool “maillot jaune”. Note the pointed collar and button front placket, a style which disappeared a few years later. Jerseys made prior to the introduction of synthetic fabrics in the late 70′s had button front pockets like the ones shown here. The Le Coq label is visible at the neckline.

Le Coq

An evolution of Le Coq Sportif logo. Via: Cycling Art Blog

Eddy Mercx_1974Tour_ViaLeCoqSportif

1974 Tour champion Eddy Mercx in Le Coq’s yellow jersey. Via: Le Coq Sportif

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board game 1.5

Vintage Cycling Toys

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Love this vintage Swiss postcard of feline bicycle racers from the 50′s. The astonished looks on the faces of the contenders and spectators at #15′s blow out, #13′s cool shades, and the mice on the course make it priceless! Have a wonderful flat-free weekend!

Sprinting Felines

For more 2-wheeled inspiration click here.

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The 98th Tour de France begins today with a 180 km 1st stage in Passage du Gois, and ends on the Champs-Elysées in Paris on 24 July.

T-de_F Bday

This drawing by famous sports cartoonist, Pellos celebrates the fiftieth year of the Tour de France in 1963. The candles on the cake represent Tour wins and depict caricatures of the then contemporary champions, along with the great winners of the past. Race director Jacques Goddett peeks out from beneath the table while the imposing mountains of the Alps and Pyrénées smile widely in anticipation and memory of cycling’s greatest race.

Jacques Anquetil who won his fourth Tour in 1963 can be found in the far right candles, celebrating his three Tour victories at the time.

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I’ve been following French cycling champion Jeannie Longo’s career since the 1980’s. I was thrilled beyond belief when she mounted the podium to accept her gold medal at the 1986 World Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colorado clad in one of my Mountain Ladies & Ewe knit earflap hats!

Last week, 52-year-old Longo powered her way to her 11th French national time trial championship win and her 58th national title, leaving riders half her age in her wake.

“A 58th title is a figure somewhat symbolic because it (1958) is the year of my birth,” said Longo. “This is the one I wanted and it really has made my season.”

Longo is accomplished on both the road and track and is an Olympic gold-medalist and twelve-time world champion. While champions come and go, she has been an inspiring and impressive constant in women’s cycling.

Despite the fact that she will be almost three times older than some of her rivals, she has indicated that she wants to ride the world championships in Copenhagen later this year. My hat’s off to you Jeannie!

1986 Jeannie Longo

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Today professional cyclists will line up for the start of the famous one-day French classic cycling race, Paris-Roubaix. Often called “The Hell of the North” or a “Sunday In Hell” because of the kilometer long sections of jarringly torturous cobbles that the riders must navigate.

First run in 1896, Paris–Roubaix is one of cycling’s toughest and oldest races. Since 1977, the winner of Paris–Roubaix has received a sett (cobble stone) as part of his prize.

Here are some classic photos of past races.

CYCLING-GARIN

An undated file photo shows Maurice Garin posing with an unidentified man. Italian-born Garin twice won Paris-Roubaix (1897-98) before winning the first edition of the Tour de France in 1903. AFP PHOTO/FILES

Andre Leducq

1928 winner Andre Leducq. AFP Photo

Paris-Roubaix 1934

The peloton passes through Cardin in 1934. AFP PHOTO

You might also be interested in this post or excellent cycling photos by Chris Milliman.

Photos via: VeloNews

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These vintage cycling toys bring back memories of my first solo adventure. Just after college I toured around Europe, skiing and visiting museums and friends, my only luggage a backpack and a ski bag.

I made two memorable purchases that trip. One was a down duvet for my bed (they weren’t available in the U.S. back then), which I crammed into my ski bag, and a toy model of a Tour de France team vehicle. The latter became slightly problematic as I didn’t want to remove the lime green Renault from it’s box, for fear that the tiny bicycles and extra wheel sets clipped to the roof rack would snap off. I ended up awkwardly hand carrying that box around, including in my lap during the flight home. It was a perfect metal replica of the Renault-Elf-Gitane team car and had doors that opened. Team and sponsor logos were plastered on its body and hood. I had never seen a toy like it before and was ecstatic that it represented Bernard Hinault’s team, my cycling hero at the time. For the life of me I can’t remember what happened to it. I hope that eventually I’ll open a long forgotten box and find it again.  If I do, I’ll post a photo here!

board game

French board game celebrating Velodrome d’Hiver, the great indoor race track of Paris.

Peleton

Toy Tour de France peloton riders

Jeep

1950’s toy Jeep bicycle racing team service vehicle

motorcycle

Toy motorcycle

Pinball

Tour de France pinball game

racers

Vintage toy that operated on batteries to roll across the floor, alternating lead riders, and which featured cycling champions

broom

Toy broom wagon

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Photos: Cycling’s Golden Age

If you like this post, you may also like Man Tows Airstream Trailer on Bicycle.

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I look forward to receiving my copy of The New Yorker magazine every week. The cover is always as enticing as the cartoons and articles inside. Since we are in the height of the bike racing season, I thought it would be fun to highlight Theodore G. Haupt’s March 9, 1929 six-day racing themed cover. Haupt’s art deco style highlights  a sport that was wildly popular at Madison Square Garden at the turn of the century.

To see more covers click here.

NyerCover1929Crit

May I suggest you  “Like” Poppy Gall Design on facebook? You’ll be able to contribute comments and ideas on a variety of projects in various stages of completion. Thank you!

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Hanover, New Hampshire-based photographer, Chris Milliman had recently returned from shooting at Belgium’s Paris-Roubaix Classic, when I had the pleasure of meeting him and slowly flipping through his portfolio. Milliman is most widely known for his evocative cycling photography, but his interests in photography are much broader.

While chatting with Milliman and savoring his photographs, I was drawn in by his use of light, and his simple, yet well thought out, compositions. They puled me in and made me question, “what’s going on here, what is that person in the photo thinking, where was this taken?” Not just another bunch of pretty pictures, they are photos that set my imagination a-fire.

Milliman has been fortunate enough to take editorial photographs of some of the world’s most prestigious cycling races, and of the best pro riders. He also shoots commercial photography for leading cycling brands. His cycling pictures depict a side of bicycle racing that the spectator rarely sees. His truthful, clean perspective sets him apart from other cycling photographers. I think that he’s able to capture these little moments so perfectly because besides being super visual, he is a cyclist himself.

Using a large format camera and film (remember film?), Milliman takes only a handful of images per shoot, carefully relying on his unique eye for composition, light and subject matter. Chris “believes in never taking the same picture twice, and definitely not three times. Photography is a passion for him because it’s always in flux, it is watching life and all of its motion.”

Beyond cycling, Chris turns his thoughtful lens to fashion, travel, landscape, ski and snowmobile racing shoots. It was a real pleasure hearing the stories behind the pictures he showed me. I look forward to seeing some recent photos taken of women cyclists when they become public. Below are some of my favorites. If you want to see bigger photos, and more of them, click here, or click here to visit his blog.

LD6X3778

227Q8550

picnic

2h

litch22

belgium

lance

milliman5

driver

Picture 1

embro8

milliman6

milliman8

old_ladies

lunchroom

che_wall

Picture 2

Picture 3

All photos copyright Chris Milliman

P.S. I have a new ‘Poppy Gall Design’ facebook page. “Like” it to see what sorts of projects I’m working on and to be an interactive part of my design studio.



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Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, riding for Saxo Bank, won the prestigious 259 km Paris-Roubaix one-day classic bicycle race in France on April 11, 2010, capturing the event for a second time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris–Roubaix
Cancellara’s victory was due in part because he didn’t flat on a course notorious for it’s hellish road surface known to destroy tires. This was due to his choice to ride on hand-made tires.
Many people these days aren’t aware that up until the not-so-distant past, performance bicycle tires were made of latex-coated cotton or silk and called “sew-ups”.
I have fond memories of riding on and repairing sew-ups. But my best memory is the ease and speed in which I could change a sew-up by the side of the road. I switched to clinchers a few years ago after it became harder to find good sew-ups at affordable prices.
Between my appreciation for textiles, all things handcrafted and bicycle racing I was interested to learn about the French tire maker FMB that makes the world’s finest bicycle tires – by hand.
http://www.fm-boyaux.fr
FMB stands for Francois Marie Boyaux. Loosely translated Boyaux means tubular – for tubular (sew-up) tires. A one-man operation, Francois Marie’s the renaissance craftsman behind these ultra-dependable tires.
Only limited quantities are made so the best teams in the peloton including Saxo Bank, Quick Step and Team Sky order their allocation of FMB’s months in advance.
FMB makes the fabric for each tire casing using silk or long fiber Egyptian cotton depending on the type of tire being produced. The chosen fabric is wound onto a drum at a 45-degree angle and then coated with liquid latex and left to dry. Three layers of latex-coated bias-cut fabric are used for each tire.
A stickler for quality, FMB also builds their own latex inner tubes ensuring that their tires meet the highest standards. Once the casings and inner tubes are finished, the tubes are inserted into the casings and the casings are hand stitched closed. Rim tape is glued over the stitching. The tread is then applied.
If you appreciate and respect that handmade means just that, coupled with the fact that FMB’s can withstand grueling one day classics like Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders without flatting you’ll understand the $165 price tag for each tire. It’s a small price to pay for confidence in your equipment and to go down in history winning Paris-Roubaix.
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/road-bikes/product-components/2010-fmb-paris-roubaix-25-tubular-tire-7427.2709.0.html

Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, riding for Saxo Bank, won the prestigious 259 km Paris-Roubaix one-day classic bicycle race in France on April 11, 2010, capturing the event for a second time.

Cancellara’s victory was due in part because he didn’t flat on a course notorious for it’s hellish road surface known to destroy tires. This could be because he chose to ride on hand-made tires.

cancellara-in-arenberg

Many people these days aren’t aware that up until the not-so-distant past, performance bicycle tires were made of latex-coated cotton or silk and called “sew-ups”.

I have fond memories of riding on, and repairing, sew-ups. But my best memory is the ease and speed in which I could change a sew-up by the side of the road. After flatting, I could change a tire and be back in the saddle within a few minutes. I switched to clinchers a few years ago after it became harder to find decent sew-ups at affordable prices.

Between my appreciation for textiles, all things handcrafted, and bicycle racing I was interested to learn about the French tire maker FMB that makes the world’s finest bicycle tires – by hand.

FMB Tires

FMB stands for Francois Marie Boyaux. Loosely translated Boyaux means “tubular” – for tubular tires. (“sew-ups”). A one-man operation, Francois Marie’s the renaissance craftsman behind these ultra-dependable tires.

Only limited quantities are made, so the best teams in the peloton including Saxo Bank, Quick Step and Team Sky order their allocation of FMB’s months in advance.

FMB makes the fabric for each tire casing using silk or long fiber Egyptian cotton depending on the type of tire being produced. The chosen fabric is wound onto a drum at a 45-degree angle and then coated with liquid latex and left to dry. Three layers of latex-coated bias-cut fabric are used for each tire.

A stickler for quality, FMB also builds their own latex inner tubes ensuring that their tires meet the highest standards. Once the casings and inner tubes are finished, the tubes are inserted into the casings and then the casings are hand stitched closed. Rim tape is glued over the stitching. The tread is then applied.

If you appreciate and respect that handmade means just that, coupled with the fact that FMB’s can withstand grueling one day classics like Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders without flatting you’ll understand the $165 price tag for each tire. It’s a small price to pay for confidence in your equipment and to go down in history winning Paris-Roubaix.

To see more posts on my blog about bicycles click here.

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